When I brought home a yard of a light blue cotton gauze, I knew I wanted to make a blouse with simple shape, no darts, and kimono sleeves. After ages of casually hunting for the right pattern, I stumbled upon the Designer Stitch Kat Weekend Top, and it ticked all my boxes: an “easy fit dartless shell with extended shoulder line to create a grown on short sleeve.” Cue the angelic choir, the pattern deities had spoken!
Available as a PDF, the Kat top has a pretty extensive size range: 6-26 (up to a 52” bust, 43.5” waist, and 54” hip). In addition to the Weekend view, there is a Weekday version with set-in sleeves. At only 20 pages, the PDF came together quickly and without issue (there is a copy-shop file as well). You can also select which sizes to print. Both views are suitable for lightweight cottons, silks, and knits. All this awesomeness for $10.
My measurements (41.5” full bust, 31.5” waist and 46.5” hip) fell in between sizes. The size chart recommended picking “the size closest to your own body” as there is not a lot of ease factored in, so I rounded up and cut a size 16 muslin. I was hard-pressed to find pictures of this pattern on a similar busty person prior to sewing it myself; so I was happy by how well this pattern fit out of the digital envelope. I liked the un-hemmed length of the muslin, so I cut the size 18 length along the bottom edge. I’m tall (5’ 11”), so adding length is a standard change for me.
The construction process and instructions were clear and straight forward. Cut time included, I completed it over the span of a few episodes of a procedural TV show. Sewing the little curve under the arms was particularly pleasing. It’s just such a nice curve. The trickiest bit was the double-fold neckline, as I hadn’t done one before, and even that wasn’t especially tricky. I liked that this neckline method concealed all the raw edges of the easily-fraying fabric. To that end, I also used French seams and double turned hems, the latter of which was the most time-consuming part and greatly aided by a hem gauge.
I like that this top echoes my shape without further exaggerating it. I like that the neckline is high enough to not create bra flashing woes when I lean forward. I love the curved hem- it’s flattering and a nice compliment to the curved side seams. It’s also broad enough through the shoulders, back, and bust that I have a full range of motion and no pulling at the bust. Best of all, I got my desired kimono sleeve without an excess of fabric between shoulder and bust. In future versions, I might slightly tweak the neckline to be marginally narrower- I get a bit of bra strap peek-a-boo. I would also consider going down a half or full size down everywhere but the bust for a more fitted look. Lastly, the sleeves are prone to bunching up when I put on a jacket- nothing a bit of smoothing out can’t fix- but perhaps worth noting. I would probably go with the Weekday version if I was, say intending to make a top I’d always wear under jacket.
Energized by the success of my first Kat, I wanted to see how the Weekend worked in a knit. I wanted a slimmer fit, so taking the stretch of the knit into account, I cut a size 12 lengthened to the size 18 at the hem to maintain the length I liked. I also cut the back on the fold instead of as two separate pieces. I forgot to fold out the seam allowance from the center back, so it’s a bit loose back there. I’d say it took maybe an hour to modify the pattern and cut the pieces.
I didn’t even need to consult the instructions, save for a quick check of the neckband finishing. This knit bulked up along seams, so I probably should have trimmed the neckline seam before folding it over. For now, I’m going to go with calling it a design feature. I turned up the hem and sleeves once to finish. I like the longer and leaner fit of my second Kat, although I’d size up the bust and reduce the length in future versions. I’d use a fabric with more drape and experiment with prints, a contrast collar, color blocking, and the Weekday view with set in sleeves.
Size Range: 5
Construction Process: 5
Final Fit: 4
Overall Rating + Explanation: 4.5
The Kat Weekend top has a good size range, clear instructions, easy construction, and a pleasing and adaptable silhouette well suited toward a variety of fabrics and occasions.