Description from the HotPatterns website:
“When is a T-shirt not a T-shirt? When it’s a chic knit top
like these, great in medium- weight knits like scuba, interlock
jersey, ITY, lightweight ponte or a silk(y) jersey.
Semi-fitted, pull-on top or tank has a slight swing silhouette
with a fuller, longer back. Top has slim elbow-length sleeves;
the tank version has banded armholes. A self fabric or rib knit
band finishes the ‘Ballet’ neckline, or make the optional shaped
neckband if your fabric isn’t very stretchy; the back neckline is
low but bra-friendly. Top features center front & back seams, plus
horizontal bust darts for a great fit. Sleeves & hem finish with deep
self-fabric bands; contrast topstitching adds an elegant finish.
These work best worn untucked over a slim skirt or pants; a simple
change of fabric gives you a fabulous top for work, for the beach or
on vacation, or for casual-dressy evenings out.”
6-26 – Per the size chart, bust 32” (81 cm) through 52” (132 cm)
However! HotPatterns are known to run large, and I believe this pattern in particular would easily accommodate 60” bust and 60” hips with no grading.
What size did you make?
I made a straight size 24, no grading. The bust and sleeves are really the only fitted parts of this top – there is a ton of ease in the waist and hips, so after measuring the flat pattern pieces, I decided the 24 would probably work best for how I wanted the top to fit.
What are your measurements, height, and body type?
- High bust: 44”
- Full bust: 58”
- Waist: 46”
- Hips: 56”
- Height: 5’ 9”
If it existed outside of the custom world, I would currently wear a 38M UK bra size. Pre-pregnancy and nursing I wore a 38L, and I never lost the extra volume I gained after I stopped nursing.
As a native string player, I like the term “cello” body shape. I think that fits me pretty well. The bust shape is still a bit wonky, but here is my croquis from MyBodyModel for a visual.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
I knew I wanted something closer to tunic length, so I added 5” in length. This didn’t take much time at all. The only slightly tricky thing is that there was no lengthen/shorten line, and with all the swing/extra volume I had to decide where to cut to add it. Here’s a picture of what I ultimately decided.
I also thought about doing an FBA, but between the flat pattern piece measurements and the stretch of my fabric I figured I could probably go without (plus I wanted to see what the fit was like without any major changes). I might be able to get a slightly closer fit by going down a size at the shoulders and doing an FBA, but the style of this is forgiving enough that I don’t think it’s a huge deal.
What fabric did you use?
I used some clearance ITY I bought from fabricmartfabrics.com a couple years ago.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
The construction process was very straightforward, as are the instructions. They are concise and use diagrams (instead of pictures like some indie pattern companies), which is my preferred method.
I did change up the construction a bit from the instructions since this sew seemed like an excellent candidate for Mission Coverstitch All The Things. Normally I would have serged all the seams, but anything that got topstitched I sewed with a regular straight stitch so I could coverstitch with the seam allowance open instead of pressed to one side. I’m still getting acquainted with my coverstitch machine and I have a lot of room for improvement, so don’t look too closely at my slightly twisted hems or wavy topstitching!
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
Overall I like the fit! I like the fitted bust silhouette and the flare out from there. I was unsure about how I would like the back having so much more volume than the front, and I think it will take a little getting used to, but I like the way this looks on and it will definitely get a spot in my regular rotation.
I was also not sure about how the back scoop neckline would work with different types of bras, but I only have one sports bra that shows over the top of this neckline, all of my daily bras are successfully hidden.
With the added length I think this works well for my body shape, without the extra 5” this would be way too short – the fullness of the bottom of the pattern would be hitting well above my hips. I’m not sure what height HotPatterns draft for, but even at 5’ 9” I’m pretty short-waisted (I don’t usually have to add length to other tops/dress bodices outside of FBAs). With the added 5” I think it hits me about where it does in the pattern line drawing.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I will probably make one or two more of these, adding another 2-3” of length to wear comfortably with leggings. This one is just a little short to wear with leggings for my preference. I’ll also lower the bust dart by an inch or so on any future versions, it’s sitting a bit high on me as drafted.
I have a bunch of ITY in my stash so will probably stick with that, but I think this would be great and super comfy in a soft rayon spandex jersey too.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources that helped you sew this piece up?
I would really strongly recommend measuring the flat pattern pieces before picking what size to sew, the size chart is misleading and runs pretty small compared to the actual pattern. There is a very active HotPatterns Facebook group as well (including the designers/owners, Trudy and Jeremy Hanson), and everyone there is very supportive and happy to help with sizing questions.
Size Range: 5
Construction Process: 5
Final Fit: 4
Overall Rating + Explanation: 4.75 – The practical size range is much bigger than the size chart would suggest, but the length as drafted was very different from the line drawings. Overall this is an excellent top, though, and I think the shape would work well for most sewists. It has some interesting visual features (seaming, topstitching, scoop back, horizontal bust dart) that separate it in a good way from other swingy knit tops out there these days.