I’ve been eyeing In the Folds patterns for a while now. An indie out of Sydney (tehehe that has a nice ring to it), they’re the creators of the Rushcutter and the Acton dresses, as well as a line of free but straight-sized garments for Peppermint Magazine. I’m a fan of the all the paneling that the designer, Emily, loves.
The Collins Top could prove to be a very popular pattern as the weather heats up for summer (at least in the northern hemisphere). With two views and tons of panels, it’s comfy and breezy with lots of visual interest. For my version, I was inspired by @kelerabeus’s striped version on Instagram.
Collins Top, View B, the sleeveless top with an all in one facing.
Size A-K, which corresponds to 30-51.5” bust and 24”-45.5” waist. There’s a generous 7” ease in the bust and 15” in the waist, so the size range is possibly more expansive than it appears.
What size did you make?
Since this is loose-fitting trapeze top, the main fit concern is through the shoulders. I made a muslin of the front and back facings in Sizes E and F for comparison. I liked Size E everywhere but the bust and Size F nowhere but the bust, so Size E was my base, blended to Size F at the full bust.
What are your measurements and height?
37” high bust, 41.5” full bust, 32” waist; 5’11” tall
What adjustments did you make?
I did a cheater FBA, by blending to a Size F at the bust portion of the front pieces and adding 1” to the front and back for extra length (and for being super tall in general). Truthfully, I wasn’t sure how to go about doing a proper FBA on the different panels, at least not without having to merge the front pieces together, alter, then separate them back out.
What fabric did you use?
A white and lavender striped seersucker, definitely synthetic, picked it up at the by-the-pound bins at Michael Levine a few years ago. I am not super in love with the feel of this fabric, but it made a decent test run. It was a bit difficult to match the stripes with the stretchy-crinkly nature of the seersucker.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
The instructions are outstanding! They are clear, thoughtful, and beautiful instructions. In the Folds walks you through all stages of garment prep and construction. The tons of notches made putting the panels together simple. The all in one facing was also really easy- easier than one other method I’ve used! I opted for a combo of bias-bound, french, and pinked seam finishes. Overall, the top came together very quickly and it was a pleasure to use this pattern and instructions.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
A trapeze style that doesn’t have ridiculous tenting from my mega-boobs?! Heck yes! I love this dramatic, architectural silhouette, and it succeeds because all the drama is in those side panels, not front and center.
My cheater-FBA worked reasonably well. There’s a little wrinkling around the front armhole. I should have added even more length in front for my bust and height.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I would make this pattern again. I’d add length to the front and maybe try to fix the bust wrinkles. I envision trying this is a silky fabric and maybe lengthening it into a dress, too! Overall, it’s a win from In the Folds! After my experience trying the Collins top, I’d feel confident trying their other patterns styles, too. I’m looking forward to future panel-bonanza releases.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
Size Range: 4
The size range is pretty expansive and possibly a bit wider than advertised given the ease of the style. It’s drafted for a B-cup; I would have loved having different cup sizes and/or instructions on doing a FBA across the panels.
Construction Process: 5
Fun and headache free!
Final Fit: 4
Good fit through the shoulders with a dramatic silhouette, minus a point for the bust wrinkles and front length described above.
Overall Rating: 4.5
So, would you make a Collins top for yourself? Any advice for doing proper FBA with these panels and fixing the underarm wrinkles?