I was really drawn to the seam and stitch lines on this top - angled seam lines front and back, and deep facings top stitched in place around neckline and armholes. The top is pretty boxy looking though, so I wasn't sure if I was being foolish sewing this up in too big a size - hence the use of rubbishy Spotlight fabric for test purposes.
Apologies for the horrible camera angle - I didn't really think when I was taking these pictures, but obviously I'd positioned the camera way too low!
I think it would be better a size down, BUT I like this top anyway. It's very airy and comfortable, and I think the excess ease looks OK with narrow pants, though I should probably wait and see how the top looks when the fabric softens after a few more washes.
The pattern is intended to be sewn in linen, so I'm thinking of making it again in a beautiful orange linen that I got as a remnant from The Fabric Store when I went there with Nicole on her not-so-long-ago weekend in Sydney. I think to pair it with the Ethel Designer Pants (made last summer - see this post) I'd need to size the top down to bring the waist in - otherwise I think the combo would be too voluminous all over. Hmm looking back at that post is reminding me how lovely and loose those pants are... I think they would be fabulous in a very lightweight cotton or silk!
In the next photo I've pinched out the excess ease at the waistline; I think the top looks better like this....
StyleArc actually gave us printouts of diagrams showing how to grade their patterns up and down (ie how much per size for tops and bottoms), so it should be perfectly do-able to size this top down.
If I remember correctly a couple of others who've made this top have said something about the instructions for the facings being a little confusing - maybe I'm mis-remembering, but in any event I was mentally bracing myself for making mistakes when I sewed the sleeve facings. If I understood the instructions correctly, what StyleArc suggests it to sew the armhole facings with facings right side to the right side of the top, then to flip the facings to the inside before top stitching in place, and then finally to sew the side seams. This order of construction might be what makes the approach a little different? I guess I would normally hide the side seam within a facing, but I can see that StyleArc's approach would be good if you want to avoid puckering from discrepancies between the lengths of the facing and outer armhole edges - sewing instructions are really just a suggestion though, aren't they?
There's not too much more to say about this top - it really is quite a straightforward sew, and if your fabric is wide it doesn't take a great deal of length. The pattern indicates you need between 1.7 and 1.9 metres for the top, but from recollection I got it out of 1.5 metres with lots of fabric left over. So as I said earlier, I'll probably be making this one again in a smaller size and a nicer fabric :).
Gotta go - we're heading to the beach again this afternoon!
See you soon
- Gabrielle xx