So this is the knit that all the fuss is about. See how useful it is? It’s got a great geometric print that I think is kinda sophisticated. It has all the neutrals – gray, black, taupe and can go with just about anything. I got this in Austin on PR day and we bought every inch in the store, so I don’t want to waste it on an unproven pattern, or one beyond my skill.
I believe the pattern has been found, and it is Paco Peralta’s drape front top. Here’s my trial version, made up without any changes or alterations except cutting the hip a little wider. The pattern is sized S-M-L, and based on the sizing measurements, I debated about grading up to an XL. The pattern can be made either with knits or wovens, with the only change being that the drape piece is cut on the bias for wovens. Since I was thinking knits, I decided to go ahead and try the large. That turned out just fine. In fact, if I try this pattern in a woven, I think I will still use the L and add some extra to the side seam allowances for fitting.
The pattern went together beautifully and quickly. I haven’t sewn any of the other cowl/drape tops that are very popular right now, but the difference with this one is that the V inset for the cowl piece is very deep, almost at waist level, and the legs of the V extend into the armscyes, not the shoulder seam. I love the little cap sleeves and think they do a lot to make this a flattering style for me. That said, when I use the special fabric, I plan to add sleeves.
There are no directions with the pattern, but this one is pretty easy to figure out. I serged the portion of the cowl that acts as the facing, but you could leave it unfinished as long as your fabric doesn’t run. For the back neck and armscye edges, I used a very narrow binding in self fabric.
The finished top doesn’t slip around on my shoulders, or splay open to show bra straps like some knit tops do, so I’m very pleased. I’ll be making it in the special fabric, but right now I’m a little frustrated with knits and am having a bit of a time out. The very cute “Martina” crossover top in the last Ottobre Woman just barely missed the wearable mark. I want to make it again, with alterations, but knowing myself it is a good time to walk away from the knits for a little bit.
So I made up a CLD pattern that has been waiting patiently – The Blouse Perfected – and even though it says it’s a blouse, for my purposes it is Shirt #5. There are several views in the envelope – the one here, with no cuff and cute little side vents at the hem, a full-on shirt with cuff and sleeve plackets and shirt tails, optional vertical darts (with special instructions on placing your darts), and an artsy draped-front style for you adventuresome types. I started with the quickest version just to get an idea of the fit. The shirts are loose-fitting. If you want more shape, add the darts. But if you’re looking for a very fitted shirt, this is not your pattern. Other features: cut on facings. Separate R and L fronts allow for a clever and very neat front band treatment. Collar and stand.
Alterations – as drafted, this shirt actually tapers at the hem – the hip is smaller than the bust. Yes, I was glad I read the finished garment measurements before cutting!! No way can I handle that kind of shape. I altered so that the sides fall straight down, and made the 1/2 inch forward shoulder adjustment I now do on all of the CLD patterns. Did not alter the length and I like where it happened to fall. The result is very nice casual shirt. No surprise there, that’s exactly what I expect and always get from Cutting Line Designs.
Fabric: all cotton shirting in a fine black & white stripe – so it looks gray in the photo.
For those of you who can wear fitted capri pants, this version with the straight hem would be a cute pairing. Another thing I noticed, when trying this one on before the sleeves were added, is that it looks great sleeveless with that somewhat extended shoulder. There is definately one of those coming up in the future. And I will be trying the vertical darts, too.
BTW, this shirt is the first one that I used Pam Erny’s Shirt-Crisp interfacing on. Yes, it is juuuuust right for shirts! Thank you, Pam!