Muna and Broad Torrens Box Top

Disclaimer: I received the pattern for free but my opinion is my own. Check out the CSC post for more versions.

Muna and Broad is one of the newer indie pattern companies run by Leila (@Leilasews) and Jess (Broad in the Seams). They are a plus-sized pattern company and really put a lot of work into making sure their patterns have a lot of plus-sized alterations built in. I have the Glebe pants and will be trying them out soon (my muslin is already cut out); I also tested their Undies/Period Undies pattern and it’s life changing! You’ll see those on the blog soonish (although just the undies not the period undies since I don’t have the materials for those yet). The Torrens Box top is a boxy silhouette top with sleeve bands and a sleeve extension pack.

My first version of the Torrens top is made without any alterations in a pink swiss dot cotton. I made a size A. There is a slight bit of gaping in the neckline but the fit is good otherwise. Gaping in the neckline is a usual issue for me due to my large bust.

It’s a really cute top. I’ve been wearing a more boxy silhouette these days since developing issues with compression urticaria (hives from wearing tight clothing). Let me tell you how horrible compression urticaria is when you have EDS. My skin is fragile so scratching actually breaks the skin or causes blood vessels to burst in my skin and also develops hives from scratching (dermatographia). Think of being itchy and then just getting itchier from itching and then being so itchy you want to cry. Fun times. It’s changed a lot of my sewing. I need to sew bras that I can actually wear without having this issue but I am not sure what those would look like. Some of the dresses I have made in the past aren’t comfortable for me anymore and even the waistband on skirts is getting to me. Honestly, it’s probably the most frustrating part of having a chronic illness: having things you love taken away from you… So my style is changing to adapt. Thankfully my Belmont leggings are still okay and my Misty jeans (new plaid pair here in double knit fabric… couldn’t pattern match due to fabric constraints) and a lot of my tops are okay, but most woven fabrics are too constrictive for me to wear. So I am really thankful for patterns like this that are loose fitting and comfortable to wear. I have plans for other types of flowy tops and some already cut out. You’ll likely see more pants here, too, but only elastic waistbands as anything else would hurt.

After this version, I made a few changes. I lowered the neckline as well as taking out a 1/2 wedge to deal with the neckline gaping. For version 2, instead of the deep hem, I chose to just do a 1/2 inch hem for a bit more length.

I used the sleeve expansion since I was given early access to it. It’s definitely my favourite version. The sleeves, the colour, so goooood. Since I lowered the neckline, I do have more gaping at the neckline in this version. It’s also made with red rayon fabric which does have a tendency to grow. We’ll see how it washes up but I will do some more neckline alterations for the next version.

There will definitely be more of these in the future. It’s such a comfortable shirt to wear.

I totally chose the red after seeing Leila’s red Torrens on Instagram:

How amazing does she look? I had to follow her footsteps.

Let’s talk about those sleeves for a moment. They are so roomy. I used the wide sleeve and really love it. One of few patterns where I haven’t needed to make a large bicep adjustment.

Real talk, just before taking these pictures, I washed my hands and got water all over the bottom front of the top right before taking pictures. I don’t photoshop my pictures so feel free to play Where’s Waldo with those water stains. LOL.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Muna and Broad Torrens Box Top
  • Pros: Great size range for plus and honestly that’s all I really care about. Love the sleeves. Love the sleeve bands. Love the shape. Great instructions. So many pros.
  • Cons: No cons that I can think of. Even the neckline gaping issues aren’t really cons.
  • Make again?: Oh yes. It’s so goood.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md 5/5 stars

 

 

Seamwork Loretta top

I’ve been wanting to make a Seamwork Loretta top since it was released but for whatever reason just kept getting pushed out of my sewing queue. I’ve had it printed and put together for a while now but finally decided to take the plunge a few weeks ago.

The Loretta is a pull over woven top with raglan flutter sleeves and an elasticated neckline. It also features a rounded front hem and a straight back hem.

I made my usual size 28 with Seamwork patterns. I did no alterations. I actually find that it fits pretty well for the style. The fabric I chose for it, a yellow cotton gingham, is a bit stiff. I do think it would benefit from a much more drapey fabric. I am also not a huge fan of how high that neckline is on me.

In the top version, it’s also pretty short. I’ve been mostly wearing it with skirts rather than with pants like in these pictures. I think the tunic version with the tie would be super cute and help define my waist a bit more. I am getting major… um….”all boob” feels from these pictures. Not that there is anything wrong with that! But it’s not all I want to show off.

 

I think that the pattern is really cute, though, and already have another version cut out in a white gauze. I’m going to add some fringe trim to the hem and the arms for that one. I can’t wait. All in all, it’s a great pattern and looks especially cute with skirts. I’ll have to show that when I take pictures of my next version. 🙂

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork Loretta top
  • Pros: Good size range…although only to a 54 inch bust so it could be improved… Love those flutter sleeves.
  • Cons: A bit short in the top version and a pretty high neck, but these are preferences not major pattern issues.
  • Make again?: Already have another cut out.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Seamwork Brit

As soon as I saw the Seamwork Brit and the bonus variation, I knew I had to have it. Although, I wasn’t interested in making the dress. I have been lusting after a top with a ruffle detail for ages. I was actually going to design one myself using the Cashmerette Concord t-shirt pattern but hadn’t gotten around to it and didn’t really want to. The sleeves on the Brit pattern are a bonus, too! I absolutely love a bishop sleeve.

I shortened the pattern by about 8 inches. I wanted the top hem to hit my low hip so I didn’t want to take out too much length. I cut out a size 24 and the only modification I did was shorten it to a top. I have to say that the fit is lovely. The sleeves fit nicely and the top fits over my bust and back really well. I think the pattern is going to become a TNT (Tried and Tested) pattern. I honestly don’t think I have any changes I would make for the next versions.

The fabric I used is a bright blue with white stripes knit. I got it from Tanya during a destash a while ago. I have been hoarding the fabric ever since. It’s a very lightweight knit with a nice drape perfect for the sleeves as well as not being too thick for the layers in the ruffle.

In the curvy range, the pattern has a centre back seam to help with the fit. Not that I needed it since it fits great.

The sleeves are lovely. The bands are a bit tight in this knit for rolling up sleeves; although, not around my wrist. But just be aware that if you occasionally roll up your sleeves, the pattern might need a slight modification here or a stretchier fabric.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Seamwork Brit and the bonus variation
  • Pros: I could wear this top all the time. I love it so much!
  • Cons: No cons imho. It’s a great pattern.
  • Make again?: I have a ton more version planned including one that uses lace for the yoke above the ruffle. ❤
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Striped Cashmerette Cedar Dolman

Today I am sharing a post that I originally posted on the sewcialist blog for Striped month. 🙂 With a few extras for my blog. 😉

This post breaks all those silly rules that society makes up.

As a plus sized person, we are often told about what to wear to “flatter” our shape. To many people in the plus sized category, that means to disguise our shape or make us look skinnier. You can read Mary’s article on the Curvy Sewing Collective to hear more thoughts on the word flattering.

Stripes often make the list of patterns that plus size people should steer clear of and I definitely don’t agree. I think stripes are for all people of all shapes and sizes.

I love stripes and find they make me feel great. There is no hiding the fact that I am plus sized so I might as well wear what I love and find joy in what I make. Ultimately, the joy I get from making clothes I love translates to me strutting in confidence in the world. For many years, when I obeyed the dumb rules of flattering, I would not feel as good in my clothing or enjoy wearing them. When I let go of that, and lived confidently, I felt a lot better about my body.

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I made this top to throw all rules out the window. I think you can feel pretty empowered by letting go of all the rules.

The pattern is the Cedar Dolman top from Cashmerette patterns. I used Gillian’s hack to add sleeves to it and I added a cuff to the sleeve as well as a hem band and a neck band.

I tested the pattern. However, changes have been made since and I am not going to share my test version. I also tested the Belmont leggings at the same time. I will also not be sharing my tester version of those either. The changes made in the final patterns of both lead to a much better fit so it makes no sense to share the tester version.

The Cedar Dolman fits just as expected. It’s meant to fit loosely and drape over the bust. I really love it and it’s a great pattern to use as a base for all your hacking needs. I plan on making the pattern several times more. I really love the top. I want to try it in a drapey woven material soon.

The fabric I used is a super soft double brushed polyester knit in mustard with white stripes from Water Tower Textiles.

Yellow is a colour that I really really love but I avoided wearing it for years and years because of a comment when I was younger of how I looked in yellow… something along the line of pale disgusting zombie. I realized that I needed to let go of that. Yellow makes me happy and I wanted more of it in my life. I think I look and feel fabulous in this mustard colour.

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Breaking the rules again, I made no attempt to match stripes in any way. I find that as we sew, we get caught up in doing things the right way. We want to match those stripes perfectly. Often that prevents us from sewing and having fun with something that is supposed to be a hobby. For me, sewing is all about the fun. Everyone can absolutely have different standards, but I wanted to let go of it for this project. I have enough going on that I didn’t need to stress over stripes. I needed to feel empowered and confident. I definitely don’t think it is bad that someone takes the time to match stripes perfectly, but if that act is stopping you, don’t stress. Just sew!

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My top has the stripes strategically placed on the diagonal in order to further not care about matching the stripes. I also cut the top on the fold. The Cedar dolman is cut with two front pieces and two back pieces, but cutting on the fold meant I could avoid stripe matching again. Huzzah!

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Maybe this post should be titled lazy stripe tips. Ha!

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Want to avoid matching stripes? Have then all go in different directions! With the diagonal stripes on the front and back pieces, I made the sleeves and sleeve cuffs have horizontal stripes and the hem band with vertical stripes. I cut the neckband so the white stripe went all the way around.

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The whole project made me feel great, and I now have a lovely yellow top that I love wearing and brings me a lot of joy! Not only is it a super soft, warm, and comfortable top, but it also makes me feel great. What could be more ‘flattering’ than that?

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Cashmerette Cedar Dolman top
  • Pros: It’s a great pattern! I can’t wait to try the workout top.
  • Cons: I’m not sure there are cons. It’s a simple pattern with a great size range.
  • Make again?: Absolutely!
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

Muse Pattern’s Philippa Pattern

I’m back from the honeymoon. I had a great time and will talk a bit more about that here in the next couple of weeks as I get over my jet lag. That’s a real thing. I was a zombie by 4pm last night and fought to stay awake until 9pm and then woke up at 1am ready to get up and go to work…. SMH.

Before I left, I tested a pattern for Muse Patterns: the Philippa dress, top, and skirt. Dress and top can have cap sleeves or be sleeveless. As with most Muse Patterns, the pattern is very versatile and can be customized for several different types of garments and different looks. Philippa also has the added bonus of different types of fabric. It can be made in light-medium weight for the top, medium to heavy weight for the skirt, and in either for the dress, depending on whether you include pockets. You can also use a stable ponte or mix and match with ponte side panels and woven in the front. It’s a 1960s mod-inspired look with princess seams on the front and back. The sizing is a bit different for this one as you choose your size based on your high bust.

I chose to make the top out of ponte because it was right before I left and I knew I could whip it up fast on my serger. I made it with blue ponte on the front and green on the side. I used polkadot rayon fabric for the collar. I left the zipper off as the ponte had a slight stretch to it making it easy to get over my head. I also made a triangle peakaboo detail at the back with a small band of fabric across to join the collar. I love the detail.

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Sizing was spot on. I was a little concerned about the size since my middle has gained a couple of inches since the fall and I’m a bit above the size range in that area now, but there was no issue with the top, except that I do prefer longer tops. So I will be lengthening it in the future. I think with the dress I would grade out at the waist a bit in a woven material. Here is a mirror picture showing the length of the top. Excuse the leggings as pants look.

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Like all Muse Patterns, the instructions are detailed and easy to follow. The patterns are drafted really well and all the notches match perfectly. I will be making the top again in the future and making a muslin of the dress. 1960s mod-inspired dress isn’t really my style, but I adore this one. Instead of the basic shift dress, the princess seams and style lines really give this dress more shape and interest than the basic mod-inspired dress. The collar is so awesome, too. It’s so cute. Since the skirt is an A-line skirt, I probably won’t be making it. I don’t think the A-line shape looks great on me in a skirt. You never know, though! It does have pockets!

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These two pictures where taken outside our hotel after a day of sightseeing when we were in Amsterdam for 9 days before our Baltic Sea cruise. I was freeeeeeezing my butt off. It was around 5 degrees celcius. My husband took these pics. ❤

I love the way the top looks with my green Pavlova skirt. Instead of finishing the arms with bias binding, I used a narrow band for this version.

I won’t put in a review for this as this is the test pattern. When I sew it up using the final pattern, I will do a full review.