As I mentioned in my previous post, I was lucky enough to visit sunny Palm Springs earlier this spring. In packing and preparing for the trip, I made a discovery. I had so many options I wanted to bring! I LOVE my summer wardrobe. It was also here I realized the items that I loved the most were garments I had made. I looked to my left at the winter wardrobe I was leaving behind, and to my right all my summery options I was packing and realized; my me-made wardrobe…is a summer wardrobe. My cold-weather closet has few hand-made garments in it, and even fewer that I would say I loved. This is unfortunate because our hot, summer season is so short. That fact is made doubly-unfortunate when you consider my summer wardrobe now includes this:
This is a floaty, frilly, pastel blue linen, Rachel Comey design from Vogue patterns in all it’s sunshine-y, ruffly majesty. When I was buying V1501, this pattern also caught my eye. It had a saucy amount of flounce and the sort of exaggerated shape I have recently been craving. After a quick search on the sewing blogs and seeing this version, I was completely sold (and destined to make it in light blue linen).
Once again falling into size 12-ish, I decided to read some reviews before cutting. Many recommended to size down due to the wide back opening, so I opted to cut out a size 10. It feels like a good fit and I am glad I sized down. Just a note if you are making this pattern- make sure you double check your sizing on the pattern pieces. I noticed in mine the piece for the back yoke (number 4) was labeled in the range 6-14 instead of 4-12 but the sizing was the same (so I cut a size 12 in this piece which was really supposed to be the 10).
For adjustments, I didn’t want things to feel too short since I always need to add length, but this pattern looks straight up weird when you look at the pieces and I feared messing with proportions too much. I added just 1.5cm length to the entire bottom hem on both front layers, and I think it was a good amount. As for cutting the pattern out, I was able to save some space by eliminating the centre front seam on the bottom layer and cut on the fold.
In putting everything together, it was surprisingly straightforward and not as fiddly as the strange pattern pieces might lead you to believe. I did make a few small changes though. I skipped bias binding the seam on the inner yoke and just overlocked it instead, and did the same when I attached my sleeves. I understand that these could give your project a clean, elevated finish, but I fight with bias tape on simple hems and simply didn’t feel the need to wrangle it into an armhole. I also was confused by some of the sleeve notches and where the edges were supposed to overlap so I eyeballed it, and confirmed by measuring the pieces against each other.
Other than that, just be prepared for so. many. tiny. hems. Recently with many projects, I have gotten into lazy habit of just overlocking hems and just folding it up to finish. Don’t like fussing with pressing, meticulous measuring and doubling over and the invariably wobbly, stretched out or puckered hem that can result. This pattern would not let that fly, as it would be super visible. I spent probably as much time pressing and folding these edges as I did actually sewing. Surprisingly though, it felt therapeutic and it came out so beautifully. I might have to start doing things properly again.
At the end of it all I was worried that things would be just too floofy. It seemed dicey when I first put it on but after I got Rory to help me properly tie the back, which pulled in some of the volume, I fell in love with the look. After sewing, some of the hems got a little over-stretched so I tossed it in the wash to shrink ’em back up. This inevitably lead me to crease-town. I tried giving it a good press, but once this baby is assembled, it’s pretty tricky to iron everything crisply flat. But this is the linen life. We just go find a hammock and let the cares about wrinkles float away.
This top is the epitome of summer dressing. It is light, it is fun, it has so much personality. I highly recommend playing around and giving it a sew.
Palm Springs was the perfect place to make its debut, what with the blissful heat and colorful atmosphere, but I am already counting down to some nice toasty days here at home to bust it out in it’s cool linen glory.
It’s me-made season. That winter wardrobe can wait.