Monday, May 20, 2013

HotPatterns Gypsophelia Peasant Top

Like many of you, I'm on a lot of email feeds for fabric vendors. One of them is Although I haven't ordered anything in a while, I have in the past--mostly successfully. One of the features on the site is a section with free pattern downloads, and they happen to partner with HotPatterns.

This top was the most recent offering, the Gypsophelia Peasant Top. I've been needing some new tops for my business casual workplace, so this looked like a good candidate. I'm not a big user of pattern downloads, but the price was right, so why not experiment? The pattern downloaded and printed without a hitch and assembling it was simple enough. To pick the size, I used the charts on HotPatterns' website and picked a combination that seemed reasonable.

I used a stash fabric that I bought in Juarez years ago, pre-narcoterrorism. It's a poly something or other, but not bad. Similar to a silk chiffon but with a little more body. Unfortunately, it is black so some of the detail is lost in the photo.

The pattern's instructions were brief but perfectly fine. I did a few things differently; I have my own preferred way on certain parts of construction.
  • Bias bindings. The pattern has a piece for all of them, but I just measured then used a ruler and rotary cutter. Much easier, but you won't have those things if you're a casual sewist.
  • Neck binding. The instructions have you join all the top's parts together before adding the neck binding. It's much simpler to do working only with the center front and back pieces. 
  • Attaching the sleeve bindings. I did do this per the instructions and completed the bindings before  sewing the side seams. It's probably better to attach one side of the binding, make the seam, then fold over and stitch the other side down.
  • The hem. It's curved. I found it easier to finish it before making the side seams than after, but I was finishing the seam edges with a serger.
  • No instructions on seam finishing. As I mentioned, I used a serger. If you're a casual sewist, you may not realize that a finish is needed, but you definitely do with 3/8" seams (which I liked).
I realize this list may look a bit picky but it's not really. A free download is something that a novice might choose because it's low risk, not realizing that a few simple modifications will make construction so much easier. I think this is a great partnership that encourages sewing while publicizing the pattern company and selling some fabric besides. Genius!

I'll also mention that the recommendation for the bias tape maker was a wonderful one that I will take HotPattens up on. Of all the sewing stuff I have, I don't have one of these. I did the binding without, but it would have been simpler with a tool. I also liked that the instructions have you gather up the sleeves based on your own measurements instead of an arbitrary number. 

The only major alteration required was to shorten the top by 3 1/4". I'm 5'4" and the top looks better on me that way--more like the drawing. All in all though, it's a successful prototype that worked out very nicely.

Ughh, goofy picture. I thought I had a better one on the camera. Oh well!


Sewfast said...

Thanks for the review Nancy. Your blouse is beautiful! I printed the pattern last night and taped it together. I have a nice white embroidered gauze that I think will make up nicely. Unfortunately I will be too busy to sew until this weekend, but can't wait to try it now,

thestitchery said...

Looks easy, breezy, Nancy. Love the colors on you. ~Mary Beth

Martha said...

What a wonderfully successful top. I totally understand your changes. I just might have to try this one!

Mary said...

Lovely blouse and sure to see lots of wear.

Pam~Off The Cuff ~ said...

Hi that I've seen your pretty top, I'm off to download the pattern!

gwensews said...

Pretty top. I wasn't aware of this latest download. I agree, it is a great marketing tool for HP. I have the electric bias tape maker by Simplicity and it works very well.