Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sewing Workshop - Salsa Blouse

Finally, a wrap top for the rest of us!!!

Another great pattern from Sewing Workshop, at least for my figure type. :) I eyed the Salsa top pattern for quite awhile before I bought it. Long have I wished for a wearable and flattering wrap top. One that would not be too low cut, nor emphasize my "fluffy" tummy, nor fall open and "share the goods" with the unsuspecting public. I thought Salsa had potential but I wasn't completely sure, since line drawings can be misleading. (Heck, photos can be misleading.)

Finally, I had the pattern in my hot little hands and I whipped it up in some of that nasty nylon knit I've been using for these sorts of muslins. I was prepared to add a full bust dart, and planned to pivot the dart into the "gathers" at the low sides. (I later realized that wouldn't have been so easy, since the "gathers" aren't actually gathers, but carefully placed tucks.)

I usually cut patterns based on my high bust measurement and alter for my full bust, but in this case I cut an XXL, based on my full bust measurement and my waist measurement. Even so, my waist is larger than an XXL by several inches, but I left off the back darts and hoped that the knit I was using would be forgiving enough. (It was!) Otherwise, the fit was quite good (with one caveat below) and I quickly made it up in a navy crepe knit. This pattern features a smallish underarm gusset – I love the fit of an underarm gusset and this gusset is diminutive compared to the one on the Teagarden T.

I was delighted to find that the XXL fit me as I'd hoped, with one exception: The sleeves were freakishly long. I had to cut off 8" on the sleeves. (I measured.) On most patterns, I have to shorten the sleeve by 1" or 2", so I don't know if this pattern is drafted strangely or whether my drapey knit fabric accounted for this anomaly.

Other nice/interesting features of this top:
  • A very flattering asymmetric front hem.
  • A shawl collar, so there is ample fabric where the top crosses over. This results in nice soft folds and gives more bust coverage. (You do want a fabric that will cooperate with this feature.)
  • You can cross this over left over right or right over left. There are side slits (the back is shorter than the front, a very flattering line). Four buttons are sewn on each side, but on the back, not the front. Because of the side slits, it doesn't matter whether you cross left over right or the other way around.

My only fitting caveat (besides the long sleeves) is that where the top buttons, there is a pleat of fabric that isn't intended (you can see it in the photo). I played around with it and don't see how to remove it. If I pull the side seams back so the pleat is not there, the fabric pulls around my tummy, making me look preggers. The pleat does not bother me, but YMMV (your mileage may vary).

I have already cut this top out and started sewing another, this time in black. In fact, I had so much trouble getting one of my kids to have the cycles to photograph me, it's pretty much done already. :)