|The line drawing, if you can even call it that, it's so sketchy.|
My pattern for this top was easy to draw up; I just needed to take a few measurements and figure out how much longer I wanted the sleeves and torso. Sewing it up is easy too -- if the knit is behaving I can be done, from cutting to final wearable garment, in about 1.5 hours.
Since drawing up the pattern, I've already made three incarnations of this top, and I wear them constantly! This style is so versatile, just a little girly while still providing the range of motion and comfort and layerability that I need here in the city. I like that it's blousy enough to accommodate a cami underneath, but fitted enough that it's not too bulky under a coat. And I've made it in three different types of material, just so I can be sure it works for sweatshirt material, tissue-like knits with very little stretch/recovery, and extra-stretchy, stable knit with some spandex content. Final verdict: it works for all of them!
|Aqua version in some mystery blend sweatshirt material from a discount fabric store in Oakland Chinatown, $2. Warm and vaguely sporty, but less sloppy/boring/I've-given-up-looking than a real sweatshirt.|
|Probably my favorite version, and also my last version, in a very busy blue/tan floral print knit with some spandex content, as it is very stretchy (but also very stable). From up close, the flowers look a lot like the meeples from Carcassonne.|
Once I drew up my pattern and realized how easy it is, I decided I should try my hand at grading my pattern for different sizes. Thankfully, Casey of Elegant Musings just did a series on pattern grading. I looked up the size charts of several RTW companies just to get an idea of their measurements for XS-XL, then cut and expanded and redrew my pattern piece. Yes, that's right, pattern piece, singular. I hate it when printable patterns take dozens and dozens of pages to print, not to mention taping all the pages together...so I made mine fit on just eight pages, although you'll still need to follow the directions for cutting rectangles to finish the neckline, sleeves, and hem. And in the spirit of full disclosure, I should let you all know that I've only tested the small size; sew any of the other sizes at your own risk! I mean, I'm pretty sure they should work, with maybe some small adjustments for your particular body type, but hey, it's a free pattern, what do you expect? ;) Anyway, if you sew this up, please drop me an email or comment to let me know! I'd love to see how this works out for you, and if there are any issues that I can fix.
[ETA: As it turns out, apparently my arms are ultra-spindly, as several people have said that the arm bands needed to be widened significantly. Okay, point taken, I need to work out more before I draft more patterns based on my own measurements! ;) Also, apparently the neckline can be a little wide -- even a tiny bit of stretching out might make it unwearable. I always knew I had wide shoulders (it's one of the things I can reliably count on my grandmother to comment on), and the pattern is meant to just barely cover my bra straps, so it's totally understandable that this might be too much for some/most people. So take note, it might be a good idea to cut the neckline smaller and then enlarge it later if necessary. If you've had the misfortune of already cutting it too wide, might I suggest a center pleat to bring it in?]
Instructions (with a color picture tutorial, no less!)
Pattern (hand-drawn, since I don't know how to do this on computer, in XS-XL)
If you saw the colorblocking of the inspiration top, you'll obviously realize that I didn't bother with that in my remakes. I didn't have any solid-colored knits to work with, but if you want to try it, just cut the pattern piece into three separate parts, as shown below, and just add seam allowances before you cut and sew your fashion fabric.
|On my inspiration top, the sleeve and hem bands, neckband, and upper right quadrant were all orange, |
and the other sleeve was white and the bottom left section was gray.
|Showing my excitement with a jumping picture, inspired by all of Leah's.|