Pale pink linen top

It’s time for my first spring top of 2013! This pale pink linen top is one of five tops I’ve finished so far this spring, and I can’t wait to show you!

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I like making sleeveless tops in the spring because it’s so easy to layer sweaters over top. This top was constructed in almost exactly the same fashion as my “Time for Tea” Washi Dress: start with the Washi Dress pattern, then add a peter pan collar, full bodice lining, and (as you can see if you look carefully at the sultry shot below) an elastic casing in the back. In addition to that I gathered the skirt, added a pleat to the center front, and narrowed the shoulders quite a bit.

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I’m really happy about how nicely the bust darts turned out on this top. Sewing angled (French) darts can be tricky and, as many of you know, often produces puckering at the end of the dart — which is not cool. I’ve been meaning to go back and fix some hastily sewn bust darts on my Ruby Star dress but keep finding other things to do. Despite my track record with iffy darts, I do actually possess the skills to sew them properly if I’m patient enough, and have actually even given talks before on how to sew darts to accomplish a nice smooth end. That could be a blog post for the future, for sure. Speaking of darts, did you guys see Liesl’s new video on Dart Manipulation over on Creativebug? Love how simply she shows you how to move darts. So great!

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A nice peter pan collar is not particularly difficult to draft, though it can be a bit time-consuming, and I do feel that it takes a bit of skill to get just the right amount of curve away from the neckline. A flat peter pan collar is easier to draft, but often does not stand and curve away from the neck properly, which just looks a bit sad and wimpy to me. It took a couple un-sews to get the curve of this collar just right, but I finally got it right and am v. pleased with self.

I know that many of you would love a pattern piece for this peter pan collar. As far as that goes, I will say that I have put a bit of work into a companion version for the Washi Dress (an “expansion pack,” if you will) that can both stand alone and easily interchange with the Washi Dress pattern pieces. My thought right now would be to offer the both peter pan collar and a tie-neck option in the expansion, along with one or two new sleeves and instructions on lining and making elastic casing instead of shirring. I’m still unsure exactly what this will look like — it needs to be different enough to justify being a whole new pattern, but it would be nice if the price could be lower so that those of you who already have the Washi Dress wouldn’t have to lose too many more dollars to get the new pieces and variations. In other words, still awesome, but not so awesome that it outshines Washi, haha. So there you go. I’m sure you have opinions; feel free to share them!

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M’kay, just had to share this last pic with you because that bicep there is starting to look like it might have future aspirations of being one of Madonna’s. Also, am looking pretty fierce. Woot to the hoo for three months of yoga finally paying off!!!

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Want to join in with me and sew yourself a top? Spring Top Sewalong is going on now, so get sewing and add your tops to the pool! See this post for guidelines.

34 thoughts on “Pale pink linen top

  1. this is gorgeous! you are gorgeous!
    Love the top, great darts, brown hair is looking sweet, and dude, that necklace?? I think I need one.
    Lots of Spring Top love in my comment 🙂

  2. I would definitely purchase a companion/expansion pack thing! I love all the variations I’ve seen posted, and I’ve made a couple washi dresses and tops, but my sewing skills being what they are, I am not clever enough to draft patterns to do those variations.

  3. So lovely!

    You crack me up – “woo to the hoo” and “woot woot” — Rae’s mash-up: “woot to the hoo”. So funny. 🙂

    • I did not even realize I was doing that wrong. HILARIOUS!!!

      I need to write a dictionary of “Rae-isms”


  4. I love the top and it looks great on you, especially with the red-orange necklace and the smokin’ guns.

    I would love to see a blog post with a dart tutorial. I took notes when you demonstrated this in Seattle a while back, but I would trust your blog post a heckuva lot more than I trust my notes.

    And the expansion pack sounds awesome. I would certainly pay some dollars for it, you should charge what it is worth! It sounds like you have put some work into it. At this stage in my sewing, I am far more likely to use ready-made pattern pieces than to draft my own, even based on a very good tutorial. I also think that kind of mix-and-match frankenpatterning can be a good way of learning about garment construction, so I would consider it an investment in skill-building as well as wardrobe-building.

    So there you go, lots of opinions just like you asked for!

  5. Super cute top! I would love an expansion pack for the washi, your patterns are pure awesome and I would gladly pay what they are worth for them! I much prefer pattern pieces someone has already figured out rather than trying to draft my own. Lazy? Probably;)

  6. Before I even read the last part of the post, I was thinking I needed to tell you how ripped your arm looked in that last shot. Well done! Also, I have a backlog of unphotographed projects, but three of them are spring shirts. Yea! So, you may never see them, but I promise I did them…a little cheater Alabama Chanin and some Weekend Sewing.

  7. I was thinking to myself as I viewed the sultry shot at top, “Is she thinner? She IS. That stinker. She’s gone and lost weight. Also she has cut a fringe. That’s big.” Then read the yoga comment at bottom, so mystery solved. I’m very curious about what kind of yoga. Can old ladies like me do it? I’d like to have some guns like you in that last shot. Also I wouldn’t mind having the topknot. Very cute. Oh, and also I love the top you’ve sewn. Ha. After several months I’m still only staring at the assembled Washi pattern in my craft studio. Very carefully procrast–considering the options.

    • haha this comment is totally cracking me up!! “old lady?” I think not. And um I don’t *think* I have lost weight, though the yoga definitely makes me feel more svelte. I just delete all the pictures that make me look chubbers. Hah!

      I’m doing two yoga classes right now, one is Iyengar yoga and the other is a combo yoga + pilates…personally I think the latter is probably more responsible for arm strength but they’re both really great and have dealt with the various aches and pains that were plaguing me, especially back and sciatic pain.


      • Ok, duly noted. You look great! I’ll have to see if there are any yoga classes offered near me. I really can’t take much of the whole ‘I am at one with the spirit of the tree sloth’ type of stuff though, so I’ll have to see if I can tune that out. I have aches and pains myself. It stinks.

  8. Such a cute top! Washi is one of my favorite patterns, and I would gladly pay some dollars for a companion/expansion pack. I don’t have the time or the skills yet to draft all those pieces myself, so the ready-made and tested ones would be awesome!

  9. I am loving the top! The Peter pan collar really brings it all together so nicely. And let me say, you ARE looking quite cut. Watch out Madonna!

  10. I LOVE this new top. 🙂

    I already have the Washi pattern, and I’d totally purchase an accessory pack if it had several options – I’d love a Peter pan collor, a tie neck, elastic casing instead of shirring (my machine and I are in a disagreement over elastic thread), and maybe a couple ways to change up the look of the front. 🙂

    SO PLEASE please please decide to sell one. 🙂

  11. I am not sure whether to be more impressed with the shirt or the guns. Both are impressive. 🙂

  12. You look amazing and I *love* this version of the top! Also, where is your beautiful necklace from?

  13. Such a cute top! Simple enough to wear with things, but detailed enough to wear on it’s own. Love the collar. Oh: and Rae, you have killer cheekbones, eh?

  14. Love this version of the Washi. You are so clever and those guns…smokin’! Would love an expansion kit, what a fabulous idea. To keep the Washi alive you should just provide the expansion pack without the original dress pieces, and well I’d def pay the same price for an expansion pack, I mean technically you are multiplying the variations available to us, that you have spent the time drafting and trailing, I KNOW how long that takes, your time is precious don’t hold back! Can’t wait for it now 🙂

  15. I don’t own the Washi pattern because I am a nursing mama so if there is a way to make the pattern nursing friendly in the expansion, I’d love to buy it!

  16. love it, sultry looks and all. I still need to get my hands on the washi pattern-I was hugely preggo when it came out…now I’m just squishy and still claiming I “just had a baby”. lol!

  17. Yes yes yes please! I have spent so many long nights trying to alter my washi pattern to fit me correctly and with the additional details I desire. What I want most- a short sleeve (would love a shorter sleeve that went all the way around instead of a half cap sleeve but Iove the cap sleeve look), and a higher neckline option (for some reason my dress sort of gapes open too much despite my SBA, I’m always carrying my baby around so maybe that’s why?)

    I watched the videos you linked to on peter pan collar drafting and was so proud when I drafted one successfully, but with my limited clothing construction knowledge I wasn’t quite sure where to go from there and have it look the best (such as how to use interfacing with it and not have it be too bulky, grading the collar, getting the curves to look nice) I would love your guidance and expertise in this area, and I love the other neck option as well.

    Honestly the sleeve option alone would be worth the cost of whatever you decide to charge. Sold. I’m really hoping to have this be my go-to dress and top and with those extras it would be for sure. And you look so great, an inspiration to start working out again!

  18. i really like the look of that top. so comfy and pretty. thanks for sharing some info about it.
    i have looked at the videos on creativebug but have jumped in yet. they seem great though.
    happy sewing!

  19. I am in love with this peter pan collar. I love the trend but have never found a single commercial item w/ a peter pan collar that I could buy, because it’s always paired with a high-cut neck line! I need a scoop or I look matronly. Stupid big boobs! They are so over-rated.

    I have the washi pattern (and, ahem, haven’t made it yet… BUT THAT IS HAPPENING THIS MONTH, I swear) and I would absolutely purchase any add-on you sold if it happened to include this collar! Sleeve options would be fun… tie-necks are so cute but I’ve also never found one of those that didn’t make me look matronly.

  20. You are such a beautiful woman!! Inside and out! So exctied to finally sew myself a Washi (probably after QM) and get me that add on pack! You rock!! <3

  21. Hi and thank you for your great comment on my blog:)
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this top!! gots to make me one, allthough I am not sure how to make such a fierce posting face. And you can just forget about biceps: p hahaha…

  22. I would buy that expansion pack! I’d love the collar pattern – I tried to make one of my own using Gretchen Hirsch’s tutorial, and through no fault of hers, my collar came out wonky. I think a pattern would help me a lot! I’d also love other sleeve options and I’ve really been wanting to try the elastic casing instead of the shirring, so I think an expansion pack would be just peachy!

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