Oh heyyyy there. Look who got aNOTHER new outfit! Clementine is sporting the Anya Top & Shorts from Green Bee Patterns (the same ladies who designed C’s Sally Romper HERE). This top is a great project to mix and match some Lotus Pond! Here we have sleeves in the orange Lotus Drop print and the bodice is the pinky peach Fluttering Fields. I just love these prints together.
We made the shorts out of Interweave Chambray, a lovely line of cotton chambrays from Robert Kaufman (I also LOVE the Union Chambrays which are flowier and perfect for dresses and tops). Clementine wasn’t sure the shorts and top matched until I convinced her that the shorts are the same color as the antennae on the butterflies. *phew* close call there. In retrospect, we could’ve made the bows out of one of the top fabrics, eh? But anyway, can you even handle these shorts? The bows! The gathers! Too darn cute.
Pattern notes from Jess:
This was another really fun sewing experience for me, with a little more challenge than the Sally Romper. I’d call this an intermediate pattern, with a couple of tricksy elements that take a little bit of precision and skill. Based on Clementine’s measurements, I traced the pattern for the height of size 5 and the width of size 4. This worked just fine; the only thing I had to watch was to be consistent in transferring markings to the fabric after cutting.
The shorts were a total breeze to make, and the bow cuffs are so slick and easy! I’ll definitely be incorporating bow cuffs into future projects (now taking suggestions on how to wear shorts like that without looking like a child).
In the next couple of photos, you can see where my greatest challenges were. I just couldn’t get the back button placket to lie flat, which is probably partly due to my inexperience and partly due to a tricky construction. With some practice, I think I’d probably get it right (and THIS is why we make muslins, right?) After I sent the outfit to Rae, they did some remedial work at the studio and just look at that placket now. And hello, cute buttons!
The top has an inset sleeve construction that was new to me. It allows for some really fun colorblocking, but you have to be careful and patient to put it together. Sewing the sleeve on is a bit tricky because you have to turn two sharp corners and pivot the pattern pieces to match as you go. But as long as you keep the seam allowance perfectly even throughout and pin each section as you go it turns out fine!
One of my favorite things about Green Bee patterns is that they use really sharp finishing elements. They suggest using a serger or zigzag stitch to finish all exposed seam allowances before sewing any pieces together, so the inside of the garments all look really nice. Additionally, the sleeves on this top (and a lot of their other patterns) aren’t simply folded and hemmed: they have cuff facings! This does add a pattern piece and a couple of extra steps, but the result is a stable, crisp cuff, and you could even use a contrast fabric for just a little barely-visible fun detail.