Hi sewing buddies!
I’ve long wanted a basic top pattern, an everyday easy-wear woven top that could act as a ‘block’ to be customised at will. I’ve tried a few over the years – some of which ended up taking so much redrafting, I basically lost the will to finish. However, roll of drums please, I think I may have found it, without much effort, in Sew Over It’s ‘Whitley Top’!
It’s an easy and quick sew and helpfully comes with four different front pieces depending on your cup size (A-B, C-D, E-F and G-H), two neck finishes (round or ‘V’) and three sleeve lengths. It’s available as a stand-alone pattern or as part of an online course. It’d make a great beginner sew!
It fit pretty much how I wanted it to without any major tweaking on my part – my only alteration being to lower the darts – considerably! 1.5″ to be exact. I like the drafting of it; there’s shaping to the waist and it hangs nicely through the back – even without doing a swayback adjustment!
As I say, it has two neck finishes – a round and a V. I pattern matched the centre back seam on all three of my versions. I belatedly realised (after sewing the first one) that if you’re doing the V neck version, there’s really not much need for the neck opening at the back; you could get rid of the centre-back seam altogether. However, I quite like the neck opening as a design feature and so kept it with all three. (If you want to see how I pattern match busy prints like this, I’ve a step-by-step tutorial on it HERE).
As I want the Whitley to act as a basic pattern on which to launch a 1000 tops, I’ve donned my ‘Scrutiny Glasses’ every time I’ve worn them to see where I could improve the fit for my shape. On reflection, I will faff with it, perhaps forward rotating the shoulders and sleeve cap a little, for example. I’ve also spent a bit of time thinking about the bust darts. I’ve lowered them but I also think I could reshape them a little to better fit my chest…
I’m a DD cup at the moment, and sewed the E-F front (DD = E in my book). As I say, I lowered the darts 1.5″ but having worn these three tops on more or less constant rotation recently, I think I may sew the darts in differently for the fourth; they’re a little long at the moment, going slightly past the fullest part of my bust. Also taking into account the particular shape of my bust (round-sided), as well as tapering to a slight curve near the apex, I think altering the shape of the dart legs to be more concave might help, like this…
I’m just musing aloud really; what’s your preferred method?
Bust dart musings aside, I can see myself making so many of these. During the hot weather we’ve been having recently (and where did it go?!) they’ve been absolutely ideal. It’s a perfect pairing of fabric to pattern really. The fabrics were a dream to work with and handle beautifully; they barely crease and wash and press fabulously – they’ve even got a bit of stretch to them which makes them really comfortable in the wear. So even though I’m not usually much of a ‘print’ wearer; I’m rather loving these! (kudos to the Husband who chose them all!)
Oh and can I just say, the photos in this post were all taken in about 5 seconds flat … it’s pretty hard keeping a straight face when your daughter is heckling from the sidelines and shoving herself in the frame! I managed to get just a handful of pictures of the tops and about a billion of us both falling over each other laughing – they’re some of the best pics I’ve taken of us together and I love ’em all! I shared this one on my Instagram feed…
And now I’ve sewn these tops I really need more summer weight trousers to go with them – elasticated to cope with my Lockdown Waistline. After much pondering – which is all I seem to do these days – I finally plumped for New Look 6517 as they’re almost identical to the RTW ones I’m wearing in this post. I reckon I need at least three pairs. If you need me, you’ll know where I’ll be, haha!
Happy sewing, take care
For more regular chat, you can find me on Instagram at @sewsarahsmith
P.S. I have a new online Amazon storefront where you can find a collated range of my favourite and most used sewing tools! You can check it out HERE.
Disclaimer : Not a sponsored post. All fabrics, notions and supplies mentioned were purchased. All opinions expressed are my honest and considered opinion. Some of the links given are Affiliate links – if you choose to purchase via an Affiliate link, you will not be charged any extra however I may receive a small commission x).