You know how it is: mid week, you’ve got plans for a rare morning out with crafty, sewing friends the next day. The kid is asleep and husband is working late. There’s some fabric sitting on the table, but the sofa is also looking pretty comfy too. But the fabric calls to you more and you start calculating whether you have enough time to leave the house in your fresh off the machine make in the morning. Yeah, sounds familiar right? Well that’s exactly how I ended up making the New Craft House Everyday Top! Totally on a whim. From printing the pattern, cutting it out, I managed to get it done in the morning and only ran a little late.
An easy breezy top with a bit of extra oomf with the gathered puff sleeves. Read on for my sewing pattern review of the New Craft House Every Day Top…
A long or short puff sleeved peplum top or a on-trend tiered midi skirt for the dress. Fitted on the shoulders then loose through the waist.
Difficulty: Advanced beginner or intermediate
Sizes: UK sizes 6-34 with a chest measurement range of 79-149cm.
Type: PDF pattern only
I got this Rose Quartz Smocked Stretch Viscose Chiffon (£14/m) from the New Craft House Team as an ambassador gift (sent just as a general gift rather than a specific Ambassador project) without having a project in mind. Something about the colour and texture just called to me. Problem for me was that it was lot more narrow than I was expecting (108cm)! So it was sitting there on my sewing shelf looking a bit sad. I loved the texture of the fabric and the lightness, plus the elastic smocking throughout the fabric gives it some stretch. It meant that I had to make some adjustments to the pattern (see below) but it worked so well for this pattern. Although I love me some big sleeves, I prefer the volume to be at the bottom of a sleeve rather than the top (shoulder)- and this pattern has volume top and bottom! I wasn’t sure if it would drown me but the lightweight fabric means that there’s a lovely movement to the sleeves and they’re not super pronounced. I imagine the sleeves would look completely different in something with more structure.
Sizing and fit
I made a size 12. The top pattern actually has a peplum but I decided to leave that off and just extended the top down. There’s not much fitting to be done- the bodice is completely dartless and the sleeves big and billowy. It’s nice to have a dartless bodice in my stash!
Construction and Instructions
Instructions are illustration based. Word of caution- the sleeves need a lot of fabric so the fabric requirements are pretty accurate. Usually (with most patterns) I reckon you can get away with a little less fabric but this one, you’ll need the yardage! There’s a lot of gathering so make sure you have the energy for it (if you’re like me that is and hate gathering!)
I would say the construction is pretty much what I’d expect for this type of style and the hardest bit would be the gathered cuffs (in my opinion, this is probably what makes it a slightly more advanced pattern and not one I would recommend for a straight up beginner). It has a simple button closure which is great for zip avoiders like me.
But I constructed mine slightly differently because of the stretch in my fabric. More on that below!
I’m not gonna lie, I was really pushed for time so part of my construction changes were based on that (quick and dirty!) but part of it was because the fabric type. The stretch meant that I didn’t have to use a button for the neckline so I cut the back on the fold (after removing the centre back seam allowance) and then created a simple neckline band (around 1cm wide + seam allowance) and constructed like any other stretch neckline. I did a similar type of cuff for the bottom of the sleeves.
I also used my trusty rolled hem foot for top hem- it’s quick and easy (when you get the knack of it) and works so nicely with lightweight fabrics like this chiffon.
Ok, so I didn’t finished this top 100% on time. I was the classic “I’m just finishing the hem!” person in the Whatsapp group- but if there was ever gonna be a group of friends who didn’t roll their eyes it would be them. Lucky for me everyone else was coming from outside London and got stuck in traffic/delayed with trains so I was only about 15min late. So, I’m gonna say that was a win!
Apart from my record decision-to-make to print-cut-sew timing, I have to say- as impulse sews go- this is one of my faves! Weirdly, I think the impulsive decision making in making the top probably pushed me out of my comfort zone style wise- from fabric to shape but I really love it. So far I’ve only dressed it down with a knit skirt but it would definitely work in my wardrobe for something fancier.
What do you think? Let me know what’s the lastest you’ve left finishing a make when heading out the door? Are you pressed and ready the night before or unpicking basting stitches in the car?