Welcome to my little corner of the sewing universe. I am excited to be a part of the Breaking Ground Blog Tour for the second year in a row. This year, I chose to try Straight Stitch Designs. I saw the Leschi top and thought it would help fill a hole in my closet. Kimberly, the mastermind behind Straight Stitch Designs, describes the Leschi top as ‘polished meets casual’. I would agree with that description although, I am definitely getting some kimono vibes from it with its overlapping stand collar and the roomy straight sleeves with cuff.
Let’s start with the pros of the pattern:
- Straight Stitch Designs uses layering in their PDF patterns, meaning you can select only the size you want to print instead of the entire graded nest. This is a huge selling point for me with PDF patterns these days. It means using less ink and it makes it easier on the eyes when cutting.
- The pattern instructions are well written and easy to follow, making it great for beginner sewists.
- Minimal pattern pieces make for easy pattern construction. There are six different pattern pieces. Nine total pieces if you include cutting 2 of each the cuff and sleeve and 1 interfacing piece for the neckband. Not too bad.
Now for the cons:
- It is a bit short for my personal preference. When I paper fit the pieces, I thought it seemed like it was a good length. After finishing it though, I feel like I need to add 4-5″ in length. It hits just below the belt loops of my jeans right now and if I raise my arms my stomach hangs out.
- The fit of the shoulders is a bit awkward. The shoulder seam actually falls to the front of the shoulder to show off the gathering. I kept having to pull the top down in the front to make the seam hit in the right spot. The armscye is also about an 1″ too long on the shoulder and looking at the finished pics in the instructions it hangs off the shoulder in her versions as well. This lends to the casualness of the top, but I would still prefer it to hit right at the break of my shoulder.
All in all, I am okay with this top. I am not sure it will make it into my end of year Top 5 makes though. I kinda want to make another version in a size bigger. Based on my measurements I would fit into a size 20, but based on the finished garment measurements I chose to make a size 18 graded to a 20 in the waist and hips. While I have plenty ease of movement now, I would like just a smidge more in the bust.
I did like that the collar had interfacing in half of it to give it some structure. However, I was disappointed that it was not in the cuff. Next time I will add it to the cuff as well. I will also add a back yoke lining to help support the back gathers.
Speaking of the other materials I used, I should probably talk about my fabric choice. This fabric came from Girl Charlee and it is a cotton lawn that I picked up in November of 2016 during their Black Friday sale. I ended up getting it for $2.50 a yard and I used 2 yards for this top. I loved the worn paisley print in the orange and navy when I saw it. Since it is a cotton lawn it is super lightweight making it great for spring and summer. I will have to wear a tank top underneath of it though due to it being pretty sheer in person. You really can’t tell from these picks just how thin the fabric is though.
I think if I make this style again I am going to use my personally drafted block and pattern out my own version with a few changes. I want to change that shoulder seam, pictured above, to sit on the top of the shoulder. I also want to add the extra length and a little more fullness to the side seams. I like the high low hem but I want to change the curve at the side seams. Currently, the pattern creates a sharp angle when you join the front to the back, making it hard to hem. You can’t see it in the photos I took and I should have taken a photo during construction to illustrate what I am trying to describe. I also want to re-draft the sleeve cap. It is a bit too pointy for my pattern drafting eye and I feel like it needs to be a bit more rounded and full. I also want to add some other design details like a breast pocket and sleeve tabs. Maybe I will work on that later this month.
Have you tried Straight Stitch Designs yet? She has a couple of other patterns that I am tempted to try, but I want to know what you all think of them first.
While you are at it check out the other stitchers on the Breaking Ground Blog Tour and what pattern companies they are trying out this week. The Full Tour includes all these creatives… we hope you’ll visit us each day:
To make the tour even more fun, our Breaking Ground blog team member, Gail is offering 2 patterns of choice from her pattern shop Flosstyle to one lucky winner.
We’d love to see how you’re Breaking Ground this month. Share with us what you’re working on by using the hashtag #BreakingGround2018 across social media.
Better yet, join the Sew Alongs & Sewing Contests facebook group to sew along with the Breaking Ground theme for the entire month of March. In the group you’ll find support and encouragement for your projects and fun themed challenges.