The Sewing Workshop
Our wonderful seamstress, Bonnie Thompson, made The Sewing Workshop Stella Top in our pink bamboo knit. The fabric is a technical charcoal-bamboo and polyester blend that wicks moisture away from the body -- making it great for long underwear. But, it's also reversible and gorgeous, so Bonnie correctly thought it would work well for this top.
The Sewing Workshop Stella Top Pattern Review:
The Sewing Workshop Stella Top, available in our shop here, can be made out of knit or woven fabric. Bonnie's pink fabric is a two-way stretch, so we think it's perfect for a pattern drafted for both knits and wovens. A four-way stretch fabric would likely lead to an overly large Stella Top.
Bonnie lengthened the pattern to make it more of a tunic than a shirt, and she lengthened the sleeves. She warns that "wrist length" sleeves are shorter than long sleeves -- be sure to check the sleeve length before you cut out your fabric.
Bonnie loves the pattern, and we love it on her! She especially liked the flat-felled seam and the neck cowl. She also created cuffs for the hems to showcase the wrong side of the pink bamboo knit fabric. Not much of the wrong side shows on the cowl.
Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt in Beige Woven Striped Fabric Pattern Review:
Bonnie created a lovely Sewing Workshop Liberty Shirt in our beige woven striped fabric. The Liberty Shirt is one of Kate’s favorite patterns, and many of our customers love it! Now Bonnie is a convert, too. She really liked the French seams and the clean-finished mitered corners. She also loved the unique, slightly ruffled collar, and how the diagonal lines enhance striped fabrics.
The Liberty Shirt can be a flowy shirt, a jacket, or even a vest. As with all Sewing Workshop patterns, it is impeccably drafted. It also runs a little large.
We all love Bonnie's fabric choice -- the striped woven was easy to sew with, and it created a hefty-yet-flowy jacket.
Bonnie made a size medium. She liked the fit everywhere but the shoulders. She was surprised that the shoulder seams extended beyond the end of her shoulders, so she pivoted the armscye 1.5 inches, making the top of the armscye land at the point where her shoulder meets her arm. Kate doesn’t mind that the shoulder seam extends a little past the end of her shoulders. Just be aware that you may want to move the shoulder seams a bit. Bonnie also shortened the sleeves by 1.5 inches, while Kate lengthened them by 2 inches (yes, she's tall).
Bonnie would definitely make this shirt again, and Kate has already made three of them (all in size large)!
I have a few "tried and true" (TNT) patterns, and The Sewing Workshop's Liberty Shirt is one of them. Not only is the shirt well drafted with interesting details, but Linda Lee also guides us through its construction in her Sewing with Silks Craftsy class, a GREAT class. I have made this shirt in a stiff silk from China, and in a lightweight rayon. Today's version is made of Robert Kaufman's Brussels Washer Linen in yarn-dyed red. Brussels Washer is 55 percent linen and 45 percent rayon. It's washable and dry-able, but it does shrink. My Merchant and Mills Factory Girl Dress is also made with Brussels Washer Linen, and I have washed and dried it many many times. I wish I could claim that the rayon keeps the fabric from wrinkling, but you can tell from the photos that it does not.
The only alteration I made to this pattern was lengthening the sleeves. Looking at the photo below, I think I should do a small Full Bust Adjustment. The buttons across my bust are gaping a little. Or, perhaps I just need to make sure a button is located at my bust point (much easier!).
Because this was the third time I made this shirt, it came together quickly and smoothly. I cut and mostly sewed it at the sewing retreat I attended in March. It was a great antidote to my struggles with fitting the J Jeans.
I don't consciously put patterns on my TNT list, or plan to make multiples of them, it just happens. I'm sure it will happen again with this one. I think my next Liberty Shirt will be a lightweight, drapey fabric. Perhaps even silk!
Do you have TNT patterns? Do you love how quickly the go together?
I had so much fun making my first Sewing Workshop Ivy Top, I whipped up a second one. The Sewing Workshop patterns are perfect candidates for playing with fabric. They are all impeccably drafted, and they aren't overly fitted, so you don't need to fuss with tweaking the fit. With three different knits, the fabric combination options for this top are endless.
One of the many highlights of my trip to Quilt Market in Seattle was seeing Linda Lee, owner of The Sewing Workshop, wearing her Ivy Tunic both days. She looked so chic and slim. I had to buy the pattern and make one (okay, two) as soon as I got home. This is version #1.
The Ivy can be made with three different knits, but this time I decided to use just two. Both fabrics are bamboo knits (purchased at Fabric Depot in Portland, Oregon). The black and gray stripe is a ponte-weight super stable fabric. The teal and gray stripe is much lighter weight. You can see that I struggled a bit to make it lie nicely at the bottom hem.
I love this tunic. Like all Sewing Workshop patterns, I didn't need to make any alterations to the main bodice. I wish I had lengthened it for my six-feet-tall frame, though. It looked more like a dress on Linda. A friend at work made herself one, and felt it was too long....You may want to make a quick muslin to check the length on your frame...
One sleeve has a cool inset at the bottom, and the other just has a contrasting cuff.
One of Linda Lee's many specialties is the mitered corner. She has a great method that works every time, even on non-traditional angles and fabrics. She includes the instructions in all of her patterns, and demonstrates them in her Craftsy classes. I would never have tried a mitered corner in a thin, drapey knit like this bamboo without Linda's guidance. You can leave the bottom hems raw on this tunic, but nice miters were so tempting, I had to try them. I can't wait to dream up more fun fabric combos for my new friend Ivy!