‘Give me a shrug’ top

Okay, so by now you already know I’m a lot into testing lately. Yes, I’m that busy 🙂 Today’s post is all about So Sew Easy‘s latest pattern, the “Give me a shrug” top.

Give me a shrug top

From the pattern description:

Another pattern in the sew what you wear, real clothes for real women range. A casual t-shirt that looks like it has a shrug over the top, but it’s all sewn in one, to be super comfortable. A squared-off neckline that flatters all shapes and the loose fitting shrug collar really frame the face. A choice of 3 sleeve lengths, 7 different sizes and a host of options for creating a wardrobe of looks.”

This top is exactly what it says it wants to be: casual and comfortable, flattering and a wardrobe filler. It comes in 7 sizes – I made mine in size E, using two different fabrics. Both my fabrics are 95% cotton and 5% spandex, which I think is the perfect combination for this kind of top.

Give me a shrug top

It was cloudy and starting to rain – see the raindrops markings on my shoulders? 🙂 This is what I do for my blog! Have my pictures taken even with rains! 😉 I was like “snap that picture and let’s go, I’m getting wet here!!”

The instructions are very detailed, and the only tricky part is sewing the pleats on the collar. Deby also covered that and made a video for that specific step, so it becomes really easy. I think I needed around 3 hours, including all the changes I made. But if you own an overlocker/serger, you might even get down to less than an hour and a half to make it! It’s THAT easy!

Give me a shrug top

Back view – blurry photo, sorry! My daughter’s hands are too small to keep the camera still!

Now, the “fun” facts behind this top: I didn’t have enough fabric. The stripes one was about 0,80cm (a little less thank a yard), while the grey one was about 0,60 cm (2/3″). And I didn’t have another fabric that suited this project, nor the time to go search for it. So I scratched my head, and mixed the two fabrics as well as I could. Here’s what I did:

– I shortened the front and back bodice length by 2″ each (and I think I prefer this length on me);

– I shortened the sleeves above the 2/3 sleeves marking on the pattern (about 1″ above)

– I cut a 2″ strip from the bodice fabric, by the length of the sleeve at that point, folded it in half and sewed it to the sleeve, then sewed the sleeve as per instructions;

– I cut the collar with the stretch perpendicular to the grainline, and not the other way round, as instructed by the pattern (user error here, it was a late night cutting, and I didn’t have enough fabric to cut again, so decided to go ahead anyway. I was lucky that my fabric stretches a bit anyway);

– I cut the facing away from the front bodice piece, and lowered the center front by approx. 1 cm (3/8″). I then interfaced the neckline with interfacing for knits, and finished it with a 1″ strip of fabric folded in half, sewn right sides facing, then turned under, on the wrong side, and sewed;

– Because I cut off the neckline facing, my neckline gaped a bit, so I decided to tack it in place under the fold on the collar.

Give me a shrug top

Now here are some thoughts on pattern testing for Deby: she is a very special lady. She is different (not that other designers aren’t). I mean, when I test for somebody else, I know I must NOT modify the pattern in any way that can alter it, but I can embellish it. And I totally understand and agree with this. It’s just what pattern testing means: you test the fit, proofread pattern pages and instructions, sew that item (sometimes even make more than one, to adjust for pattern issues, if any) and provide pictures. Nobody says you MUST like a certain pattern or not (although I haven’t tested a pattern I didn’t like yet), or that you have to publicize it. But if you like it, trust me, you’ll feel the need to scream into the sewing world: “This pattern is great!”

What is different with Deby is the fact that I KNOW how her patterns fit me. Size E fits perfectly right out of the printer. No muslin needed. You can see it from these pictures, too. Bust, waist, hips – perfect fit in my opinion! The shoulders are in the right position. My chubby arms are well covered. So, then, after sewing the first two patterns I tested for her as they were written, I kind of became a rebel. I don’t know if you understand what I mean. I want to experiment with a pattern: twist it and change it the first time I sew it. So as soon as I see the picture of the pattern, my mind starts to wonder and see options and modifications. It was the same with this top: I saw the picture, and decided I wanted to give it a try. Then searched my stash, didn’t find enough fabric in one piece, so I thought about colour-blocking it. Then, when I didn’t have enough of these two fabrics, I just cut and slashed and made up as I went.  I could have cut the sleeves and made them short, seen that I didn’t have enough to make them 3/4 ones. But no. Because I know Deby doesn’t mind seeing transformations from her testers. And this lights up my fantasy! I’m being more creative! Thank you, Deby!

Give me a shrug top

And can you see all the different ways this top can be made? Chevrons? Going all one way, or up and down? Colour-blocking? All stripes? All stripes but collar in florals? Ikat prints? One colour only, for more elegant occasions? Oh, yes, this can definitely fill up my wardrobe! And you have to agree, it really is a unique design among the pdf patterns available!

What do you think, have I convinced you? Are you going to give it a try? You can buy it here: Craftsy or So Sew Easy Shop

xxx Mariana


P.S. I have received a pdf pattern for testing, but the opinions are all my own. I am not being paid to advertise designers, I just love to sew and share my thoughts and experience! This is how I actually learned how to sew – from other people’s experience sharing!