This vintage-inspired pattern comes in three different versions: short sleeved, cap sleeved or short sleeved with volume to the back. I chose the straight forward short sleeved version which incorporates some lovely design features. These include Princess seams to the front...
Double layered raglan sleeves which fit snugly across the shoulder…
And a deep keyhole opening at the back, fastened with a button and thread loop.
Before I get onto a full review though, there are a couple of points worth noting about the pattern. The pattern itself is printed on good quality paper and comes in a smart, stylish folder, but no instructions are actually included with it! The instructions for each separate version of the pattern can be found on the How To Do Fashion website. It's all very comprehensive and includes additional advice on common fit problems and extra sewing tips. But I do still think that for £16 the basic instructions could have been included with the paper pattern. Also, the pattern is printed on both sides of the pattern sheet so you still have to trace off the pieces. This I found really annoying. Why pay a premium for a printed pattern if you still have to trace it? To be fair, the tracing didn't actually take that long, but it still annoyed me!
Anyway, enough grumbling, back to the pattern….the pattern comes in UK sizes 6 to 20 and I cut a straight size 10. I based this on the finished garment measurements (printed on the actual pattern sheet) and by studying the sample garments on the website, which helpfully tell you the sizes they're sewn up in. I made no changes to the pattern pieces but did make a couple of small modifications once the blouse was constructed. I shortened it by 3cms as it was quite long on me and took in the side seams from the waist down by 2cms at each side. For any future versions I'll probably go down a size at the waist and hips to avoid having to adjust the side seams. One other important point to note is that the seam allowances throughout are 1cm rather than the standard 1.5cm (or ⅝"), so don't forget or you may get a tighter fit than you were expecting!
The instructions are available in English and Danish and were pretty clear on the whole, although the names of some sewing techniques get a bit lost in translation (e.g. understitching is referred to as topstitching). There are illustrations for each step and links to online videos for trickier sections, but I think a few additional diagrams for some of these sections (such as the sleeves) would have been useful. The sleeves are double layered and sandwiched between the front and back neck facings. It took a bit of head scratching for me to work out how it was all supposed to slot together, but I got there in the end. I think this is how they should look from the inside - all very clever and neat.
The pattern states that any type of light fabric can be used and I think the key word here is light. I used a lightweight poly chiffon and wouldn't really have wanted to sew with anything much heavier as there are lots of layers around the facings. There are no instructions to stay stitch in the pattern, but I did stay stitch the necklines and the seams around the raglan sleeves as they're cut on the bias and were liable to stretch out.
Overall I was very impressed with the pattern and would definitely recommend it. Yes, having to trace it is a pain, but it's a pain I'm prepared to overlook because the drafting and construction is so good. I achieved a great fit with minimal effort, and now that I've used one pattern I'm quite tempted to try another. I'll certainly be making another version of this top that's for sure, I love it!