Well hello there! I did not intend on being away from this space so much this summer. In fact, summertime is when I usually blog more often, being a teacher and all. But life happens. Of course. I mentioned this on Instagram, but our washing machine flooded our house about four weeks in to summer and ruined all of our hardwoods. So the entire second half of my summer was dedicated to moving out, getting new floors installed and then moving back in. Not that much fun! Now that we are back in, though, I am really enjoying our new floors. They are absolutely beautiful. And we got a new washer and dryer. It's nice. Can't complain about that. My take away from all of this is to never ever start a load of laundry without watching that it stops filling before walking away and doing something else. That's my PSA to you, too.
Anyway, I did do a fair bit of sewing this summer. Most of it was pre-flood, though I squeezed some in during the moving part as well. I collected almost everything I made this summer together the other day and took a bajillion pictures so I could write a few blog posts. You may see me in these same rainy photos for a while. I made this top early on in the summer so I will write about it as best I can remember.
This is the Branson top, an indie pattern by Debbie Iles of Lily Sage & Co. I don't buy a lot of indie patterns (I'm cheap) even though I love a lot of designs I see. But I did splurge on this one. There are so many things I like about the design. The cut on sleeve, the seam at the back, and of course, the bow. I'm also a lover of linen, so Debbie's versions swayed me as well. So here goes a review.
Pattern Description: Branson is a buttoned blouse with two sleeve options- a sleeveless version that ends up having a little cut on sleeve and a long sleeve version. I made the sleeveless version. The front of the top is loose and has a waist tie that you tie in to a great big ol' bow. Below is a photo of top untied so you can see the shape better. The back is more fitted with a little peplum.
Pattern Sizing: Debbie has her own sizing chart. I made a size 16 even though my bust measurement puts me at a 14. Debbie included a different front pattern piece with an FBA for larger cup sizes. I think I remember reading that it was for a C cup and up. I am a B cup, sometimes a C cup. I'm kind of in between. So I decided to size up and use the smaller cup size piece. My waist and hip measurement put me at a size 16.
Fabric Used: I used a printed linen/rayon blend I found at Joann's. I changed up the waist tie to have a front and a facing so I could use a woven striped linen I had in stash to coordinate with the print. I also bound the neck edge with the striped linen, which did not turn out well.
Alterations/Deviations: I did make a couple of changes to the waist tie. Like I said above, I cut the waist tie in to a front and a facing to use the two different fabrics. I also lengthened and widened the waist tie. After looking at some of the tester versions, I thought I wanted a bigger, more obnoxious bow. And I'm very happy I did lengthen it. Not because I liked the bigger bow, but because I can now wrap the tie around my waist instead of just tying it in the front. When I wear it tied in the front, it droops while wearing. When I wrap it around the back first and then tie in front, it stays in place better. That's nit-picky, I know. But I prefer it wrapped all the way around. In the photo below, it is tied only in front in the photo on the left and wrapped all the way around on the right. I also think the bust looks better when it's wrapped around. I do have some wrinkles at the back but I can't tell if that's because I need to alter fit or if it's just the waist tie pulling at the side seams.
Likes/Dislikes: I like the shape of this top very much. Love the cut on sleeve. Love the back peplum. I royally screwed up binding the neckline. I didn't trim corners as the pattern instructed and it shows. Also, the woven linen is much more wiry than the rayon blend I used and that makes the binding stiffer than the rest of the top. It's kind of a mess. I've only worn this once because the neck binding bothers me so much when I wear it. I also did not take any pattern placement in to account and ended up with two big flowers at the top front. Probably only noticeable to someone who sews. I do love the shape of the neckline. The back neckline is very straight and I was surprised that it fit so well with no changes. I am always fiddling with back necklines to get a good fit. I may use this one for comparisons in the future.
Conclusion: Nice and easy, but unusual pattern. I'd love the make it again with a few tweaks. I'd definitely watch that neckline binding and trim properly if I made it again. And I'm kind of intrigued by the funky long sleeved version. We shall see!
You look so cute in this; it suits you! I like it tied round all the way too; it sits better and gives it more shape. The fabric is lovely. :)ReplyDelete
Yeesh! Sounds like you had such a "fun" summer. Glad you got new pretty floors out of the deal though!ReplyDelete
I love how this looks on you! And it really brings out the hourglass in your figure! :-) Definitely try again or fix this one so you'll wear it, it's too cute not to!
Thanks! I think I am going to have a go at it again. Maybe lengthening it to a dress length? I'll have to think on it.Delete
I love it! The peplum gives such a nice shape to the casual blouse. I'm glad your house is all back to normal now that the school year is starting up!ReplyDelete
Yes! We got back in just in the nick of time.Delete
I love this on you! Cute sleeves, cute flare at the hem, and love the giant bow. I agree it's better wrapped all the way around though! Now just don't wear it one days your students are painting at school! ;PReplyDelete
Ha, yes! That's what my aprons are for!Delete
Very pretty top! I love the shaping on this blouse. Glad your house is put back together—what a nightmare!ReplyDelete
Ooh, very cool! I like this on you a lot. I prefer the wrapped-around ties, too; I just don't think there's any way to get around the way they pull if they're only on one side. I'd be really psyched to see the long-sleeved version if you sew it!ReplyDelete
Thanks! I think I'm going to make a long sleeved version. Although I'm not 100 percent about he curved sleeve hems.Delete
This is very pretty! I like it with the tie wrapped around the back, especially with the contrast fabric on the tie. It looks great on you!ReplyDelete
Also, I'm super jealous of new floors (although, not necessarily of the flood part!). We've been trying all summer to get something done to this sad carpet, and nothing. is. happening.ReplyDelete
Oh man,I remember the sad old carpet we used to have. hope you can work something out, soon. New floors are such a treat. I told someone at work that I wanted to deep clean my floors this summer. Guess I did! :)-Delete
This looks great on you. Excellent idea to lengthen the ties so you can wrap them, mine tends to droop a bit at the front. I've just realised that on my dress version I swapped the ties for a belt and that doesn't droop.ReplyDelete
It his top looks awesome on you! Debbie's patterns are so much fun. I really need to see one for myself.ReplyDelete
Really cute top! I love the striped accent on the sash!ReplyDelete
Cute, cute top!ReplyDelete
About 15 years ago I was lamenting the carpeting in my then-house, telling then-husband that it was really time to pull it up. Be careful what you wish for ... we came back from a weekend trip to find out entire house flooded from the washing machine. Up side was a whole house full of new furniture thanks to insurance (and, of course, those new floors I wanted). We didn't lose anything irreplaceable ... just furniture sitting on the floor, baseboards, flooring, etc. Down side besides dealing with the mess, was the stress of furnishing an entire house from scratch and documenting it all for the insurance claim. It's not as easy as it seems. Yeah, First World Problems and all that. But this is just to say that I can definitely relate to your summer, having been there myself.
I'll add to your PSA with two of my own: trade rubber washer hoses for the metal/mesh wrapped ones. Our burst without having done a load of wash but since those spiggots are always on, if the hose fails, the water just runs on and on and on ... (Our insurance adjuster told us most water claims are a direct result of failing hoses.) And turn OFF those spiggots when leaving the house for an extended time.
Yes! We got new metal hoses, too-- per the insurance adjusters recommendation!!Delete
Wrapping the ties around was a good idea...makes it look more finished and less of an add-on. Can you just cut off the neckbinding and sew on a bias binding facing? It would make a lightly bigger neckline, but then you would have a top that wouldn't bother you and get some wear out of it. I don't think the pattern placement is a problem.ReplyDelete
Ugh I am so sorry you have had household disasters. I know what a trial they can be! Anyway it's lovely to see you back posting. I think your top is a really lovely shape. It might be worth going back and fixing that neckline if it annoys you as is such a great top and looks really good on you.ReplyDelete
I hadn't considered this pattern until I saw your version. Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
I love this top on you! And the fabric your chose with the contrast on the tie is awesome! I hadn't even considered this pattern, but your version is totally swaying me!ReplyDelete
I'm glad your house got put back together!
Wow, it's crazy what a difference the tying method makes! Tied as intended, it looks a little bit frumpy/rumpled, but tied the way you did, it looks really sleek and streamlined! This pattern wasn't even on my radar, but now I quite like it!ReplyDelete
This top is very flattering on you! And I never even noticed the flowers until you pointed them out. I like what you did with lengthening the ties, it looks cleaner to me. Also, love Debbie's style, she rarely misses.ReplyDelete
This is such an unusual and cool shape! I really like this on you! I'm really sorry about the mess, though... that's a pain in the neck. :(ReplyDelete