handmade wardrobe, pattern review, sewing, spring top sewalong

Rooibos, with mods

As my prize for my Spring Top Sewalong Reader’s Choice award last year (has it been a year already?!), I chose one of the gorgeous designs from Colette Patterns: the Rooibos.  There’s so much to love about this dress–piping, pockets, fitted midriff, work appropriateness, etc.  The design is very close fitting, and since I was mostly concerned with the fit of the bodice, I decided to abbreviate the dress to make a top for my wearable muslin.

The fabric is an interesting, thick-ish faux-eyelet polyester.  I don’t usually wear polyester, but the fact that I wore this top to work, lunch with a friend and then grocery shopping before I took the photos, attests to its functionality (at least in the no-wrinkle department.  It’s also a miracle that I didn’t get any barbecue sauce on it 🙂  The “right” side is this cream color, with flesh color in the eyelet “holes”.  The “wrong” side is the reverse, so I highlighted that with the little mini-collar.

I did an initial version of the bodice with some actual muslin and quickly discovered that the distance between the bust darts was a bit wide for me.  To move the darts closer together, I just shifted the piece over about 1/2″ and extended the sides by the same distance.  The rest of the bodice is the correct fit around, so only the dart breadth had to be adjusted.  Probably not the most scientific method, but it seems to have worked well enough!   The panel on the left shows the original location of the three darts on the bottom, while the panel on the right shows where the rest of the pattern was cut:

For the peplum part of the top, I did some quick and dirty drafting.  I simply placed the finished bodice on some tracing paper to find the width of the front and back pieces (separately) and eyeballed the angle to get an A-line shape.  Clearly, using a low hip measurement would have been the better option….and obviously some dart shaping would have been more flattering….but some days you just want to get it done, right?

I also raised the back neckline.  I’m not a fan of showing too much back, especially for work-wear, so I opted for a little more modesty. 

One thing I don’t like about this pattern is the bodice facing.  At least for this fabric, I can see the outline of the facing from the outside.  Maybe a thinner lining fabric wouldn’t have this problem?  For the dress version, I plan make a full lining, so that will take care of that.  I’d also like a version with cap sleeves….perhaps I’ll have to work on that, too!

Here’s my sad face: today I went to school only to tell my students that the class has been canceled.   Bad for teaching, good for sewing I guess! 

6 thoughts on “Rooibos, with mods”

  1. I surprised myself with the purchase, but the reversibility was intriguing (and I had just seen a top at Ann Taylor Loft made from almost the same material!).


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