chambray, colette patterns, cotton + steel, double gauze, handmade wardrobe, hayden, seamwork, sewing

Handful of Haydens (and a fix to a fit problem)

In all honesty and seriousness, it was the Hayden pattern this month that convinced me to finally subscribe to Seamwork.   Mostly, I just I love the idea of a woven t-shirt with style lines.

If you plan to make this top, you really MUST make a muslin.  Seriously, I can’t stress this enough.  I raced right into the project, using the last of some precious fabric, and the fit was a disaster.  I cut the pattern in a straight size 0.  The waist and hips fit fine, but the top was tight across the upper chest. When I moved around at all, the top would bunch up above my bust. This is particularly weird since I am decidedly NOT well-endowed in the bust department!  On me, the shoulder width across both the front and back was way too small.  It looked like I was wearing a child’s top:

Too tight across the upper chest.  

Simply sizing up wouldn’t have made much of a difference, so I altered the Shirt Back and Side Front pattern pieces by increasing the width by about 1/2″ in the upper chest and back arm scythe.  I also dropped and widened the neckline by about 1/2″.  I hashmarked the parts I added.

My second version, made of striped chambray fabric, fit perfectly!

The shoulder seams fall at the right point, and it doesn’t pull over the upper chest.  And when I move around, the whole shirt doesn’t creep up.

I only had one yard of fabric, so I had to be creative in cutting out the fabric.  Happy result: the subtle and amazing chevron effect on the front band.

Both front and back are cut on the folded bias, so any stripes or print will be diagonal there.  Best to approach with caution and intention!

The button and loop are made with self-fabric, but I used a bias strip made from the stripey fabric of my failed top.

I was so excited by the result, I sewed up another the very next day! This time, I used a Cotton + Steel double gauze, and I like this version EVEN BETTER!  (And it plays nicely with my Birdie shorts!)

The top is so soft, and I can imagine it will be amazingly comfortable when it gets hot and steamy this summer.

Even more so than with the chambray version, the bias cut bottom panel flares out a teeny bit, which I like.  I took all the necessary precautions to avoid stretching the bias panel with this fabric, and it’s a good thing I did.

I used self fabric for the button, loop and bias tape for the neckline.  Man, I {heart} covered buttons.

All in all, I am really pleased with this top.  The fit issues were resolved easily, and the resulting top is amazingly wearable.  This style fills a huge gaping hole in my wardrobe, which is what to wear with shorts.  If my queue wasn’t already enormous, I would buy fabric and sew a ton of these…but all in double gauze.

My “very happy” face 🙂

22 thoughts on “Handful of Haydens (and a fix to a fit problem)”

  1. So cute! I remember you using that fabric for the girls' dresses! Thats how i found your blog!! I still have the fabric in my stash waiting for the absolutely perfect project!


  2. Adorable tops! I have this top ready to print, and plan on making a couple too. Thanks so much for the fitting tips. Like you I was on the fence about Seamworks, but the Aurora top sold


  3. I love all your Haydens! I'm about to make my first (and I've been excited about it ever since it was released), and I have a question about the muslin: I make lots of Colette/Seamwork patterns and am pretty confident in how the sizing fits me. So, have you made other Colette/Seamwork patterns before and were surprised that you had to alter the pattern, or was this one of your first and so you were unfamiliar with CP/SW sizing? I'd hate to waste my pretty fabric, but I'd also hate to make an unnecessary muslin!


  4. I've made many CP patterns, and a small handful of SW patterns so far, but I can usually successfully select my size based on final measurements and knowing how different pattern companies fit on my body (for instance, I know Colette is designed for a much larger bust, so I often have to adjust bust measurements).

    I'm suggesting a muslin because I'm not sure the drafting is perfect since making a size I would expect to work based on previous experience was tight in a very weird spot–just across my upper chest! Perhaps sizing up would work, but I didn't want the back, waist or hips to be any larger. In lieu of a muslin, you could just measure the pattern across that area and compare to your measurements (+ ease). But I'd really recommend a muslin if you can spare the time and have some non-essential fabric lying around! Good luck!


  5. Nicole,
    I am very grateful for the time you took showing the modifications you applied to the pattern. I have the exact same problem as you. I tried your mods but I still think the top is too tight across the chest, and I have a small chest. Mostly I don't love the way the the sleeves fit in the front piece. I wonder if I should add to the front side piece on the other side as well or add to the center piece across the chest or simply go up 2 sizes !!!! I don't think that would look very good at the waist!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s