Monday, 22 July 2013

The Claustrophobic Top

I really wanted to like this top. I was excited to make it after reading several favourable reviews on Pattern Review, but I have been bitterly disappointed.

New Look 6150 View A

To be fair, I can’t really blame the pattern. I think it was a combination of factors that led to this disaster.

 I chose the wrong size (I seem to be doing this a lot lately). It was too clingy, revealing every spare tyre around my middle (although the gathered crossover bit at the front does disguise this to a certain extent). And I am coming to the realization that I must have a longer body length than the average person. This top is way too short on me, even after turning up a smaller hem than instructed.

Side gathering.
 My fabric choice was awful. Some sort of polyester knit purchased from my local Bargain Box Fabrics, that attracted static electricity and just did not breathe. It feels like you are wearing a raincoat. And what is going on with that crossover front??? I don’t know whether it should be placed over my breast or under my breast. Neither seemed comfortable, and if I placed it under, it kept slipping up again and choking me.

And I really didn’t like the look or the feel of that high neckline. Not flattering at all.
This is a more flattering neckline
Back View
Even less flattering is the back length as my 18 yr old son delicately informed me as I sat hunched over the sewing machine (while wearing the top), that I was revealing plumber’s crack.


Here are some close up shots of the details:

Shoulder gathers
Twin needle hems (I used white thread because I didn't have a matching blue)
Back neck
I found the pattern instructions were quite clear except for the pleat at the shoulder/neck. This took me a while to figure out. One thing I didn't like was how the pattern instructed you to stitch a hem on the front and back neck edges. This makes the under layer of the crossover edge really obvious which spoils the look. As the fabric is a knit and does not unravel, there is no need to hem this edge. It is designed to form a self facing, so this edge is never seen from the outside of the garment. If left raw, it would be much less bulky and so less noticeable.

Well, despite all this negativity, I haven’t given up on this pattern yet. I have plans for another version…larger size, nicer fabric and I have plans to lower that neckline and lengthen the top.
Stay tuned for the sequel.

Happy sewing.


  1. Margy,
    Please don't give up on this pattern. I have used it numerous times and it is one of my favorites. Having said that I've never made the crossover version so this probably doesn't help much. However, I think your top looks great. I like it with the cross under your bust as it brings the neckline down a little. Try it with a different fabric before you give up on it!

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words Art Attack. I will definitely be trying this pattern again when I find some more suitable fabric.

  2. I think I would also feel like the top was choking me if the crossover wasn't under the bust :) I think this style is really very flattering on you worn that way, and the shade of blue is really pretty. I haven't tried this pattern yet, but it's patiently waiting for me in my stash ;) I hope you do try this pattern again!

  3. Thanks for your comments Rikki. I have read that a lot of people like this top because of the high neckline and no gaping. I think by lowering the neckline a little so that the crossover would stay under the breast and not want to slip up all the time, would result in a more flattering neckline that would still be quite modest. I am looking forward to having another go at this pattern. Hope you have success when you get around to trying this pattern.