Sailor top for a landlubber…


I’ve been accused of looking a bit miserable in my pics (thank you darling…), so this is me in my lovely new top looking happeeeee! I can truly say this was not always the case DURING the sew…but we got there . I think it was worth the effort.


I love this style of top , a simple shape with a flattering neckline and huzzah SLEEVES. So wearable , yet so pretty. This is my first make from Fancy Tiger Crafts, I saw it made up by a clever lady on this rather magnificent Facebook group and thought it would be perfect for work with nice pants (in my neck of the universe that’s trousers, I dont work in my knickers:)

I made up a size XXL, the top size in the range , which was plenty big enough, but I think this would be an easy pattern to grade up, with so few pattern pieces & the gathering.

Now the fabric. I adore this print, its a delicious woven viscose by Atelier Brunette from my fav fabric store Miss Maude. It is slightly heavier than a cotton, drapes like a dream and those colours! I really wanted to do it justice…so did I?


Giving sleeves a bad name since 2003…

Its some kind of inverse universal sewing law that say’s if you do something complicated well, you will almost surely cock up that super simple thing you do next. Shirt WITH cuffs, plackets & 400 button holes? No sweat baby. Simple gathered top with nary a zip or button to be seen…..grab the popcorn and watch this train crash in slow motion kids…

I struggled mostly I think because of my cavalier attitude to fabric marking. I have yet to find a really reliable method of transferring pattern marks to fabric, chalk that crumbles, pens that mark then disappear, tacking threads that get pulled out four seconds after I put them in???

Consequently when it came to gathering, I was basically doing it blind (but not silently, the swearing that accompanied this particular sew was both rich & varied, ably assisted by a mean humidity of about 97% the entire time)

“Stitch in the Ditch” meets “Wander along the stream and dip a toe in now & again…”

My beautiful fabric , while draping magnificently, is a pain to turn & hem, it has a wee bit of stretch , just enough to make my sleeve facing  a bit wobbly…indeed

Sleeve facing….second attempt


So despite the wobbly gathering, drunken stitching and bitty sleeve hems, do I like this top?  Actually yes, I like it a lot.  If feels wonderful, the neckline is flattering for me, the sleeves fit straight from the pattern (no adjustment needed, yeah!), it has enough length….the issues are operator error, I dont tend to make toiles (muslins), so it not unexpected there will be some areas where the sewing could be “neater” , as my mother would say. The pattern instructions are clear , with line drawings and concise written instructions

Still smilin’

Would I recommend this pattern, yes I would.  I know now the areas I need to concentrate on , the next version will be so much “neater”… 🙂

Kristina xxx

Normal transmission is resumed…


  1. Jill lund says:

    I love this! You have a gift for writing, I love the stitch in the ditch comment and still being worried about what your mum might say! Its a beautiful top 😀


    1. plumkitchen says:

      Thank you so much I enjoy the writing as much as the sewing actually, so much fun:) x


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