Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Beausoleil Top by ITS Patterns

I have finally made a cold shoulder top! I've been on the lookout for just the right pattern, and when Kennis asked for testers for her new cold shoulder design, I jumped right in. 

There just aren't that many options for cold shoulder tops in a woven that have appealed to me. I was looking for just the right amount of shoulder and a nice clean finish, and Kennis's design really captures this. The Beausoleil has views for a top or a dress, and obviously, I chose to make the top. 

I've tested for ITS before, and Kennis's patterns are usually right on point for me. This was no exception! I don't fit cleanly in the size range in this top, so I did a size 12 A cup bust, a 14 waist, and a 16 hip, but grading between the sizes was fairly straightforward. 

The only problem I had with fitting is in the back, where I did a sway back adjustment to allow the top to lay nicely along my spine. As is my habit with any new pattern for a woven, I made a muslin, and I basically pinched and basted the back vertical seam until it laid naturally on my body, then transferred the new curve to my pattern piece. Apparently my back has quite a curve, since this is one of the most common adjustments that I make. 

Once I had the swayback under control, I could really enjoy the way the fit of the top skims over the body. It is really a nice balance between shaped and flowing. I might make the dress view of the pattern just to take advantage of the beautiful shape!

For my final version I decided to use a lovely silk from my 2014 trip to Rome. This silk has a matte finish and a bit of weight to the drape. 

The pattern has a lapped back zip. I *might* have made one of these a loooong time ago! I found Kennis's instructions to be quite reasonable, and her photo tutorial was very helpful in clarifying the process. The facings worked out beautifully! I did encounter the dreaded bubble at the bottom of the zip... so I ended up ripping the bottom seam and re-sewing it in by hand. But after this minor snafu it lays quite nicely. 

However, the secret truth is.... I don't need the zip to get in and out of the top, which was true for many of the testers! If you choose to go the route of omitting the zip, it would be wise to test this out with your muslin (or some strategic basting) before making a dreadful mistake! Or, perhaps you want the challenge of the lapped zip... it does offer a nice vintage touch. Not to mention the convenience of slipping your top/dress over your perfectly coiffed hair...! 

One of the things I truly love about this pattern is the all-in-one facing. It gives the top a lovely polished look without the inconvenience of separate facings flipping out all over the place! However, (note to self!) I think I would trim just a *hare* off of the facing piece next time to help it stay invisible on the inside. 

Perhaps you can make out from these pictures that the sleeves are finished with a 1-inch cuff. This makes for an easy, clean finish. Another nice touch.

Can you tell, I really love this top! As usual, I'm planning out all of the wonderful possibilities of future versions. I think I need one in black crepe silk, and I also suspect this pattern would be perfect for a stable knit like a ponte. I'm also curious how the top would look if I widened the cut-out just a bit more. I might also try replacing the cuff with a narrower bias band for a slightly more delicate look. It would also be lovely in a simple linen or cotton as a casual summer top.