As I’ve mentioned before, I have a subscription to Creativebug and one of my aims this year was to actually use some video classes. I had admired the Friday Pattern Company Adrienne top for a while anyway, so when I saw it was on Creativebug, pattern included, I knew it was time to make me some billowy old pirate wench sleeves.
I’m sure you might also have seen the Adrienne top around, but, if not, it’s described by the designer as “a fashion forward wardrobe essential. It is a knit top with billowy statement sleeves that are gathered up at the shoulders and hems with elastic. The length is slightly cropped with the hem hitting just below your bellybutton.” Which is all pretty accurate, but I wouldn’t say the top is so cropped on me. More like a regular high hip length.
As I often do, I read a few reviews on Patternreview and noted that a few reviewers had questioned the grading of the pattern, saying that the arms for the larger sizes seemed disproportionately long and that the draft didn’t really match the pattern picture, so I was interested to see if I came to the same conclusion.
In all honesty – not really. I guess my Adrienne arms were a bit longer than the picture, but I often have to shorten arms anyway, so I didn’t think they were anything outlandish at all. The only issue I really had is the fact that the back and front pattern pieces are the same piece. This top has zero or negative ease (depending where you fall in a particular sizing range) and my front definitely looks significantly different to the back. I mulled over a few possibilities of how to approach this – my watermelon jersey fabric had the required stretch factor, but only just, and was not going to be as forgiving as a rayon jersey or similar.
The more I looked into reviews of the sizing the more puzzling it became. Most people who had issues complained about the width of the shoulders – mostly, that they were wide and so the top fell off – and that is an area I do have to adjust a lot of the time. So I decided to trace a L at the shoulders in line with my HB measurement, which was right on the line between L and XL. I then graded out to XL, which was a smidge smaller than my measurements, but something I would often go for with a knit. However, when I cut out the first bodice piece and looked at it, it seemed reallyyyy small.
I thought I might get away with it for my back, but I definitely wouldn’t for the front. So I redrew the piece, grading to the XXL and also added extra length – 2 inches – as suggested in the pattern instructions. It definitely fits much better, but as you can see from the pictures, it’s still very fitted, so I wouldn’t want to go any smaller, unless I was specifically looking for a stretched look, a la Pammy Anderson. Overall, my advice would be to err on the side of larger if you’re trying to decide. You can always take the side seams in if necessary.
Construction is fast and painless. I used a mixture of the Creativebug video (which is 20 mins long to give you an idea of how quickly this top zips up) and the written instructions. The entire top is sewn on the sewing machine, which is fantastic if you don’t own a serger, but I think I would use the serger for some areas next time, as the finish was a little raggedy in parts for my liking, plus my jersey seams just love to roll. Perfectly serviceable though.
I shortened the arms about an inch (nothing unusual there) and they’re still not as short as on the pattern photo, but it works. Sizing down for the shoulders worked too, as they are comfy, but I can still pull them down for the serving wench look if I’m in that kind of mood (on Wednesdays usually). Of course, they are vol-oooo-minous, but that’s the whole point and I rather like them. They’re quite satisfying to wear, in an airy. hot-air balloon kind of way. I don’t know that I need many others (I’m not sure I need it as a signature look), but it’s a fun and fast way to achieve a dramatic effect.
Seamwork Dorian trousers
Yes, these are new as well! I actually made this combo as an outfit on purpose, but more on that at the end… I made the Dorian shorts a couple of months back and enjoyed the fit so much (no alterations!) that I was always going to make the bonus trousers version and here they are.
These are made from a dusty rose Japanese linen double gauze, which I thought was just a pure linen until I started laying it out to cut. I was slightly concerned that the double-gauze nature of the fabric would stop it hanging nicely as a pair of trousers, but actually there is enough linen that it’s fine. The fabric is very nice to wear in terms of breathability, and of course creases like buggery, as you can see! It’s a dishevelled look I can live with though.
The trousers went together just as nicely as the shorts did and I hemmed at one inch, for my desired ankle crop-length. I made a matching top for the trousers with the small piece I had left after cutting, but I haven’t quite finished it, so I’ll post it next week. It’s quite a different look to this one. I love this little vintage button I used on the trousers as well although I’m slightly annoyed I didn’t get the placement quite right, so it’s pulling the fly open a touch. I should really fix it. Sigh.
As a side note, I saw some chat about markers on Instagram last week and a few people were wondering how well Crayola Ultra Washable pens actually washed out of garments. Well, I managed to get a few pieces backwards while making these trousers, and ended up with pen on the right side, so I took a quick snap before and after washing. These marks were fairly heavy and had been on for several days. As you can see, 100% gone.
As I said at the top, I sewed this outfit intentionally. In fact, these colours are not necessarily ones I would naturally gravitate towards. The dusty rose is gorgeous, but anything in pastel/shades tones can be pretty draining for my skin tone. However, I saw a pic that I loved a few weeks ago. I think Liesl Gibson posted it in one of her newsletters, and I just loved the colour palette. I would credit it, but I can’t find out where it’s from!
I don’t often make things from inspiration photos – it’s just not a habit I have – but I decided to give it a go. Part of the appeal of the picture comes from the multiple models, of course, but it was fun and I think I’m not toooo far off. Perhaps I should have put my hair up for the full effect. It was definitely fun to try something a bit different though!
Hope you have a fun weekend and bye for now!