Thursday, October 6, 2016

Pink Stripe Willow Wrap Top

A year ago I joined Lauren Dahl's Momiform Makeover tour and had the pleasure of sewing up a Willow Wrap Dress, a pattern from Love Notions. When the top version went on sale a few weeks ago, I quickly snatched it up. I had hacked my own version of the top from the dress, but wasn't super happy with it and decided to go for the real thing.

It's hard to see, but I'm wearing a cami underneath. This is the low-cut/nursing option. There is an option for a higher cut and also a pattern piece for a modesty panel. I opted for this configuration so I could wear a nursing tank underneath. 

The best thing about this pattern was that I already knew what size to make (small) based on the dress. Also, Love Notions patterns are layered, and trimless. It takes very little time to assemble. So while I had this printed, assembled, and taped in no time, it took me a week to sew it. My three kids are not helpful.

It's been a long time since I've worn any close-fitting tops. Or real jeans for that matter. I've been kickin it with maternity wear for the last two years. I just got some new jeans from ThredUp (affiliate link, if you're so inclined to check them out you get $10 free for signing up) and they honestly feel bizarre. Where is my elastic waistband?! Where are my flowing tops?! It's going to take some getting used to, so I hope you can hang in there with me as I figure this out!

Since it's not clear from the pattern description, you need to know that the front of this shirt is two layers. It's not some sort of short piece underneath, it's basically two (mirrored) full fronts if that makes sense. While that's great for keeping the wrap in place, it's not so great for fabric consumption, especially since a good chunk is hidden. I only had 1 yard of this cotton/lycra knit (from the Fabric Fairy, a LONG time ago) so I had to be creative. I pieced together the under layer. You can see the striped part at the top, but the hidden portion underneath is a different fabric.

I sewed the two pieces together with no seam allowance and used a flatlock stitch. That strategy minimized the ridge from the seam, so it doesn't show through outside of the garment. Flatlocking is easier than you think, it's just a tension adjustment on your serger and my manual tells me what settings to use. I always do a test run first, because I find the manual suggests a tension that's too tight for the lower looper (my thread breaks, that's how I know it's too much tension!).

Instructions and assembly for this pattern are straightforward. I used my coverstitch for all the hems (including the neckline) and my serger for the rest. It goes quickly when you don't have children hanging off of you.

I do have a weird fit issue, and I'm not sure how to describe it for Google so I hope you can help! There is some excess fabric below the shoulders and above the bust. I didn't notice this in my Willow Wrap Dress, but that was made from a poly ITY knit that had more drape than this cotton/lycra. Thoughts? How do I correct this?

While you're helping me with that, check out that awesome stripe matching across center-front!

I think I'm just about out of suitable cotton/lycra knits for this pattern, but I may try it with a rayon knit instead if I can figure out the fit issue. The pattern comes with three sleeve options, so I can easily take this into the rest of fall/winter. By the way, Love Notions is having a big celebration/sale starting October 17th, so hop over to their Facebook page for all the fun! I wasn't paid or perked to say that, I just thought you might like to know ;)


  1. So cute, and nice job with piecing your fabric! Looking at the overage you mention, upper bodice, front and back - well, it appears the top is drafted this way. I've looked at many many pics of this, including the examples on the Love Notions page, and all have the same effect (so does the line art of the pattern). Basically it's the drafting of the armscye - if you don't care for it, you can always redraft it. A suggestion, bring the armscye in towards the body more, curving it into a higher shoulder line. Also, be sure your sleeve cap is longer than the armscye, so that the sleeve eases into the armscye. Tami often drafts this the opposite way, so the bodice might have gathers and puckers where it's eased into the upper part of the sleeve, depending on the fabric used. You could try it with some inexpensive knit... BTW, you look fantastic for the mom of 3 kids! enjoy those jeans :-)

    1. Thank you so much for your suggestions, and I am SO glad you said that about the pattern being drafted this way. I suspected something was off as I've made a gazillion knit tops from all different designers and can't recall this issue before. The feedback given in the Love Notions Facebook group was that the distance from shoulder to bust is too long, which seems to make sense but struck me as a weird issue to have.


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