Designer Stitch Eleni Top
Introducing the Eleni Top (Tunic and Dress) by Designer Stitch*.
As usual, there are so many options packed into this pattern. I've made up two tops (the shortest length). But there are also tunic, dress and maxi lengths.
Added to that, there's the option for a flounce at the top.
Sleeve lengths included are short, long, with a flare/ruffle, and peasant style (with elastic at the cuff).
If you're not after a strapless look, there are options for a peasant style, off the shoulder with straps, and modesty panels to provide shoulder coverage.
Finally the pattern also includes options for a belt and neck tie.
I wasn't convinced on the neck tie at first, but it works so beautifully with this style.
You can get a picture of the versatility of this pattern when you have a look at all the wonderful versions sewn up by the tester group. Have a look at the pattern listing for more amazing versions
The multicoloured fabric is from Textile Traders, a crepe chiffon. It's nice a soft and drapey, but holds its shape pretty well while sewing and cutting. The busy pattern also helps it from looking too see-through. With such a vibrant fabric, I stuck to a simple view. This top is a straight size 3 (Designer Stitch has its own size numbers - it avoids confusion between US and Australian sizes, and helps me to let go an any hangups on what size I feel I 'should' be). For more fitted patterns, I usually size out for my waist to hips, but the loose, flowy style of the top meant that wasn't necessary.
With the pink dots (voile), I had a bit more fun. The flounce is a shortened version of the one in the pattern, as even though the fabric is pretty drapey, it does hold its shape more than the chiffon.
Can you see the hem I've used there? After turning under the hem, I made a scalloped (shell stitch) edge. It's pretty easy to do. Just a matter of mirroring the blind hem stitch, and having the zig-zag bit fall just over the edge of the hem. The stitch pulls the fabric in at that point, making the scalloped edge.
I wasn't too sure about the off-the-shoulder style at first (especially when trying to do stuff around the house or chase after the kids), but there's a nifty little trick. I've added elastic across the arm holes (stitched in place in the seam allowance). When you put the top on, you put your arm over the top of the elastic, so it sits in your underarm, and helps to keep the top in place! Here's a video if you want to see more details.
As usual, the Designer Stitch pattern is well written with grading consistent across the other patterns (I was feeling pretty confident and jumped into my first version without sewing up a muslin (let's call it a wearable muslin).
The pattern includes layers so you can easily see your size(s), and save on paper and ink by only printing the pages that you need.
This is a great pattern if you want to have a go at using lighter weight fabrics - not too many seams, and not too curvy either. It also looks stunning in a border print. I haven't added trim to any of mine, but have plans for trim on the sleeves or flounce for future ones.
The pattern is on sale for release (click here). Have a look at the pattern page, and check out all the options and variations the testers have sewn up. Thanks Designer Stitch for another amazing pattern!
* This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I receive a percentage of the pattern price on any purchases. The opinions, sewing and awesome fabric choices are all my own.