Designer Stitch Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on Designer Stitch's Anniversary Blog Tour !!!!

Happy Birthday Designer Stitch!!!!

Read on to find out more about Designer Stitch patterns, and the fantastic sales planned to celebrate.

I was first introduced to Designer Stitch last year, when I was able to test the Kerry Cape. I was impressed by the pattern, and keen to try out more. To my mind, Ann's patterns incorporated the best elements of both pdf and paper patterns.  There's plenty of 'hand-holding' on the tricky steps, and there's the instant gratification of a pdf download and print. But the construction and techniques are professional, not skipping important steps for the sake of a quick sew, and the sizing is consistent, and easy to adjust for a fantastic fit.

Since then I've been able to grow my wardrobe with many wonderful Designer Stitch creations. Here's a sample. And you can find all my Designer Stitch blog posts here.

For my stop on the blog tour, I decided to try and replicate one of my favourite tops.  I found it for $6 at an op-shop, and wear it often (it's easy to pair with jeans or a pencil skirt - my standard 'mumiform').

So here's what I ended up with - a long-sleeve high-low hemmed cotton top that's just a bit nicer than a standard tee. Based on the Designer Stitch Kat Top.  Just the kind of thing I like to wear when I've got a busy day, lots of different things to be doing, and want to look 'put together', but functional.

 I have two frustrations with the original. First, it has 3/4 sleeves - which are fine if I don't need a jacket or cardigan, but if I do, I spend a lot of time fiddling with the sleeves, trying to pull them down. And second, I have only one, so I feel like I'm wearing the same thing over and over and over again.  With this remake, I set out to fix those problems.

Designer Stitch's Kat Top was the perfect starting point. The pattern is for a loose fitting woven top. The kind of top you can just throw on, and you're looking good.  As a bonus the pattern includes two variants - the weekday with set-in short sleeves, and the weekend with dolman sleeves (as per the line drawing above). This is where the benefits of Designer Stitch patterns can pay off. The standard sizing meant it was easy for me to adjust for long sleeves, using the sleeve pattern for the Bridget Top (a short sleeved Bridget is part of this post).

I'm so very, very happy with my new top. Easy to wear, and perfect for a busy day when you want to look a little better than 'standard'. Works well on it's own, and easy to wear under a jacket when the weather starts to cool down.

There are Birthday savings for the month of June. This week, all patterns are 50% off - patterns are marked down in the store, no need for extra codes. And there are more offers each week for the rest of the month.

Other stops on the blog tour are below. If you're after all the 'gory' details of how I adjusted the Kat Top, I've included some information down below.

June 5, 2017 

June 8, 2017

June 9, 2017

To adjust the pattern I started by tracing out my size(s) onto Trace & Toile (cheap interfacing), cutting front and back on the fold (the back is meant to be cut in two, and joined - there's a slight curve in the back for better fitting - but I couldn't cope with the pattern matching required), and cut out one sleeve. To make the long sleeve, trace the sleeve cap of the Kat top, and the beginning of the underam seam, then lay the pattern piece over one of the Bridget long sleeve underarms (I used the tie-sleeve, just printing one half for this purpose).

One I had all three pieces traced, I sewed them up (using a long stitch length for speed). So I had a toile out of interfacing (hence the 'Trace & Toile' name I guess).  I used this to check for fit, and make adjustments for the high-low hem. I pinned where I wanted the curve to hit at the side seams, as well as the centre front and centre back. I took quite a few photos of me wearing the toile and the original top in my sewing room - it helped to see where different parts sat. So I don't twist my body around trying to take a selfie, I prop my phone on the ironing board, with a few thick books to hold it upright, and use the timer setting.

Then I drew a curve between the points that I had marked, looking at the curve of the original top for guidance (incidentally, I think it's time to invest in a set of French curves), and trimmed along that line for the new front and back pieces.  Happy with my adjustments, I cut into my material - in this instance a light cotton lawn.  The pattern came together beautifully, as I've come to expect with Designer Stitch patterns.

I added a ruffle to the bottom of the top, duplicating the length and ruffle ratio of the original (around 1.5 times). The side seams of the ruffle are flat felled (a technique I like to use when the seam may be visible). This also meant that there wasn't much seam bulk (and no flappy bits of seam allowance) to deal with when doing a rolled hem (although according to my overlocker manual, this is actually a picot hem - slightly longer stitch length than rolled hem).

Once the side seam and hem were sorted, I gathered the top edge, and stitched on to the bottom of the top.  To keep my gathering threads organised (knowing which one is which) I switched bobbin colours for each section of gathering. It makes the whole process a lot simpler, and is quick to do.

After trying on the top, I decided that the bottom edges were flaring out a little too much - the top was veering towards 'tent territory'. So I restitched the side seam, straightening out the flare at the bottom of the top, then adjusting the gathering so the ruffle fits back in the adjusted side seam.

There was one other adjustment I made, the binding on the neckline is not quite the same as in the pattern. Having cut out the ruffle, I didn't have enough fabric left for the bias neckline piece. So the binding was cut from a solid light pink. I sewed the binding on so that it would turn to the inside, then turned it in, around the seam allowance, before stitching in place.

And there you have it.

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour, and make the most of the Birthday Savings, in the Designer Stitch Shop

* This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a pattern after following a link, I receive a small payment, at no cost to you.  I received a free copy of the Kat Top pattern for the purposes of this tour. The opinions, sewing and sewing-room modelling are all my own.


  1. so nice, it fits great you with the adjustments

  2. What a great color and a fun print. Nice work on the pattern manipulation!


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