Of all the new Indie pattern releases for Autumn, and there's been a lot (check out Fold Line and Diary of a Chain Stitcher for detailed reports), the Sew Over It City Break Capsule Wardrobe really caught my eye. It's an eBook, comprises of five pattern, plus variations to take you from day to night in any city. It's good modern basics for everyday living. The Molly top is simple but different enough to make me want to buy the eBook (£20 for 5 PDF patterns including the variants).
I found a drapey viscose stripe on eBay from this seller (she has some great stuff). It's a top which really benefits from drape and lightweight fabrics otherwise the drop sleeve/kimono element to the shoulder would be too bulky. This fabric was tricky to cut but sewed up fast enough. the instructions are entirely based on using a sewing machine and using beginner skills e.g. zigzag hem and topstitching rather than twin needle but I used an overlocker and double needle hemming, (see detailed thoughts on double needle hemming on drapey knit here).
I cut a size 8 as my measurements match the Sew Over It sizing for that almost exactly.
Alterations: I used a longer length for the neckband as my fabric wasn't especially stretchy. The Colette neckband tutorials are very helpful. My neckband was 90% of neck seam length, plus seam allowances. The neckband is quite wide- you can see this on some of the many beautiful photos in the eBook - the top edge of the band sometimes stands away from Lisa's collarbone. In the end, I folded my neckband over on the inside and stitched it down by hand using catch stitch.
This criss-crossing hand stitch gives the inner neck edge enough elasticity and the neckband sat much flatter. I'll change the width when I make the next Molly.
I shortened the hem by 1 ½" and the top is still relatively long for me (I'm 5'5"). It depends very much how you like to wear it. As the fabric is lightweight, it tucks into waistbands very easily. It wear well as a top or layered up. The sleeves were a very accurate length.
I am very happy with the result, it's the sort of everyday basic that I can wear almost daily during cooler months. The top was a tester for me as I also bought Ponte Di Roma to make the dress and after completing the top I went straight on to the dress- blog post coming right up. The Molly top is a quick make. I tend to take my time getting a good quality finish with a neat neck and hems but it's the cutting that takes the longest for me, especially with stripes. The eBook is packed full of pictures so you can see each item of clothing in a range of fabrics and situations and the investment that Lisa Comfort and the Sew Over It team have made in this eBook is clearly evident. I did wonder if I was buying this book because I was drawn into the Parisian setting, persuaded by the many blogger reviews and endorsements and was generally enchanted with Lisa in all her outfits, but actually it's a well thought through idea and Sew Over It have a handy feature in their online fabric shop where you can choose their garments and they suggest suitable fabrics, thus solving the hardest part of online fabric shopping - see the suggestions for the Molly top/dress here. Part of me wonders if the Capsule wardrobe concept is going to be continued with different eBook mini wardrobes for various occasions? That would be great! For these photos I've worn the top with a Deer and Doe Fumeterre skirt. Both these items will be heavily worn in the next few months, you can't ask for more than that.