I’ve been sewing patterns from “new to me” pattern companies lately. What better way to spice up sewing, especially when there’s A LOT of that happening right now!
There’s a brilliant way to try a new pattern company, and it’s by downloading their FREE pattern/s if they have them and most indie pattern companies do.
I’m usually looking at: Seam allowances, construction techniques, the drafting, and if they present the pattern in a way that is friendly and appeals to me (lots of subjective reasons too). I try hard to remove my “experienced sewist hat” to look at the way they provide instructions. I’ve always viewed instructions as suggestions and will not hesitate to sew the way I prefer. I usually am drawn more to the diagrams and love clear ones.
Wardrobe by Me is not a new brand at all and the designer has worked professionally in the fashion industry for decades. I especially like that the free pattern offered is designed for woven fabrics! This pattern is called: Hera Wrap Top.
The Hera Wrap top has a faux-wrap bodice, it will finish the neckline with facings that are top stitched. The sleeves are the “cap flutter” style and only cover the armscye partially. We will finish the bottom of the armscye with bias tape on the inside. The bodice completed bodice is then sewn to a curved peplum, and that seam forms a casing. Elastic inside will bring in the waist. The length of the top hits the full hip.
About these sleeves: I’m a sleeveless person all day every day, but these are super cute and the next best thing!
The fabrics recommended are lightweight wovens with nice drape: crepe, silk, and rayon blends (rayon/linen) jump out as the best choices. There are lightweight fabrics with no drape like cotton, double gauze, linen. Lightweight is not synonymous with “drapey”.
My choice this time is a crepe, a little sheer but printed. I also choose rayon, rayon/linen, and light tencel twill.
Most of the patterns from Wardrobe by me are available from sizes 0-24US (30-54 European), but the Hera Wrap top is available in sizes 0-20US (30-50 EU). The maximum bust circumference is 45.5” and at the hips 48.5”.
I chose a straight size 14 according to my body measurements and there’s approximately 2” of positive ease at the bust. The style is roomy at the waist and hips.
I think if your measurements put your waist/hips a size larger than the bust, I wouldn’t think blending a size up is necessary, because of the design: elasticized waist and roomy peplum.
Wardrobe by Me drafts for a height of 5ft 6” and that’s great to know. I’m taller at 5ft8” and length adjustments are common for me. I did flat-pattern measurements on the bodice and did not need to lengthen it. I have a short torso, and my length is more from my waist down to my feet.
In my video below, you can see some block fusing for the facings, how to sew and top stitch them neatly and how to sew these cute cap sleeves. Have a look! Also, you can see it on in action.
I love the result; the fit is amazing, and I didn’t need to do any pattern change to fit my body.
I especially love and appreciate that the neckline wraps at a modest depth on my body. I did a tiny little hand tack inside to keep the neckline in place permanently.
I used 1/4” elastic inside the casing and measured it to be comfortable on my waist.
The cap sleeves are so feminine and pretty and I really enjoyed the construction method. Super neat and clean inside with the bias tape on the bottom of the armscye.
The pattern states this style could work with a Jersey and that sizing down will be needed. I have given this thought and I know I would not use a facing with jersey fabric.
Next are two alternative neckline finishes! For both you need the total length of the extended neckline. Seen below is the back and front pattern pieces with the shoulder seams pinned at 3/8” seam allowance. I will measure 3/8” away from the edge, as that will be the stitching line. Measuring the edge is not accurate. Mine at size 14 measures 90cm (35.5″). Multiply that by 2: 180cm or 2 yards (70.8″).
KNIT VERSION NECKBAND ALTERNATIVE
Personally, I would also choose a lightweight knit that drapes nicely, like rayon spandex and ITY to make a knit Hera Wrap top. As for sizing down, yes, one size less is appropriate.
To finish the neckline, I would cut a LONG neckband that is 85% the length of the total length of the extended neckline. See measurement in the previous paragraph. I base these measurements on size 14.
180cm (70.8″) is too long to cut in one piece, the width of most knit fabrics is tops 56-58″, so I would cut two to make the length and have a center back seam on the neckband. My neckband length would be TWO pieces 30.5″ by 2 3/8″ wide. Sew the two pieces on the quick ends to make one long piece that will be 61″ long.
This long band, when folded lengthwise wrong sides together and sewn on the neckline, with 3/8″ SA will have a finished visible width of 3/4″. This will make the depth of the crossover a tad higher…. not a terrible thing.
To sew the band, divide the neckline in quarters and the band in quarters. Match the quarters and sew with 3/8″ the folded band right sides together to the neckline, stretching the band slightly to match the length of the neckline. Voila. I will surely do this soon!
WOVEN VERSION FINISHED WITH BIAS TAPE ON THE NECKLINE
Easier than the above. Make sure to stay-stitch the neckline immediately. You will need the total length mentioned above, in my case for size 14, 70.8″. That will be the length of the bias tape. The neckline of the top needs to match that total length to keep its original shape. Fiddly, because the neckline can easily stretch out.
Place the bias tape right sides together with the edge of the neckline. Pin or hand-baste, then sew with 3/8″. Trim seam allowance, snip the curves, under stitch the bias tape, flip to the inside and top stitch. I am interested in this alternative because I enjoy making my own bias tape.
A very enjoyable project. I like that the V is modest. I dislike the “cami underneath look” and try to avoid it. I am now super motivated to sew more patterns from this brand. I already have my wish-list!
DISCLAIMER: The pattern is FREE. I purchased my fabric.
I have affiliate links in this post to the pattern company and the pattern. If you click on these links, at no cost to you, I receive a small commission that helps finance my sewing, blog and Youtube channel, though this pattern is FREE, I receive no commission 🙂
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Categories: Pattern Reviews, Sewing techniques
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