Pattern Reviews

Prague top & dresss. A cold shoulder and making it WARM. SEW BEAUTIFUL BOOK: Purple Capsule series Part 4

This is the fourth post in my “Go with the flow” capsule – collection that will use all the 8 patterns in the new book: SEW BEAUTIFUL. Make Stylish Handmade Clothing with Simple Stitch-and-wear Patterns by Kennis Wong.

Catch up here πŸ™‚

  • PART 1. Overview of all the patterns in the book, my plans and fabric choices, see THIS BLOG POST and THIS VIDEO on my channel.
  • PART 2. Mornington top & dress. How to sew a woven V neckline 2 ways: lining and bias binding. See THIS BLOG POST and THIS VIDEO on my channel.
  • PART 3. Takstang dolman wrap. How to shorten the sleeves, true the new hem, stabilize the neckline and bind it instead of using facings. See THIS BLOG POST and THIS VIDEO on my channel.

Tap on the photo to purchase SEW BEAUTIFUL through my affiliate link on Amazon US. CLICK HERE for information to purchase out of the USA.

The book is on pre-order at the moment. I was a pattern tester and will share a free flowing collection of all the garments from this book. The plan is for them to use this color palette: purple, grey, white & black.

This post is all about the PRAGUE TOP AND DRESS. I have made two tops to share with you and thet are not what you’d expect πŸ™‚

The Prague top and dress  has a semifitted bust and is roomy at the hips, similar to a swing style. The dress has a hem above the knee and the top at the mid hip. There are shorten and lengthen lines to customize the length to your needs and preferences.

You can choose between a scoop or V neckline finished with a neckband. The sleeves can be short or 3/4 and the most important feature is the COLD SLEEVE. This just means that the top part of the sleeve is “missing” and there’s a peek of shoulders seen. The shoulder opening is finished with a band in the same way as the neckline.

The Prague top and dress can be made with a variety of knit fabrics that stretch 40-60% horizontally.

You can see good choices in the diagram above. I think drapier knits will work best with the dress option. For the top, a cotton spandex would work, but for the dress, it won’t drape well.

My preference is always the lightweight woven fabrics because I like the way the fabric hangs, especially for a dolman sleeve. I would love a wrap top made with crepe, chiffon, rayon, and tencel twill. A sweater knit would make a lovely cardigan. As a jacket? I think I always prefer jackets to have set-in sleeves, so I would not make this style with a heavier fabric.

My vision: A cold shoulder top with short sleeves in a stripe DBP, BUT with extra center seams to use the stripes in opposing directions. Also, another one with center seams but mixing two fabrics: sweater knit and a matching athletic knit.

Other alternative… thinking out of the box: The gap for the cold shoulder effect can be “filled in” to have a normal sleeve with a “warm shoulder”. Lets have fun and do it.

The Prague top an dress is available in sizes 00-20 US and is drafted for a B/C bust cup size.

I chose a straight size 14. The design is semifitted at the bust and roomy at the hips.

I did some flat pattern measurements and decided to add 1 1/4″ at the shorten and lengthen line above the bust height. This is to match my bust height and also lower the waist to match my body. I used the shorten and lengthen line at the hips to remove the 1 1/4″ I had added above, to end up with the same original length.

I prefer a lower scoop neckline and lowered the original by 1″.

  • The seam allowance is 3/8″ for the whole garment.
  • There a very few pattern pieces.
  • The front and back pieces are cut on the fold.
  • The neckband and armband for the sold shoulder detail are sewn exactly the same way.
  • The sleeves are sewn in flat in the same way normal sleeves would be. Its just that there’s a section missing πŸ™‚
  • The partial front and back sleeves are sewn on the armscye up to a “dot”.

To modify the sleeve to be complete, I drew all the seam aloowances on the sleeve and the armscye. I measured the front and back armscye length (discounting the seam allowance). Both measure 10 1/4″

I measure my cap height and its 6″. I drew this height on the center of the sleeve where there’s the section missing. I re drew the curve that is missing while keeping the 10 1/4 length from the center on the sleeve…. to both sides, front and back. But this written down sounds crazy! it does make sense and it works!

To see the entire video review, look book and practicalities of sewing my stripe version with STRIPE PLAY, STRIPES THAT Don’t MATCH INTERNTIONALLY and how to make the cold shoulder sleeve WARM…..including all the pattern changes, AND the sewing, see the video about the Prague top and dress in my sewing channel.

To hear my video in an audio file to take with you on the go, my PODCAST is available on these platforms below πŸ™‚

Tap on any of the logos below where you listen to podcasts.

Or listen right here!

STRIPE PLAY TOP

I added a center seam on the front and back and cut the fabric in opposing directions. This means that there is no stripe matching needed.

“WARM” SHOULDER TOP

I had a little scrap of sweater knit left over from making the Cape Cod Capelet (Itch to Stitch) last year and it was a very small piece. Enough to make half of the garment πŸ™‚

This version also has a center seam. The other side is grey and an athletic knit fabric. I even divided the neckband in two.

I used the 3/4 length sleeve with the “filled in” cold shoulder and its a normal sleeve that fits perfect on the armhole.

This is a unique piece, and it was great fun and an “out of the blue” inspiration that hit.

Making it again? YES! For sure! it’s a great fitting pattern and I have yet to make the dress.

DISCLAIMER: The links to SEW BEAUTIFUL book are amazon affiliate links. I was a pattern tester for this book and received a complimentary copy in exchange for my feedback on instructions and fit. I purchased all the fabrics for this series. I produce sewing content independently from pattern brands and share my unique way of sewing with you. I don’t necessarily follow instructions rigidly. My opinions are honest, especially around fit and sewing techniques.

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