Pattern Reviews

Cambria top. Comfy elegance & beautiful sleeves in red and navy. GreenStyle Creations.

Today I’m sharing all the details about the newly released Cambria top from GreenStyle Creations. I enjoyed this easy to sew knit top design that is packed with lovely feminine details on the sleeves. I chose my favorite solid colors to work with; red & navy and now have pretty tops that will be staples with my printed bottoms.

I recently joined the testing group for GreenStyle Creations after having so many sewing successes with the Iron Joggers, the Brassie Joggers, the Super G tights (my favorite legging EVER) and the beautiful Midway Bomber jacket. You can see a playlist on my channel of all the projects sewn with GreenStyle Creations patterns HERE.

The newest pattern release is the GORGEOUS Cambria top. It’s 35% OFF during its release week, (regular price $12, now $7.80) through Tuesday the 24th of November. The links in this post are affiliate links. Get yours HERE if you’re inspired by my sewing. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

Where to start with all the options the Cambria top has available!

It’s a knit top with different types of necklines: mock turtleneck, crew, low crew and wide scoop. There are three types of sleeves: gathered sleeve cap, pleated sleeve cap and a regular shoulder. All of these sleeves are gathered into cuffs and have three length options: a short, 3/4 length and full length option.

The cuff pieces have been designed to fit the sleeve length options and there is an extra special one: a long slim cuff that is sewn on to the 3/4 length sleeve to make it full length with a STRIKING LOOK.

For the hem, you can choose a cropped length, mid hip or hip and there is an optional hem band option available too.

You can mix and match all these options for countless possibilities. How fun!

My choices:

  • Short sleeve, pleated sleeve cap, mid hip length with a regular hem with a wide scoop neckline.
  • 3/4 length sleeve with the long slim cuff, pleated sleeve, full length with a regular hem and the wide scoop neckline.

The Cambria top is designed for knit fabrics with at least 40% stretch horizontally. Vertical stretch can be less, but I would not suggest one way stretch fabrics.

You can see excellent choices in the diagram above. I think drapier knits will work best if you don’t want the gathers and pleats of the sleeve to be voluminous.

My vision: Solids will really show off the gorgeous features of the design. I have chosen a navy rayon spandex and a red medium weight ITY fabric for my projects.

The Cambria top is available in sizes B-M and the standard bust option is drafted for a A/B/C bust cup size. The full bust option will be a better option if the difference between your high and full bust is 4-6″. The FBA piece HAS A BUST DART! This is amazing.

Dartless knit garments tend to fit poorly with a larger bust. The stretch of the fabric can accommodate bust circumference, but there can be horizontal stress lines across the bust. That’s not the main problem, though.

The lack of shaping on the sides creates diagonal drag lines from the waist/hips towards the bust. I have purchased RTW knit tops with bust darts and I have sewn a knit cardigan pattern with a bust dart. I always wonder why they are not incorporated more into knit designs. They can be sewn without an issue and the fit is so much better. I’m VERY happy there is a dart here.

The current difference between my high and full bust is 3.5″, so I have rounded that up to 4″ to be able to use the FBA option with the dart.

The sizing is inclusive and will cater for a lot of people. The pattern is drafted for a height of 5ft7″, so if you are shorter or taller, length adjustments are a good idea, especially with the sleeves.

You will see a range of measurements for each size. My measurements put me at a size G blended to a H hip.

There is appropriate positive ease in this design. If you chose your size accurately based on your measurements, you will be successful ๐Ÿ™‚

I did some flat pattern measurements and decided to lower the bust dart by 1″. This is a very standard adjustment for me. I also measured the sleeves, and the original length is perfect for me. Consider that “billowy” designs need extra vertical ease to blouse over the cuff.

  • 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.
  • I sew all the seams with a shallow zig zag: 0.5 width, 2.5 length. It also looks like a straight stitch but allows stretch. I don’t enjoy “formal stretch stitches” because they are impossible to seam rip.
  • The bust dart will work better sewn with a shallow zig zag stitch because it can stretch horizontally as you wear the top. The shallow zig zag almost looks like a straight stitch but allows stretch. I like to sew from the dart point, not backstitching to avoid bulk.
  • The neckband is cut at about 85% of the neckline circumference.
  • Stabilizing the shoulder seam with clear elastic, stay tape or a strip of fusible interfacing is VERY important because of the extra fabric on the sleeve cap with the pleats and gathers. This extra weight on the shoulder seam can eventually stretch out the shoulder seam.
  • There is also a sleeve option that has a regular sleeve cap.
  • I like to pin and work on the pleats with the WRONG SIDE OF THE FABRIC UP, that is also how I mark them on the fabric. You will usually see instructions for pleats shown with the right side of the fabric up. I see this repletively will all the pattern brands.
  • There are three pleats on each side of the sleeve cap. The volume of the pleats are all pressed towards the center of the sleeve.
  • The sleeves are sewn in flat in the same way normal sleeves would be, the difference is that there are gathers or pleats there.
  • All the sleeve options and lengths are gathered into the cuffs.
  • Here is a helpful video from my channel. A comprehensive master class on all things neckbands and bindings. This will help you if you are new to these techniques.

To see the entire video review, look book and practicalities of sewing a bust dart with knits, the pleats on the sleeve head and the gathers onto the cuffs, see my video from my YouTube sewing channel below. See my two cambria tops on in motion. The video will be LIVE later today!

To hear my video in an audio file to take with you on the go, my PODCAST is available on these platforms below ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Or listen right here!

NAVY SHORT SLEEVE PLEATED SLEEVE

This is my “fit version” early in the pattern test. It’s a navy lightweight rayon spandex. The fit is spot on and the garment is super wearable. I cut the hem on the cut line that is meant to have a hem band, but I hemmed it normally with a twin needle.

I have paired my tops with a self drafted denim skirt I made from my measurements back in 2018. You can see the video about it HERE.

I really love these short sleeves with the cuff. The drape on the fabric looks so pretty.

I like the wide scoop and the fact that I am still ok and not showing cleavage. WIN. My bra straps are safely under the shoulder seam too.

RED 3/4 SLEEVE + LONG SLIM CUFF

Red is one of my favorite colors, and anytime I wear a red garment, I immediately feel great. I found a heavier ITY in a rich deep red and knew it would be perfect for the Cambria top.

I am thrilled with the fit on the sides of my tops because of the side bust darts. They greatly improve the look on my body.

This version has the 3/4 sleeve with the slim long cuff and the look is so striking! I have never made a design like this before and am glad I gave this option a go because my initial plan was to add the regular short cuff to the 3/4 length sleeve.

Making it again? YES! I LOVE this pattern. It’s a great fitting and well-drafted design with outstanding value because of all the options available. The size inclusive sizing is appreciated and especially the FBA option available. I have yet to sew the gathered sleeve option and would love to lengthen it to a dress length.

The GORGEOUS Cambria top is 35% OFF during its release week, (regular price $12, now $7.80) through Tuesday the 24th of November. The links in this post are affiliate links. Get yours HERE if you’re inspired by my sewing. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

DISCLAIMER: The links to the Cambria top are affiliate links. I was a pattern tester and had access to the PDF pattern in exchange for my feedback on instructions and fit. I purchased all the fabrics for these projects. I produce sewing content independently from pattern brands and share my unique way of sewing with you. I donโ€™t necessarily follow instructions rigidly. My opinions are honest, especially around fit and sewing techniques.

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