I’ve had the Blouse-Back Tee from Hot Patterns in my stash for sooooooo long and never got around to making it. When I made the Blackwood Cardigans for Beth and myself, I had some of the lovely jersey left over. It seemed a good idea to use that up to trial this pattern.
I’ve spoken recently about trying new styles, and this definitely falls into that category. I have never in my life worn a cocoon style but the financial investment here was so low, again it felt like nothing to lose.
The back fabric is the Lady McElroy faces cotton lawn from Minerva fabrics. This wasn’t in the stash but I was happy with the purchase. If this top didn’t work out…it would cut up into a top for Summer!
This is the first time I’ve used a Hot Patterns patterns. I used the PDF version and their tiling isn’t my favourite. They use no-cut tiling and it’s very close to the edge. In some places there’s a tiny overlap and in others I’ve had to butt the two pages together. It’s not a problem, just makes the pattern pieces a bit floppy.
The instructions are sparse. Think Style Arc sparse. Perhaps even more so.
The only bit that would give a beginner pause would be the front hem. I had to read it twice. Once you start doing it, though, it all falls into place.
Thinking about the experience of the actual pattern, I think that Hot Patterns are positioning themselves in very much the same place as Style Arc. Cute designs. Definitely more fashionable. But they’re not going to hold your hand with instructions or beautiful PDFs. These things are functional and get the job done.
However, on the webpage for this pattern they have a section of videos and photos as part of a previous sewalong. So there’s plenty of help there if you need it. It’s just not in the pattern. They don’t seem to do this for all the patterns on their website, but their YouTube channel has lots of content, so its worth checking that out too.
Their size range is good too. At size 6 – 26 it’s not quite as inclusive as some Indie brands, especially after the seismic changes that have been taking place in that mark. But Hot Patterns were ahead of the trend on more inclusive sizing.
So after all that I’m guessing you’re wondering what I thought about the Blouse-Back Tee.
Obviously it feels completely different to anything I’ve ever worn before. And if I made it again, I’d use something a bit floatier on the back….maybe a poly crepe, or rayon challis, or a viscose, which would make the cocoon less structured. Maybe also a softer jersey. This is quite a firm jersey.
I think I’d take the arm band off a future versions too. I’d adjust the sleeve to replace the length and do a simple turned hem.
On this version I removed the neck band that is part of the pattern. Not only did I find it nigh on impossible to get it to lie flat, it also looked really bulky on me. I realised that if I buy a t-shirt, I never buy one with a neck band. I really don’t like them on me. So I snipped it off, added a bound neck and instantly liked it 100% more. This is a change I’d keep.
A good reminder that a pattern is like a recipe….you can make changes to suit you. Style changes as well as fitting changes. It’s ok! It really is.
But, despite my reservations about this style, and the less than perfect fabric choices. I actually really quite like it. Dave likes it. Even my mother in law, who will be perfectly honest with you (which is a very good thing) likes it.
So I think it’s a keeper. A very wearable muslin. And one that I might make again. It would even lengthen to make a cosy t-shirt dress, if you drafted a quick sleeve.
The photos show up a few drag lines around the bust, but they’re less obvious in real life. Also, it’s not for the lack of space for my bust, as it was with the Crystal Cove Cami. I’ve actually lost weight between sewing this top and photographing it. It’s just that my bust is large, and fabric is going to drape off it. I’ve been paying more attention to other busts on social media. That is a statement you never thought you’d hear yourself say. Anyway, this draping happens a lot, and I was the only one worried about it. Everyone else was “yay! Look at my amazing garment. Look at the awesome fit!”
I think that the search for the perfect fit has made me overly critical and prone to overfitting. If I got fit like this from RTW I’d drop good money on that garment. So I’m calling this a winner.
I’m almost done with black though for the time being. I picked up a pretty black and fawn crepe remnant recently, but other than dance wear, that’s all the black sewn.
The dance wear can wait as we go back into full lockdown from Thursday so tonight is the last dance lesson for at least a month. And he’ll have grown again by then.
And the black crepe can also wait a wee while. Dave treated me to some gorgeous printed ponte di roma for an Elliot sweater. It’s cold here. That’s next on the list!