I’m so excited to join the Sew Altered Style Misty Top and Dress Hack Tour today! Which basically means I’ve done what I *always* do: take a new pattern and sew it in a knit! I got a preview copy of the pattern, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Misty is the first pattern release from Katie (left) and Mac (right), the absolute babes behind Sew Altered Style. I got to know Mac when she co-founded @MeetMakersOfColor, and it’s obvious that both women bring a lot of passion for sewing, inclusion, and fun to their shared project! This pattern is named after Misty Copeland, and is available size 0-30 with both a B and D cup options for all sizes.
So, the pattern is designed for lightweight wovens, but as soon as Mac and Katie asked me to hack it, I knew my two changes: use a knit and make sure the straps are wide enough to cover my bra!
All hail good pattern drafting! I made the straps .5″ wider and placed them exactly where the marking suggest, and BOOM! My 38G bra is covered in the back and under my arms! If you have a smaller bust, this may not seem so miraculous, but trust me, as the cups get bigger they usually get higher under the arm and cover higher up the chest. The straps get wider, and often the centre gore gets higher too. In other words, there is a lot to cover! I’d be happy to wear this top to work as well as for casual summer fun. (There is also a lower back version with cute criss-cross delicate straps, which is cute but less functional for me.)
Now, how to sew a woven pattern in a knit? Well, there’s what you should do, and there’s what I did. Look, it was late at night because I was excited to sew this, ok? Here’s what you should do: size down. Here’s what I did: cut my size according to the pattern chart!
Let’s go through this step-by-step, shall we?
- My measurements put me in a size 16 D-cup bust, graded to a 20 at the hips. I cut a 16/18, because the swingy shape has plenty of room for my hips. Once I tried it on mid-process, I cut it down to a 14/16.
- I used an ITY knit because it has stretch and drape but is not as heavy as a rayon which might pull itself out of shape. Everything is serged together, except for the bottom of the front V which I sewed on a regular machine.
- The neck, armscye and back are finished with all in one facings, which works equally well in a knit. The only change I made was to topstitch the facings down so that they stay neatly in place.
Besides the excellent size range and different back options, one thing that sets this pattern apart from, say, other well-known v-neck cami patterns, is the dart. It really helps to get a nice fit! Of course you could just sew the dart in a knit, but I always think that looks a bit odd. Instead, I prefer to gather the dart into the side seam, and it disappears but still offers shaping.
Here’s what I mean: You can see the original dart marked in orange Sharpie (my favourite marking tool) but instead of sewing the dart I’m just gathering using two lines of long stitches. It’s important to straighten the side seam before you do this (see how I’ve cut off the triangle where the dart usually extends beyond the side seam?). I forgot to do that the first time, and ended up with a baggy saggy puff of fabric under my arm.
There’s one more thing I’d like to commend about this pattern: the printing chart!
LOOK AT THAT BEAUTY! I am getting increasingly frustrated with the waste of time and paper when pattern companies expect me to print off every view all at once. Why should I have to print pages for a full skirt if I want the straight skirt, or the long sleeve if I want the short sleeve? I’ve had a few patterns lately that wasted 15 or more pages of printing with redundant views, and I’m mad. If I don’t want to waste paper and ink, then I have to squint at the printing layout and manually try to figure out which pages I need, inevitably getting it wrong. I adore that the Misty pattern lays out exactly what I need to print for each view and each size. It’s elegantly done and easy to follow – pattern designers, take note!
Now, one final confession before I wrap up. Not only did I cut the wrong size and forget how to properly gather the dart… I photoshopped my hair!
Yes, dear readers – it bugged me so much that my bangs had separated into chunks that I used the clone tool in Lightroom and added some hair into the gap. It’s not elegantly done because I don’t know how, but hopefully it is subtle enough. There is also a portapotty in the background of some pictures and the Fiona Dress I quickly altered into a skirt has no top button. I’m in favour of honestly here, and the truth is I’m a mix of on-the-fly and perfectionist!
The point is, I love this top. It turned out so well in a knit that I’m already sewing it in a woven. It’s going to be a maxi dress with a huge circular ruffle at the hem, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!
Thank you to Sew Altered Style for letting me try your pattern – if you aren’t already following them on Instagram, it’s worth checking them out! In the meantime, let me know: Did you notice my hair, missing button or the portapotty? Do you care if patterns have printing charts to let you know exactly which pages to print with no waste? And do you have any tips for sewing a woven pattern in a knit?