I spent most of yesterday working on this peasant top and I think I really like it. The fabric is really lightweight and airy --way more so than I expected. I haven't worked with a fabric like this before, but it was a real pleasure--except for the part where it was amazingly difficult to keep the pieces from sliding off grain while I was cutting out.
The pattern is See & Sew B5480--I never was very favorably impressed with what they had to offer in the past, but lately they've had a few really nifty designs that are fun to make and turn out very nice. I'll probably be making their cape again this winter--I made one last year and I loved it, too bad the wool I used wasn't as good a quality as it could have been :-(
The recommended fabrics for this top are georgette and voile. I used a cotton/silk blend voile in a hazelnut color that I picked up on clearance from Fabric.com. It's a lot more sheer than I first thought (in fact, I somehow had the impression that it was opaque, even -- silliness, I presume, since voiles are supposed to be sheer) but it still makes a lovely peasant top, especially if you intend to wear it over or under something. In the pic, I'm wearing a knit camisole top from OldNavy, but my ultimate plan is to wear this with the Shining Star Vest from HotPatterns.
The instructions for this pattern are easy, peasy--way great for beginners--and a good introduction to French seams. One of my biggest gripes with Big4 patterns is that they never seem to give any really good instructions for how or when to finish seam allowances. Imagine my surprise when the first instruction for this pattern was to sew the front and back together at the side seams using a French seam. Wowsy.
I usually march to my own drum, but I pretty much followed the directions on this one with three exceptions. 1) I sewed the sleeve hems before I sewed the sleeve seam, simply because I was using my 6mm hemming foot and it's easier to do that flat, and
3) I attached the sleeves to the body of the top using a French seam. This worked only because of how thin my fabric was--I don't think I would have done it in another fabric.
I did, however, fold about 1 1/2 inches out of the sleeve cap since the sleeves were very full and I was thinking the sleeves might end up wearing me rather than the other way around if I left them as they were.
I wasn't sure I was going to like the neckline on this top--it's a lot wider than anything I have owned up to date, but I think that I am pleased the way this looks on me. This wasn't as quick a project as I was anticipating, either. Some of that has to do with the fabric I chose--I had to be very careful with it as it seam allowances tended to fray if over-handled. My hemmer foot didn't like it much either, most of the hems were taken out at least once or twice and redone. I used alot of spray starch to get those pesky hems to submit, and in the end I prevailed. ;-)
I doubt I'll make any more of these, though. One top of this style is probably about all my wardrobe can handle. I am looking forward to getting started on it's companion vest. I'm already thinking of other things I can make that will go with it (the vest, I mean, not the peasant top). Like a merino wool turtleneck, or a fitted button down shirt, or a scoopneck fitted tee...the list is endless :-)