Rae comes with the choice of 3 different views and each makes a great basic addition for warm weather wardrobes. The Rae Top is a relaxed pull-on pattern with stylish design that features a wide, gathered neckline. The pattern includes options for a classic sleeveless look , cap sleeves or a soft elbow length sleeve with a slightly gathered hem. It is available in size 1-18 (AUS).
I chose this wonderful gold and vintage teal Ecovero Viscose from Blackbird Fabrics. It is soft and has the perfect drape for this bohemian style top with its stylish wide, gathered neckline. Other recommended fabrics include linen, cotton poplin, light-weight wool, denim, and silk. The pattern includes options for a sleek sleeveless look with bound armholes , cap sleeves or the soft, elbow length sleeves with gathered hem which is the version I chose.
The neckline gathers and gathered sleeve means the finished top has plenty of ease. Based on the finished measurements I made a size 14 through the bustling, a size 12 through the neckline and arm synced and graded to a size 10 at the hip. It really is a joy to create a top that will fit perfectly without much fit and this pattern allows you to be able to customize the fit very easily. This sleeve is a great pattern for intermediate beginning sewers. If you are making the sleeveless or cap sleeve version you will need to be familiar with how to use bias binding to finish the sleeve. The pattern calls for vilene shields to stablize the arm holes. I chose to stay stitch instead and this proved to be very successful. Either technique will work very well, chose the method that you feel most comfortable with.
The neck facings attach easily to the create the wide neckline that you will gather after the top is fully constructed using 3/8” elastic. Picture illlustrations provide you with very clear step by step instructions, especially if you are a beginning sewer. Instructions for all sleeve options are provided, simply turn to the page that outlines the step for your top.
The pattern suggests putting the elastic in the sleeve hem to gather it before attaching the sleeve to the arm syce of the bodice. I chose to leave the installation of the elastic until I had attached the sleeve. I wanted to make sure I had the right fit based on where the sleeve would be on my arm. This worked well for me and I felt that it was easier to manipulate the sleeve when sewing it to the arm syce. Once you baste stitch the top of the sleeve you will only need to gather it slightly in order for it to fit the arm syce. The sleeve is designed very well and inserts quite easily without too much fuss which is always a treat.
After I inserted the elastic into the neckline and secured it at the length I wanted, I added an extra row of stitching just above the height of the elastic. This helps to keep the elastic from rolling within the neckline and gave the gather a more polished, finished look. For the sleeves, I simply measured the length of elastic that felt comfortable, used a bobkin to thread it through the hemline and secured it.
This top is a fun sewing project. It fits well, sews together nicely and within a few hours you have a lovely top. I love the style and the versatility it will provide. It can be worn with shorts, trousers, jeans and skirts making it a great addition to your wardrobe. I am definitely planning to sew the sleeveless version next. It takes so little fabric that it will be a great scrap buster pattern.
After all…. There is Sew Much To Design!