This post is something I have been so excited to share! For the first time, I plucked up the courage when Kennis at Itch to Stitch was having a testing call and I have been part of the tester group for the Beausoleil Top and Dress. Kennis designs prolifically and there always seems to be something new coming out. She even has a couple of free patterns if you want to give her designs a try.
This top is a slight departure from my usual style, but it is so cute and summery! This is the first Itch to Stitch pattern that I have used, but I really loved the option for pattern pieces with different cup sizes. For someone that probably should do a full bust adjustment more often, but can’t usually be bothered, this is fantastic! I am really going to have to try some of her other patterns for the ease of fitting something when the bust and waist proportions are already right.
I did make a toile for this pattern as part of the testing process, just to check the fit of a new designer and to practice a couple of the new techniques. My toile was really useful because I discovered that the pattern was about an inch too long all the way around above the waist. Once I took this extra out, it fitted great, and the bust darts are in just the right place too. I used a size 0D, graded to a size 2 at the hip, which also perfectly matched my measurements.
The instructions in this pattern were really clear, and I didn’t have any issues. One of the real highlights though was the lapped zip tutorial. This was my first lapped zip and I was slightly dreading it, but the tutorial was so clear and easy to understand. The whole pattern gave such a professional, clean finish inside around the facings and they sit perfectly. No peeking or rippled facings on this pattern!
The fabric is just a cotton lawn from my stash (the same as in this dress) and is now almost all gone. Just scraps left for pockets or facings. It was lovely to try a couple of new techniques and actually have them come together well. Because this top has a long zip (I could definitely have got away with an 18″ zip rather than 22″) I didn’t want my hem interfering with the end of the zip so I hand catch stitched the bottom hem and I am very proud of the result. The stitching seems to be invisible from the outside which I guess is exactly the point!
Aside from the pattern itself, I also really enjoyed the feeling of being part of the testing group. Kennis set up a Facebook group for everyone to share successes and ask questions. It definitely helped me to have a second opinion in the fit and my adjustments, and it was also lovely to see everyone’s tops and dresses coming along. I will definitely be volunteering to test patterns again.
The Beausoleil Top and Dress pattern is due to be released today, and for a short time is reduced at Itch to Stich, so if you are interested in a cute new summer top, this is the perfect moment!