A couple of months ago Linda Lee of The Sewing Workshop spoke to my chapter of the American Sewing Guild. Linda inspired me to make my limoncello Kalle top, and I also wound up purchasing a couple of patterns, one of which is the MixIt Top.
I’ve looked at Sewing Workshop pattern envelopes and I’ll be honest here, I just couldn’t get inspired by the shape which seems to be a bit oversized, boxy and flowing, reminiscent of Eileen Fischer designs. My preferred silhouette is a bit fitted – skimming but not tight.
During Linda’s trunk show, she held a tank top made from jersey with an overlay of mesh. That caught my eye because it’s a RTW look. I’ll occasionally run across a bit of something sheer so I thought I’d pick up this pattern and give that design a try.
Shortly after the event, a sewing friend posted pictures of the MixIt Top (the short-sleeved version above) on her Instagram account which made me take a second look at the top.
The recommended fabric for the tank is a knit, and the top and shirt are both designed for wovens. While I love knits, occasionally I’ll run across woven prints and want to make something that isn’t a tunic or a button-down shirt.
Fun Cotton Summer Fruit Salad Version
Yeah, I’m drawn to bright colours and silly designs, however isn’t this fabric just fresh and fun?
Having no experience with Sewing Workshop pattern drafting, I decided to err on the side of ease and cut an XL. I am also an optimist so was careful to leave all of the pieces in place for a Large. (Yes, that’s an actual goal for mid-August!)
The pattern is very well designed, and Linda does a couple of things a bit differently:
- The front opening facing is beautifully finished with no raw edges.
- The collar is constructed so the seams are at the centre back, not at the front edges where a seam may show.
- All hems are finished before the side seams (bodice and sleeves) and then they’re topstitched which, again gives a clean finish.
This was a simple and fun sew, and I have enjoyed wearing the top away from work. I’ll probably wear it to work at some point like on a holiday Friday or something.
Linen Cotton Blend Fabric
This version was made in a linen/cotton blend.
In spite of making this the same size and in the exact same manner as the first, I’m not as happy with it. On the pattern envelope, the sleeves lie completely flat against the bodice but mine are poufy, especially on the linen version. The pattern does call for some gathering, and I crimped on the machine so there weren’t any puckers (new edit – see the next paragraph). The linen also stands out against my body so it looks bigger, and the too big shoulders are evident without a pattern to hide the seams.
At the suggestion of someone on Pattern Review, I reached out to Linda Lee and asked for her guidance on the sleeves. Linda responded the same day, and after looking at my photos she very generously sent me instructions on how to properly set-in a sleeve. She also suggested that I do a sloping shoulder adjustment and included clear instructions on that adjustment. I’m going to pick out the stitches and try the sleeve again in the coming weeks.
Huge thank you to Linda for being a pattern designer who is connected to those who sew her patterns! Maybe it’s time for me to consider a trip out to Kansas to take some real sewing lessons 😉
Although my first sleeve attempts weren’t perfect, I am still impressed with my first Sewing Workshop pattern. I didn’t make a single alteration, it doesn’t pull back at my neck (unlike many patterns), and the front opening is genius! And the bust darts are in the right place! This pattern will stay in my pattern box with a note that next time I’ll cut a smaller size and stay away from linen, and maybe add a couple of inches to the length. And I’m going to make up the tank soon.
This is a fast and satisfying sew with the first taking about 5 hours and the second maybe 4 hours. Fabric requirements are low (1 1/3 yards for sizes L-XXL) which means it’s something that is suitable for a fabulous remnant! And that’s definitely something to have in the pattern stash.