This pattern has quietly become one of my TNTs. And surprisingly, I’ve never reviewed or blogged about it. But it’s definitely a favourite and one I feel confident will always work.
Kwik Sew 3658 is a pullover top (or dress) with a front v-opening and drapey collar. Over the past few years, I’ve purchased a few versions of this style top at Talbots and have happily paid about $79 for each. Clearly, it’s a style I like.
Since I haven’t blogged about this top before it’s probably worth remembering the four different versions made so when my memory goes I’ll know what I did wrong the first three times!
Version 1: Spring 2015 and I’ve just started sewing again for the first time in decades. I purchased this pattern and a really lovely mauve panne from Hancock’s. I didn’t know how to sew panne and had no idea how to fit so wound up with wavy and stretched seams on something that was too short. I tried to wear it several times but it was absolutely one of those, “oh, it’s homemade” garments. No photos exist of this because it was, well, a disaster from the start!
Version 2: Late autumn 2018 I was feeling more accomplished so I gave the top another try, this time in a floral print panne from Fabric Mart Fabrics. I lengthened the front a couple of inches and the top fit well. But in spite of panne being one of the recommended fabrics it is totally wrong for this top.
The front of the top is self-faced from the neck down to just below the bust (or that area, depending on power of the bra worn). What happens when something velvety touches a fabric that isn’t slick? It catches. And this facing caught all the time.
I’d throw on a jacket and within 5 minutes the top would have ridden up so the front opening was at the base of my neck. Even without a jacket or sweater on top, the top catches on undergarments and rides up. I eventually resorted to pinning the facing to the lower edge of my bra but that’s really no way to dress yourself.
The top went in the “unwearable” basket but the pattern stayed in my stash …
Version 3: Early in 2019 I gave it another try with Double Brushed Poly from Fabric Mart Fabrics. I lengthened the top by 2″ but otherwise just followed the simple directions.
Finally, I had a top I liked! It went together so quickly and so well. The DBP was a great choice because it doesn’t fray so no need to finish the edges of the front-facing, which means there’s no bulk to show through on the garment.
But I didn’t align the fabric pattern … ugh. Still, it was worn plenty of times.
Version 4: In August 2019 I picked up a piece of DBP from the So Sew English booth at the American Sewing Guild national conference and had been wanting to use it for something. What better than a new top for a new year!
This time I decided to work on those New Year’s reSEWlutions by being mindful and focusing, so I took my time when cutting and worked to pattern match the center front seam.
To help match the pattern I cut the front pieces separately and when laying out the first piece I used my Frixion gel erasable pen and marked the front pattern piece with the placement of stripes and major floral elements. Then when I cut the second piece I used those markings as guides for pattern placement. This worked very well, and when I was done I just ironed the pattern piece and the markings disappeared.
I did baste the center front seam together first to ensure it was aligned, and I’m so glad I did this because I had the seam allowance wrong … it was 1/4″ and I was stitching at 5/8″. That’s a huge difference!
By luck alone, the stripes on the sides and sleeves all aligned pretty darned well! And once those seams were done I just pulled out the coverstitch for the bottom and sleeve hems.
And now I have a new top that is perfect for winter days. Yay!