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Sagebrush Top 2



Since making my first Sagebrush Top by the Friday Pattern Company in Liberty Tana Lawn, I always knew there’d be a gingham version in my future. I saw that Atelier Brunette had brought out a double gauze version which was also double-sided with different sized checks, so I snapped this up in the Off-White Rust colourway.


I was weeks away from going on holiday, and I thought this would be a great top to take with me. I hadn’t sewn with double gauze before so this also brought something new to the project.



Going back to my original Sagebrush top as seen above, there were a few things I wanted to change for my second version:


1. Reduce the sleeve volume

I really liked the feature of the puff sleeves but this seemed to overwhelm me a little, particularly as I had lengthened the sleeves. I also have wide shoulders and felt this exaggerated them.


2. Move the armhole up the shoulder

I originally fitted the front and back yokes so that the shoulder seam ended at the joint with the arm. I have since realised that this is where a fitted sleeve would go, but for a puff sleeve it should be further up the shoulder. I also thought this was another thing exaggerating my wide shoulders. Here is my fitting journey for my original top.


3. Lengthen the sleeve

I aimed for a ¾ sleeve on my first top but found that the elastic caught around my elbow when I bent my arm, so wanted to add just a little more length.


Here’s how I made the adjustments.


1. Reduce the sleeve volume

I did something similar to this post by What Katie Sews, where she hacked the Sagebrush into a dress. I marked 4 vertical lines (indicated by the black arrows) down the sleeve at 6cm intervals, so 3cm either side of the centreline and 6cm from these.


At each of these lines, I overlapped the pattern by 2cm (1cm either side of the line) therefore reducing total volume by 8cm.


I traced this new shape out onto paper, smoothing out the sleeve cap shape. Here is a photo of the new sleeve over the original.


2. Move the armhole up the shoulder

I only adjusted this on the yokes as I was happy with where the armhole sat on the bodice pieces. I marked the point 1.5cm in from the armhole on both the front and back yokes, going to nothing where it meets the bodice, using a curved ruler to make a smooth line indicated by the arrows.


3. Lengthen the sleeve

I added 2cm to the length of the sleeve at the marked lengthen/shorten line (having already lengthened it by 12cm on my original one), drawing a straight line from the cuff to the armhole to smooth out the underarm seam.


As you can see from the finished photos, I shortened the sleeve length in the final garment, and explain why and how below.


Now I was ready to go! I wanted to make use of the double-sided fabric, so used the small checks on the sleeves, yokes and ruffle, leaving the larger checks for the main bodice.


Double gauze frays easily so I tried French seams again. I wanted to reduce bulk when using French seams on the ruffle, so I used the same technique as described in this post.


Having done this, I realised that perhaps French seams might not be the best way forward for the rest of the garment as double gauze is effectively two layers of fabric already, so I overlocked the rest of the seams.


I got as far as the sleeves and tried it on.


The proportions just looked off to me with my wide shoulders. I was going to have to accept that the length of sleeve was making it worse and so I shortened it to the original pattern length. The volume was also exaggerating my wide shoulders so I reduced it by another 8cm in the same way as above (16cm altogether), and recut the sleeves. I thought I’d need to reduce the height of the sleeve cap too but wasn’t sure by how much, so I basted them as is and would assess afterwards.


Here is my pattern piece over the original.


Here is how it looked with the sleeves basted on with chainstitch for easy removal, just inside the seam line.


Too pouffy for me, so I measured about 4cm I could take off the sleeve cap. Here is the new (and final) pattern piece over the original.


When basted in, this was much better, and thank goodness for that because my poor fabric was fraying terribly by this point with all the handling and unpicking. I compared the sleeves with the seam allowance facing towards the bodice (1st photo) or the sleeve (2nd photo) to see whether I liked the amount of volume. Since I’d already taken a lot of the volume out, I preferred the additional puff so pressed the seam allowance towards the sleeve.


And here’s the finished result:


For additional puff on the sleeves, I can pull the elastic up the arm as seen in the photo at the top of the post.


The checked lines aren't straight between the yoke and back, or down the side seams due to my fitting adjustments, but of course I'm very pleased with the horizontal pattern matching :)



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I have no affiliations, I'm just a keen buyer and user. A UK supplier may be linked, please try to source items from your favourite independent stores. Sagebrush Top Friday Pattern Company Atelier Brunette double gauze gingham fabric

What Katie Sews Sagebrush hack

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I'm Kay, and welcome to my blog where I share tales of my sewing journey, complete with mishaps, mistakes and solutions to help make your journey a smoother one.

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