Pattern Review: In the Folds Collins TopJune 9, 2017 / byclaire / Categories : Feeds
I’ve been eyeing In the Folds patterns for a while now. An indie out of Sydney (tehehe that has a nice ring to it), they’re the creators of the Rushcutter and the Acton dresses, as well as a line of free but straight-sized garments for Peppermint Magazine. I’m a fan of the all the paneling that the designer, Emily, loves.
The Collins Top could prove to be a very popular pattern as the weather heats up for summer (at least in the northern hemisphere). With two views and tons of panels, it’s comfy and breezy with lots of visual interest. For my version, I was inspired by @kelerabeus’s striped version on Instagram.
Collins Top, View B, the sleeveless top with an all in one facing.
Size A-K, which corresponds to 30-51.5” bust and 24”-45.5” waist. There’s a generous 7” ease in the bust and 15” in the waist, so the size range is possibly more expansive than it appears.
What size did you make?
Since this is loose-fitting trapeze top, the main fit concern is through the shoulders. I made a muslin of the front and back facings in Sizes E and F for comparison. I liked Size E everywhere but the bust and Size F nowhere but the bust, so Size E was my base, blended to Size F at the full bust.
What are your measurements and height?
37” high bust, 41.5” full bust, 32” waist; 5’11” tall
What adjustments did you make?
I did a cheater FBA, by blending to a Size F at the bust portion of the front pieces and adding 1” to the front and back for extra length (and for being super tall in general). Truthfully, I wasn’t sure how to go about doing a proper FBA on the different panels, at least not without having to merge the front pieces together, alter, then separate them back out.
What fabric did you use?
A white and lavender striped seersucker, definitely synthetic, picked it up at the by-the-pound bins at Michael Levine a few years ago. I am not super in love with the feel of this fabric, but it made a decent test run. It was a bit difficult to match the stripes with the stretchy-crinkly nature of the seersucker.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
The instructions are outstanding! They are clear, thoughtful, and beautiful instructions. In the Folds walks you through all stages of garment prep and construction. The tons of notches made putting the panels together simple. The all in one facing was also really easy- easier than one other method I’ve used! I opted for a combo of bias-bound, french, and pinked seam finishes. Overall, the top came together very quickly and it was a pleasure to use this pattern and instructions.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
A trapeze style that doesn’t have ridiculous tenting from my mega-boobs?! Heck yes! I love this dramatic, architectural silhouette, and it succeeds because all the drama is in those side panels, not front and center.
My cheater-FBA worked reasonably well. There’s a little wrinkling around the front armhole. I should have added even more length in front for my bust and height.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I would make this pattern again. I’d add length to the front and maybe try to fix the bust wrinkles. I envision trying this is a silky fabric and maybe lengthening it into a dress, too! Overall, it’s a win from In the Folds! After my experience trying the Collins top, I’d feel confident trying their other patterns styles, too. I’m looking forward to future panel-bonanza releases.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
Size Range: 4
The size range is pretty expansive and possibly a bit wider than advertised given the ease of the style. It’s drafted for a B-cup; I would have loved having different cup sizes and/or instructions on doing a FBA across the panels.
Construction Process: 5
Fun and headache free!
Final Fit: 4
Good fit through the shoulders with a dramatic silhouette, minus a point for the bust wrinkles and front length described above.
Overall Rating: 4.5
So, would you make a Collins top for yourself? Any advice for doing proper FBA with these panels and fixing the underarm wrinkles?
This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at Curvy Sewing Collective
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I added an inside pocket, and made it as big as I could without interfering with the darts. It’s big enough for a phone.
I stuck a pin through the lining and leather where the tailor’s tack was (the tack was just in the lining), to mark the snap position on the leather. Then I used the washer as a template, and marked the position of the prongs with a pen (making sure it wouldn’t bleed through to the front!).
|Admire that lovely top stitching!|
How much adjustment do you do on a very simple pattern? Do you feel it’s worthwhile to make very small changes to get it just right or perhaps you sew up simple things as is and save your efforts for a special dress or coat.
This simple dress pattern is something that I choose as one of the suggestions for my Sew a Dress class at Hello Stitch in Berkeley. (scheduled again for Sun. July 30 – the first one was great fun. More details at the bottom of this post on all the upcoming classes). As it happens Craftsy asked me to write a longer post outlining all the steps to sew a simple dress, consequently I decided to sew up this pattern and get a lot of things done with one project. Plus I’ve been on a shift dress kick lately. They are such simple and pleasant things to wear. Since it was 107˚F in the SHADE here yesterday I would rather have worn a dress made of ice cubes but since that is not going to happen a shift dress it is.
I have had this fabric in my stash for a good 5 or 6 years. It’s a cotton batik that I bought in Hawaii, quite a large amount (5 yards) and just never found a use for it. Slightly heavy as a lot of batiks are, so not really good for most dresses plus the vertical stripe had me stumped. I think I found the perfect style for it that uses the stripe best. Plus I can wear my stripes navy blue espadrille sandals – double win.
Here’s the pattern envelope, with a sneak peek of a subsequent version of this dress. Which everyone has gone wild for on my Instagram teases, embroidered denim must be the thing this summer. The envelope says D0569 but all the pattern pieces say New Look 6500 so I’m calling it that. I really like New Look patterns, they come up with some super cute dresses and tops, plus they include all sizes in one envelope and cost $ 3.99 all the time.
Onward to my adjustments: I sewed this dress for the Craftsy post, not as a wearable but as a “photograph-able” item, i.e. something that would really show in the step-by-step tutorial but I had no intention of wearing it. It was actually quite a pleasure to just sew up a dress with no changes, I sewed the size 12 and went from there.
Here is the version I sewed for Craftsy, in a quilting cotton that I had in my stash, I think a remainder from a project I did for someone on Etsy ages ago. And I really loathe this color of green so don’t even tell me that you like this dress on me 🙂 Plus for the most part sewing/wearing garments with quilting cotton is a bit NO for me. With some exceptions they always look a bit off: too wrinkly, too juvenile, too unsophisticated to claim my interest.
But I include the photo of me wearing this one to show the neckline fit. That neckline was choking me – I don’t like that high round neckline and when you move your head forward it’s so uncomfortable. Good shoe match thought, right?
Back to the blue and white batik version. Can you see the difference in the neckline? It is so much more comfortable for me in the second version. I wanted to figure out exactly how much to open the neck so I made a version of just the top half of the dress in swedish tracing paper – and every time I use that I remember that is has absolutely no give. While it seems like a good idea because you can sew it – putting it on is not so easy. I did put a zipper so I could actually try it on – which worked in the end but it was kind of shredded. However it was good enough to slice and dice a bit, figuring out how I wanted the final neckline to be shaped.
I cut out the batik version based on my new neckline, and basted it together at the shoulder seams to see if I liked the neckline. It still seemed a bit too high for my preference and also I like the armholes to be more cut in at the shoulder in a sleeveless dress. So instead of cutting more off the edges of the dress I made a one piece facing for front and back, and then used tracing paper to mark a seam line. At the neck I took away a further 5/8″ (total seam allowance now 1.25″) and then on the armholes I think I sewed it at around 7/8″ which makes the armhole a bit bigger all around. You have to be careful that it doesn’t make the armhole too low but this dress had a very tight armhole so there was plenty of room.
On my next version of this dress (the embroidered chambray fabric) I’ll show how I make the one piece facing plus this upcoming version is lined so it incorporates facing and lining together.
The original New Look pattern had separate neck and armhole facings which works ok, not my preference but not as horrible as some make it out to be. But there’s a better way. Another option for these simple summer dresses is bias binding but I wanted to show the traditional or basic type of dress sewing.
But we are not done yet! In fact this adjustment should have come up first in my writing but I only remembered to take this picture a few minutes and include it. The bust dart on this dress is both large and high. I measured it on the pattern piece and could see that it needed to be lower so I did that before I did anything else, just a straightforward shift downward about 3/4″. The bust dart is kind of larger than it would be had there been other darts (vertical waist darts) or other shaping. Trying it on it made the dart a bit too pointy – not my favorite look. So I reduced the width of the dart.
On the tracing paper on the left you can see the faint outline of the original dart, too high. The second placement, lower but too big, and then the final version in the purple dotted line, just right. I sound like Goldilocks don’t I but if you’re going to do adjustments you might as well go all the way until you like the fit.
Back and side view, you can barely see the dart but that is the ideal, at least for me. Since the side seams were not even in length I split the difference at the top of the seam at the armhole and sliced off about 3/8″ off the side back at that point. Worked out fine.
So that’s chapter one on my summer shift dress extravaganza. I have some more complex things in line for my sewing table but not sure what order I will sew them.
Here’s the link to that Craftsy post: The Complete Beginners Guide to Sewing a Dress.
Update on classes at Hello Stitch Studio on Berkeley. The Fit Lab was great – we are going to schedule this class again soon. In July we are repeating Saturday classes for sewing Skirts, Tunic Tops, and a new on starting on Wed 7/26 in the evening is a Button-front shirt class. All these classes are two sessions scheduled a week apart so not a long term time commitment and you will get a project done (or nearly) and learn some new and useful techniques. The Dress class is an all-day one on Sun. 7/30. FYI: I’ve found parking to be surprisingly easy around the studio and it is no more than a 10 minute walk from the Berkeley Bart station so really convenient to get to.
This was yesterday afternoon. Survival mode with an iced coffee. thankfully lots cooler today (ha ha only mid 90’s˚F).
Happy weekend sewing,
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