achievement unlocked: pink brontë top

some readers may recall that i made this pattern twice before in the long-sleeved version while on the hunt for a go-to thermal layering shirt. the results were far from ideal. to wit:


yep, this shirt has it all: a rippling neckband, hideous topstitching, & best of all, it’s one thousand sizes too big.

but for some reason, i wasn’t ready to give up on it. i decided to try again in a three-quarter sleeve style using some slightly more stable hot pink baby rib knit:


hey! this is a lot better! (that line you see cutting across my bust is a seam on my bra, nothing to do with the shirt.) i think i could still tweak the size & length of both hem & sleeves a little bit, but this is much better in both fit & execution than my first two attempts.

the thing is…you know how many sizes i went down to get this look? not one, not two, or even five. i went down EIGHT sizes in the shoulders. EIGHT. when i told jared this, he said he didn’t even think men’s shirts come in eight different sizes, haha.

in the interest of sharing the sewing love/knowledge, i don’t mind disclosing my measurements here. high bust: 36, full bust: 42, waist: 36, hips: 44.

the first time around, i cut a straight size 20. the pattern measurements for that size are bust: 45, waist: 38, hip: 49. (at the time my waist measurement was 40″ & my bust measurement was 45″. i’ve lost kind of a lot of weight in the last few months because i keep getting pneumonia & various lung infections & whatnot.) despite the fact that my measurements were pretty spot on for the supposed size, the shirt was like a circus tent on me. note that all the sample photos provided by the designer show a very fitted shirt.

the worst fit was around my shoulders. it was just enormous there, hence the neckband problems, & since the entire point of the shirt is the lapped neckline, the fit there is pretty important. i decided to take a chance on cutting the shoulders/neck according to my high bust & doing a cheater FBA around the bust apex, which is about halfway down the armscye in this design. this necessitated grading the sleeve curve as well, but it was all pretty easy. i cut a 12 in the shoulders & graded out to an 18 at the hem.

yeah, from a 20 my first time around to a 12!


i also staystitched the back neckline & stabilized the front neckline with clear elastic. there’s nothing in the directions about stabilizing these areas in any way, but after all my rippling issues last time, i decided to be safe rather than sorry. also, when the instructions say to stretch the neckband GENTLY in order to fit it around the neckline, they mean GENTLY. a light touch & stabilizing = a ripple-free neckline. the shoulders on this shirt fit neatly over the front bodice & i secured them with a couple of navy blue buttons.


i know people have maligned this pattern for looking like a baby onesie, but i like it. the square neckline is admittedly kind of weird on someone as busty as me, but i like the way it frames my chest tattoos. this baby rib knit is light & cool to the touch, but perfectly opaque. the three-quarter sleeves make this probably more of a spring/fall transition piece than a summer workhorse, but that’s okay. i’m planning to sew another with short sleeves in black to wear into the ground when it’s hot out.

i’m realizing that i am blogging/wearing a lot of indie patterns lately. i’m not sure why this is. i guess most of my big 4 pattern stash is dresses, & although i have several on the sewing docket, i’ve been focusing more on basic separates lately. & the reality is that the more limited selection available in indie patterns makes it a little easier to choose one when you’re just looking for a basic shirt or something. but by all means, if anyone reading this has a hot tip on a big 4 pattern for knit shirts, shorts, or jeans, let me know!

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

5 thoughts on “achievement unlocked: pink brontë top

  1. I’m not super sure how I got unsubscribed, but I spent a nice chunk of time catching up on your blog, which was so lovely. Your face in the first picture made me laugh coffee through my nose. So, thanks for that.

    1. i was trying to do a real life version of this emoticon: D:

      i wear that shirt all the time when it’s cool outside, but it is ten million sizes too big. no getting around it.

  2. I didn’t get unsubscribed, I just only spend one day a month reading/commenting on blogs. :p

    The detail of that shirt is definitely giving me a onesie vibe, but it doesn’t look like one at all in the photos where you’re actually wearing it. Maybe because most babies don’t have boobs? Either way, it came out great!

    1. thanks! i actually don’t love the fit around the waist area, but i like the shoulder detail, controversial though it may be.

      i read blogs everyday but rarely comment. & i only reply to comments on my own blog once a week. i was getting lots of regular comments when ramona was a newborn & i had to set a schedule so i wouldn’t get overwhelmed.

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