Monday, January 27, 2020

Wiksten Top: Where I'm At

Hello! To start, I'm confused by this pattern's name, and after looking at several hashtags, I don't think I'm the only one. Is it "Wiksten Top" or "Wiksten Shift Top"? I'm guessing the former over the latter since "shift top" doesn't really make sense, and there's also a shift dress included. But then what do you call the longer dress? Is that also a shift? For the purposes of this blog post, let's just agree on  "Wiksten Top."

So I received this pattern from Beej for Christmas—heavy hinting was involved—and I knew immediately that I would use some pretty linen from Blackbird Fabrics for this simple shape. This pattern LOVES linen, and I love sewing with win win. 

I've heard a few folks suggest that this pattern might be a bit overrated. Maybe...hard to say. I love simple tops and simple sewing in general. Sometimes proportions can be masterfully subtle, too, and that's where I think this pattern works for a lot of people. On the other hand, I imagine that there are a lot of similar patterns out there that do not cost $25. It would also be pretty easy to hack from a similar pattern, and there's a FREE pattern that's quite similar: the Tessuti Athena Top. But, you know, I enjoyed the luxury of a really lovely printed pattern and have been curious after seeing so many pretty plus-size versions out there.

Speaking of pretty plus-size versions...    :)

Verdict: I like it! So much that I made another version in black striped linen. It's a little art teacher chic, but that's a look that I like—especially as I get older. 

I like that it transitions well for spring and summer, fits in well with the rest of my wardrobe, and works so well with my favorite woven fabric. I don't know if I'll make the other versions since I'm not a big dress wearer, but I do have a couple of weddings to go to this year, so maybe...

Here are the deets:

  • Size 18. My bust put me in a size 20, but I could tell that there would be lots of ease. I definitely recommend sizing down.
  • For the blue version, I didn't touch the drop shoulder and, instead, hemmed the sleeve 2.5 inches. It made the sleeve more of a cuff. For the black stripe version, I shortened the drop sleeve one half inch and hemmed the sleeve 1.5 inches, which is what I prefer. I think I will shorten the drop another half inch next time. 
  • Seam allowances are 3/8 for most of the construction. Except that you sew the sleeve on at 3/4 inch and then trim down to a 3/8 SA. I have no idea why you wouldn't just sew it at 3/8 like the rest of the garment. Would be interesting to know why that was. 
  • There is a misprint on the yoke pattern piece: It says that the yoke is for the shift and top, but the top doesn't have a yoke. I figured this out by looking at the pictures and instructions; however, I would have been annoyed if I had needlessly cut a yoke. 
  • I'm proud that I took the few extra minutes to make sure my pocket stripes matched. Alas, I did not have enough fabric to do that with the front and back. 
So those are my takeaways from a pattern that I've been wanting to try for a while. Lately, I've been so into learning about quilting that I don't really feel like working on complicated garments, and I've been really into wearing loose shift tops—oh, hey, I guess it is a shift top!

Thanks so much for reading and have a great week!

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