Saturday, February 28, 2015

Made a joyful Joyful Top from Hot Patterns...

How did Mr. Lizard get in the first pic? Handsome little guy...

I've spent 3 days finding the joy in the Hot Patterns Joyful Top. And I've got it!

A preface: I love Indie pattern makers. So many new ideas and designs. I can spot a Koos or Tilton or Comey from a far distance. But the Indie designers are so much more fun.

Not always easy - their concepts might not match up with their patterns. But I appreciate the concepts. Which leads me into the Hot Patterns Joyful Top. It's a free download from Trudy and Jeremy, right here in Florida (relocated from the UK). With a little plug for a lovely charity, what a great pattern.

I was drawn to the pattern because it's such a fresh look. And I've been searching for new ideas for spring and summer tops.

Love it!

Fabric: Lightweight cotton jersey, Holly Lobby  Shoes: Kork Ease buffalo leather sandals, Sundance

and the back...

I know it's black and hard to see - but here are pics of the front flounce and back gathers...

From concept to reality. When I laid out the pattern, which is a PDF, 32 pages taped together, I could see that things were not what I expected. The back is not 4 or so inches longer than the front. The flounce is not really very long.The back yoke is very narrow, side to side, and very very high on the back. 

I have to take a break here and bend at the waist with an acknowledgement to Emily at Fabric, Thread, Clothes? Her review and post on this top is the only one I've found! There are no pics on the Hot Patterns site of someone wearing this top. Emily's muslin confirmed what I was seeing in the pattern layout. Thank you, Emily!

I made a lot of changes to the pattern, so I've just shown them on a copy of the pattern layout.

Edited to add a tip: just remembered! when you tape the pattern together, just butt the paper edges to one another. They aren't meant to overlap. You have to 'imagine' the lines flowing across the edges. I found this tip on the Hot Patterns Facebook page...after pulling out my hair and reprinting the pattern a few hundred times.

 Such a cute top.

Other sewing notes:
  • I sewed the size 12.
  • My neckline is finished with a binding, rather than a narrow hem. 
  • And I added sleeves. My right upper arm is bandaged, elbow to shoulder, due to my scleroderma, for 8 months now. Which is why you see so many garments with sleeves lately on my blog. I wear sleeveless around the house, but enjoy having things I can wear outside without a cardi! I used the sleeve from the Dixie DIY Ballet Dress, which worked really well. My change to the top pattern was a simple 1/2" extension of the outside shoulder with a little redrafting of the armscye.

So - I love my top. I'm sewing a white one tomorrow. I did put a lot of time into redrafting the pattern, but I enjoy this part of sewing. 

If you make one, you might consider widening and dropping the back yoke. And narrowing the flounce. I don't think this pattern would work well in woven cottons, but lightweight knit and chiffon, voile, mesh knits...yes.

Parting shot. The Easter bunny came by. Hope he comes back.

Ciao! Coco


  1. I really like your version. I've downloaded the pattern/printed, but haven't taped yet. If/when I make it, I will deepen the yoke as you have done. Thanks for sharing all the details!

  2. Thank you for sharing. I have downloaded this pattern too. I'm hoping mine will come out as great. Thanks for the tips too.

  3. Fabulous top. Love the "frill".

  4. Oh, yes, yes, yes! I want this now- I want to be joyful!

  5. Thanks for your detailed review. You look great in it; it's been definitely worth all of your efforts to get a good fit. I've got it printed out but not taped yet. 'Free' is a good way to try out a new-to-me pattern company!

  6. Thanks for your detailed review. You look great in it; it's been definitely worth all of your efforts to get a good fit. I've got it printed out but not taped yet. 'Free' is a good way to try out a new-to-me pattern company!

  7. I am always grateful for those who go before me! Thanks for the tips-your blouse is very flattering. I love the art in your house!!

  8. Thanks so much for this great review. Terrific top!

  9. You did a great job with this top! Your illustration of changes made is very helpful. I like the addition of the sleeves!

  10. Very nice! Thank you for pointing out the changes that you made. I plan on making this one, and this really helps!

  11. Thank you for this detailed review. The items you mentioned in your review are things I struggled with. I asked Trudy how to solve them but I think I asked for too much help. :)

  12. Your top turned out great! I plan to make it this summer; thanks for all the tips.

  13. So glad about your comments on the yoke! I graded the pattern up and lowered the bust, and, while my muslin fits, I thought I must have done SOMETHING wrong because the yoke was so narrow and short! Thanks to you, I know now that (a) it's supposed to be that way and (b) I can change it if it bothers me! Your top looks absolutely lovely on you, and now I have hope that mine (in a deep warm pink rayon) will work for me, too. By the way, I left off the overlay and replaced it with a vertical circular flounce going all the way down the front seam and (perhaps) around the right front neckline. I'm, shall we say, well-endowed and I thought the overlay looked like I was wearing a bib.


I love it that you came by...and thank you for your comments! Coco