Sabalito Top by Itch to Stitch

It’s a new year and I have a new top to share that I tested*. The Sabalito Top (**affiliate link) is the first thing I have sewn in about 4 months which was a great way to get inspired again to sit at my machine. It’s a relaxed fit, dolman sleeve top with a v-neck front wrap and nice front knot detail. It’s a great pattern that comes in a number of cup sizes and also a large size range. It is marketed as a beginner + level which I agree with but I did scratch my head a bit when attaching the bottom bands to the bodice only because I think I was out of practice, but as always the instructions are great and very detailed with lots of pictorials.









The top requires woven fabric, obviously lightweight fabric will have more drape however I made mine with a Printed cotton linen tobacco with small white spots (85% cotton/15% linen) which is a bit sturdier and so has a more structured appearance. The v is quite deep but can be tacked into place but I haven’t done that with mine yet as I’m happy to wear it with a top underneath.

There is a back centre seam, perfect if you require some adjustments and although I would normally do a sway back I didn’t in this top as it is quite forgiving.

My only concern with this top is not a pattern issue but the fact that it is an orphan top and I don’t really have anything to pair it with. I have bought some white denim with the intention to make the Itch to Stitch Danube Skirt.

It’s quite a versatile top and I ended up sewing a size 10 with the B cup after making my muslin in a size 12 which I think was the right choice in the end as I feel it now has just the right amount of ease. This would be easy to hack by adding flounces to the sleeves or instead of the bottom band for a different look.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to Itch to Stitch Patterns

Sequoia Cargo Pants by Itch to Stitch

Cargo pants are a really versatile wardrobe staple. They can be worn casual with thongs or sneakers or worn dressy with heels and classy flats.

I tested* the Sequoia Cargo Pants (**aff. link) by Itch to Stitch because I was lacking a pair in my wardrobe and judging by my Pinterest board I was needing some. My initial inspiration was to make some khaki ones but the right fabric was no where to be found. I first made a muslin using some khaki polyester/cotton fabric just to check fit so didn’t really finish them beyond basic construction, although I did only baste them together, so taking them apart shouldn’t be a long process.

My final pair were made using navy drill (100% cotton) and navy knit for the waistband. The pattern comes in multiple sizes (00-20), ability to print in layers a number of features for a professional finish. They have a functional fly front zipper, front and back patch pockets and a long pants or shorts options. I opted for the pants version which also has side cargo pants pockets and a leg strap to roll them up if preferred (which I omitted).

I ended up going down a size from my muslin stage and otherwise construction went together well. These have all the traditional features of Cargo Pants and the ribbed waistband make them extra comfortable. I couldn’t find the hardware/snaps to add to my pockets after visiting three fabric stores so left them off. The instructions for the zipper fly are very good if you haven’t done one before they can be somewhat intimidating.

Considering there are so many fiddly bits with the pockets and front fly, construction is relatively simple and fast if you are sequential and organised when sewing these up. The main disruption while sewing these I think is the pressing between sewing mostly due to the pockets.


I have worn mine quite a few times since making these and they are baggier than when I first made them so I think next time I may go down one size for personal preference. I have so many versions of these in my head that I want to make and I actually do plan on finishing off my muslin pair once I’ve seam ripped them apart. It also may be slightly visible if you look closely at my pockets, that I used white serger thread, ooops!!

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**This post contains affiliate links to Itch To Stitch

Two Vienna Tanks by Itch to Stitch Patterns

So my pattern testing journey continues with Itch to Stitch Patterns. This time I tested the Vienna tank* (**), a summer essential. I’m all for versatile patterns and this is another one.

The Vienna tank combines both woven fabric for the yoke, ties and optional ruffles, and knit for the main body. A great opportunity to mix and match fabrics that might otherwise be orphans in the stash. Mind you, the bodice can also be made with woven fabric but throw caution to the wind and perhaps make a muslin first. This PDF pattern comes with the layers option.

I made my crimson version 1 during the pattern testing period. I upcycled an unworn dress (100% viscose) for the main bodice and the remainder made from zig zag printer rayon #1 (100% rayon). The armholes are stabilised with fusible stay tape and helps them to keep their shape.


I went with view B, no ruffles. I used the existing hem of the dress for the hem of the top so just removed the hem allowance when cutting it out. Overall the fit was good, I just think my knit fabric was a bit thin and very drapey.

Vienna tank front 2 Vienna tank back                     Vienna tank side 3

Version 2 was made using the final released pattern. For the knit bodice I used some green viscose/spandex (unknown exact composition) and emerald premium faille (100% polyester) for the remainder. I made view A this time. My ruffles didn’t turn out as neat and even as I would have liked, I probably should have taken more care with basting, but sometimes I get a bit eager to finish. The fit feels good on this one. This version is slightly longer and I believe from memory the final pattern was lengthened.

Vienna back                                Vienna side back Vienna side

More summer sewing complete, pity it’s still in the throws of winter!!

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing, all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

**Affiliate link: I get a small bonus if you purchase through here.

Two Lisbon Cardigans by Itch to Stitch

Just to continue my pattern testing run, I did two back to back tests* for Kennis from Itch to Stitch**, the Lisbon Cardigan** and the Sirena dress. I’ll save the second for another post. Geez I’m so behind on posting, time to catch up!!

As I’m trying to tick off my 2016 winter SWAP, it’s clearly becoming evident that Itch to Stitch patterns are featuring heavily in the line up. The Lisbon cardigan** is a wardrobe staple and with a few changes can be worn all year ’round.

The Lisbon cardigan** comes with a 3/4 and long sleeve and a cropped or hip length bodice with button up front. I originally tested the long sleeve and longer length using some grey marle jacquard knit collection #1 (96% polyester/ 4% spandex). The knit is quite thin with not really great recovery but still turned out OK. I only added 5 instead of the 7 buttons because I couldn’t find another button card of the ones I picked, at the store. It’s not a real issue though because I probably won’t wear it buttoned closed, or maybe just the top button closed anyway.

Lisbon Cardigan front Lisbon Cardigan back                              Lisbon Cardigan side

My second version was particularly to cross off one of my winter SWAP 2016 items and is more of a pattern hack. This one is made from red double knit deluxe ponte (87% polyester/ 9% rayon/ 4% spandex) . I lengthened the Lisbon front, back and front band pieces by 25cm to achieve the length I was after for a “grandpa length” cardi. After some internal head debate, I decided to omit the buttons and add patch pockets. These measured 17cm x 23cm. I interfaced the top 4 cm short end and had enough for a 1cm seam allowance on the other 3 sides.

I really love this one and have worn it a tonne since I have made it, with lots of compliments too.

         Lisbon red side 2               Lisbon red side 1 Lisbon red front Lisbon red back

I usually only post the garments once I’ve tested the final pattern but the Lisbon didn’t have fit changes but the length of the 3/4 sleeve was shortened. The cardigan is actually really quick to sew up and as always the instructions are very detailed with great pictorials and of course the layered print feature is great.

I foresee lots of these cardigans in my future.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing, all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

 **Affiliate link: I get a referral fee if you click 🙂

White Salamanca Cropped Jacket by Itch To Stitch

Just like I have favourite “Big 4” patterns that fit perfectly, I have some favourite independent designers whose patterns and instructions are always a success for me. Itch to Stitch is one such designer, so when testing calls go out for Kennis’ patterns I always apply. She had four patterns go into testing at once and I went with the Salamanca Cropped Jacket*.

I had it in my head that I wanted a white leather jacket and in fact it turned out better than I expected. I used faux ivory leatherette (60% PU/ 40% poly) and multi ivory printed rayon folkloric (100% rayon) for the lining. I made things difficult by using this fabric as there are no second chances if you sew a seam wrong. Probably not ideal for a tester version but my faith in Kennis’ instructions proved correct. I do have some minor puckers in the yoke but not highly visible, probably not worth mentioning at all really.

Salamanca skirt side Salamanca skirt side 2                          Salamanca skirt back

It’s not a difficult sew by any means, but it is a bit fiddly and requires concentration to ensure you are lining up the correct notches and turning the fabric the correct way. You may have noticed my jacket is without buttons but finding suitable ones has proved difficult and I’m a bit afraid, well a lot afraid, of making buttonholes in this fabric and not liking the end result if my buttons are duds. It sits good just the way it is for now.

Slamanca front Salamanca lining

The Salamanca isn’t a ridiculously cropped jacket, it sits at a nice level, and has some nice details, such as the pleats at the front and gathered raglan sleeves. I love how it is completely lined and provides different pattern pieces for A to DD cup and of course the layers print option.

Salamnca pants front                     Salamanca pants sideSalamanca pants back

Fabric choice will dictate the style/look of the jacket from a work wardrobe staple, party jacket or spring/autumn second layer.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

Back to Basics with the Irena Knit Top from Itch to Stitch

I’m so desperately requiring basic wardrobe pieces at the moment. The Irena Knit Top by Itch to Stitch however is a bit more than basic due to a nice V-neck, sleeve and hem bands.

It is another installment of pattern testing* for Itch to Stitch, the first was the Mila Tunic Shirt.  As seems to be the case with Kennis’ designs, the process is flawless from start to finish, from printing the pattern, to ironing the last seam. The neckband is cleverly designed to lay nice and flat around the neckline.

I used black performance cotton lycra (96% cotton/ 10% elastane) for my first version. It’s pretty basic colour for the first go and I have to say I really like the fit. The sleeve and top length are perfect for me. I used a straight stitch for most of the construction except for when attaching the sleeve cuffs and hem band, where I used a narrow zig zag to allow for stretch. All internal seams were serged for a nice clean finish.

irena black front 2

                         irena black front  irena black back

I included a lightened hanger photo so you can see the neckline detail as black is so hard to photograph.

Irena top hanger

My second iteration was made after the following pattern alterations were made such that the v-neck is lower, shoulders slightly narrowed and bust, waist and hip are 1 inch wider in the circumference. So it’s the final look as it will be when purchasing the pattern from her store. Dependent on fabric type it can either be more fitted, or loser, as with my stripe version to be more a sweater type top.

irena stripe front

                            irena stripe side  irena stripe back

This version is made from deluxe black/white ponte stripe (65% rayon/32%nylon/3% elastane) with no alterations. And cut such that the sleeve and hem band stripes are in the opposite direction to the body of the top. I made sure my fabric stretched in both directions when purchasing so I could accomplish this look.

The top has quite a low V and may need a modesty top worn underneath, that’s how I roll anyway. They are great transition pieces and can be worn with a shirt underneath for layering.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.

Mila Tunic Shirt by Itch To Stitch

Itch to Stitch is a fairly new indie pattern designer, a one woman show. She has a fast pattern output, for sure, and offers great wardrobe building patterns.

I have been fortunate enough to test a few of Kennis’ patterns now, with blog posts to follow, and I offered to test* the Mila shirt as the design is similar to one of my most worn/favourite knit tops. The Mila is for woven fabric and designed to be more of a tunic length. You can go for a collar with band or a mandarin collar and add the optional sleeve tabs. The shirt has a hi-lo shirt tail hem, front placket and one breast pocket. It was also chosen as part of the Indiesew Winter Collection 2016.

I chose this charcoal premium faille (100% polyester) for my first tester version as I felt the drape of the fabric would be well suited however there is no where to hide with imprecise stitching and this fabric was not the easiest to sew. This top is drafted with a fair amount of ease and I went down a size to what I was originally planning to make and could possibly go down another two. There are seperate pattern pieces for A-DD bust size and the pattern itself goes up to size 20.

The instructions are extremely detailed and well laid out and construction of the top is such that the only raw seams are the sleeve and side seams although I chose to use french seams to keep my insides nice and tidy, mainly because I knew I would wear the sleeves rolled up. Although this version is extremely roomy, I seem to get away with it because the fabric drapes so well.

I originally made the version without the collar and tried it on but I just didn’t feel it was working for me in this colour. I ended up removing my collar band and cutting a collar and finished it up. I feel it is more my style now and I enjoyed sewing up this top, using techniques I haven’t used in a while.

grey side             grey back 2grey side 3

There were a few changes to the original pattern such as the front yoke seam was moved further down, sleeves shortened, shoulders narrowed, sleeve cuff narrower, collar refined, waist narrowed and altered centre back pleat.grey layered side 2

For this reason I decided to make a second tester version with the included changes, but this time with a friendlier fabric. I used white rayon (100% rayon). Everyone needs a white shirt or three and I don’t have any at the moment, well now this is finished I have one.

I decided to go all out this time, making both the collar, with the sleeve tabs and the pocket. I ended up making the same cup size as the first version but graded between sizes for waist and hips, and went down 2 sizes in the end. The fit feels much better on this one.

white rolled front           white rolled sidewhite rolled back

This pattern is essentially a perfect tunic pattern that is both classy and comfortable. Seeing this has helped me identify an essential missing wardrobe piece, some straight leg black pants.

white layered side

I’m sure I will get a tonne of wear from these over the next few months and are great layering pieces as well as warmer weather tops as the sleeves can be rolled up.

Stay tuned for more Itch to Stitch Blog Posts of the latest releases.

*The pattern was provided to me free of charge for testing but all opinions expressed are my own and I received a copy of the finalised pattern for taking part.