Paisley Shirt by Millicent Joy Patterns

If you have never heard of Millicent Joy Patterns before, you can be excused because I hadn’t either. This is a new pattern company that I was lucky enough to test* their newest design, the Paisley shirt, which is one of the new spring patterns. I have saved many Pinterest images of tops like this made from striped fabric and thought it would be a great opportunity to use up this fabric that has been sitting in my stash since I’m not sure when because I don’t have any record of what it is and when I purchased it. It feels like a cotton but has a bit of horizontal stretch.


I made a pattern size 5 in the full length top with the half length gathered sleeve. The thing I was most impressed with during testing was the instructions. I found them really clear, full of information, and the layout was really nice. You can tell lots of work has gone into creating these. There is information on pattern alterations, a “cheat sheet” page, pro tips throughout and elastic cutting guides both at the beginning of the instructions but also when required during construction. This is also a layered pattern.

I always feel a bit skeptical with off the shoulder tops because I don’t know if after a days wear they are really practical. I found this one quite good, maybe it was the thicker elastic neckline that made it more stable, I’m not sure.

This is a quick top to make, the casings take the longest and even that’s not time consuming. The alternate view is a crop top which is not at all my style, and the pattern also has a longer sleeve and either sleeve length can be left without gathers.

I feel this is a bit of an orphan top though, I’m not quite sure how to style it. I possibly need to invest, or sew, some bottoms that will match. And so the sewing list continues to grow ūüôā

*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.