Sweet-and-sour May tops and bottoms

Today I have a sour story about a fabric fail and a sweet story about a birthday gift. Continuing with my “Spring In Isolation” module plans, I started working on the Sew Liberated Esme top. I had planned to do her Aida top, using some coral gingham double-gauze I purchased last year on Black Friday from La Mercerie.


I’ve pulled out this piece of fabric 20 times and looked for patterns that would work with it. I ran across the Aida top when Sew Liberated patterns were (I think) 35% off and snagged it. But I had second thoughts about this pattern for this fabric even the day I went to print it out. I looked at the Sew Liberated site again and the Esme top really jumped out at me.

Esme Top PDF Sewing Pattern — Sew Liberated

Esme top from Sew Liberated site

The Esme has a yoke in front, and my fabric was double-sided, so the yoke could be a contrast color. It also had tiny buttons in front and I have a lot of tiny buttons I’m always looking for a way to use. So I purchased the Esme and got started.

Sadly, the project went downhill from there. Firstly, I didn’t even glance at the cutting layout. So, of course, I should not have been surprised when AGAIN I ran out of fabric for the second sleeve. This is probably my fifth project where this has happened. From now on, I’m always cutting the sleeves first!


You can see from my face I was not happy with how this top was shaping up on me. No fault of Sew Liberated. I really loved their video tutorial that came with the pattern — it was super helpful. It’s just this gingham gauze. Not my style!

But back to the sleeve: I sewed the left sleeve together with the tiny amount of scraps I had left. I call it a “Frankensleeve”. Hopefully I will not need to use the term in future.

frankensleeve (1)

Surprisingly, the Frankensleeve is not very noticeable. With a busy print, you could probably do this intentionally to save fabric!

So the top was nearly done and I thought I would just finish it, but I didn’t want to. My subconscious sabotaged the rest by sewing the cuffs completely wrong. That’s when I threw it in the scrap bin. We’ll meet again with a different fabric Esme top!

That was the sour. The sweet thing I worked on last week was a top for my mom for her birthday. Mom, if you’re reading this, overt your eyes!  Actually, I have obscured the image, though, in case temptation is just too great.


I had meant it to have long sleeves — and this time I planned and cut two whole sleeves. However, I miscalculated the stripe and it was in the wrong direction! I sewed it up but just didn’t like the look, so I cut the sleeves off and turned them sideways, making an elbow-length sleeve. I liked it a lot better and it will work for summer.

I made my first semi-successful pair of Megan Nielsen Acacia underwear (free pattern!) out of the scraps. Mom, I was going to send these with your present too but thought it would be weird. I also didn’t have any elastic and so used some stretchy ruffle trim and then just folded over the legs. Not sure I’ll wear these much but they’re cute to look at. And who else has sweater underwear?


My husband took the package to the post office this afternoon but came home with the package unsent. He said he could see from the outside the place was packed with people not wearing masks and not social distancing, and there were even more people lined up around the corner! We’ll try again very early tomorrow morning.

This week, I’m going off-script from my module plans on my fabric selection, but I’ll still be doing a top. I’ve got my heart set on learning to do a button-up shirt with a crisp collar. I’ve selected the Alex Shirt from the Sew Over It: City Break eBook. I’m pretty sure I could sew nothing but patterns from the two Sew Over It eBooks for the rest of the year and I’d be perfectly happy. -rp