Finished Object: “Merino Kimono” Wrap Top

Remember my obsessive crush on Advance 7701?  And how Jane lent me her copy?  And how I made it up in a vintage-inappropriate cotton knit and vowed to make another in merino for winter wear?

I did it.  The Sew Weekly challenge this week was “Down Under” (reverse seasons).  I thought since the fabric came from New Zealand (a gift from Leimomi when she visited, no less!) and it’s summer here, I went ahead and made my winter merino version.  This fabric is incredible.  It’s smooth and softer than soft against my skin.  And, ever thoughtful and detail-oriented, Leimomi chose a perfect shade of teal.

If you’d like to read the brief rundown on the project, check out my post on Sew Weekly.

Over the past few months, I devoted quite some time to learning to put patterns online.  That’s part of what the Blank Canvas Tee was for.  The patterns aren’t as flashy and professional looking as I’d like, but I think I have the basic idea down.  I consider this a big milestone in my own sewing, because I tend to work with hard-to-find or completely made up patterns.  Then I share what I did and- well- I always felt a little guilty for going on and on about patterns no one else can find.

With this top, I have adapted the pattern for modern sewing techniques and fabrics (like this perfect knit).  I think the pattern will be “perfect” after one more tweak.  For the merino top, I eliminated the horizontal bust dart.  It’s not a big deal on this top, but in the future I will put it back.   I think if I created some gentle “easing” type shaping instead of the dart, it would be just the ticket.

My point is, have you seen Craftsy’s new independent pattern section?  It’s amazing, and I’m really excited to watch how it will work.  And I want in!  The Blank Canvas Tee and hacks will always be available for free.   However, if I start putting some of my favorite self-made patterns on Craftsy for sale then perhaps I can help pay the rent.  Maybe I could eventually afford some red Astorias!

The back of the short sleeved cotton version. Both sleeve lengths would be included in my craftsy pattern.

I like this pattern a LOT, not the least because it’s an unexpected cut, very comfortable and takes about an hour to sew.  I know this one will hardly leave my back come winter- in fact I have plans to make several once cold weather hits (and when I can afford a little more merino… it’s my new fabric crack…).

If I didn’t attach the ties and left it open, it would look like one of those drapey open-front cardigans everyone is wearing…

What do you think?  If I put this pattern up on Craftsy, my own modern translation of the cut and with full instructions, would you be interested?  Are there any of my other self-made or “translated” patterns you’d love to see available on Craftsy?



  1. Oh, I’m so glad you posted more about this! I am totally in love with this shirt. I just want to rave on and on about how amazing the colour looks on you, but I don’t quite know how to do it without sounding self congratulatory. ;-)

    And the cut is so fantastic – it’s really a perfect ‘Steph’ garment. I want to buy more merino just so I can see you make this up again. How much fabric does it take?

    My relationship with wrap tops is fraught and unhappy, but if you posted this as a pattern I would totally make it up as a drapey-front cardigan. I love drapey front cardigans.

    I’d also love to see you make up Advance 7727 as a non-knit garment. I’m intrigued by the idea of how it would work in non-stretch.

  2. I am in love with that top. I’d like to say ‘that is all’ but I must, must say I would buy your pattern! Dreamstress you should be congratulated for the colour choice and Steph – love your styling.

    • Mmmm yummy animal prints… I always admire them on other people, but I think there’s something in my personality that prevents me from “pulling them off” if you know what I mean…

  3. ooohhh…I love this and such a rich blue colour as well!!! YAY! And you should totally go for the craftsy drafting thing too!

  4. that merino knit must be so soft! I’d love to try some one day (I use it all the time in knitting, but have never tried in sewing).These new developments at Craftsy are really interesting, we’ll have to keep looking at what they propose.

  5. Ah I have some drapey cardigans (made from Simpliciy 2603) I would like to make into tops, so I would be very interested about where the ties go.

  6. That’s so spooky, I was dreaming about this top last night! It’s another success! Like you, I really like the unexpected cut, especially the centre back seam. My version is beckoning. x

    • Ahaha. I got so excited when I read about the drafting teaching, I couldn’t wait to post about it… I do get rather exuberant sometimes. ;)

      And really, really, paying bills is a huge motivator…

  7. Nicely done! This is a really lovely top and I love the bracelet length sleeves. Interesting that the shape is like that of an open front cardigan I already own – I’ll have to experiment with tying it. Any clues as to where we can find some lovely merino crack fabric?

    • I’m sorry, I don’t know where to find it online… I used to get friends to bring it to me from New Zealand, and now there’s a store here. Next time I’m in The Fabric Store, I’ll ask about if they ever plan to put their fabrics online… And maybe I can pick up a piece or two as a favor…?

      • Sure, I’d be very curious! I found some at Tessuti for $59/meter, however I’m not sure if that is a typical price point? Right now the exchange rate stinks for us but I doubt I’d find merino knit in the US…

  8. Love this top, very pretty and so easy to wear. I’d definitely wear this style in a heartbeat. How very cool about the independent patterns on Craftsy, a nice idea for folks who want to sell patterns but not have to go through the rigamarole on their own site/blog.

    • Rigamorale indeed. There’s so much to learn about EVERYTHING like that, so I hope the craftsy pattern site ends up working well..

  9. I’ve been in love with that top since you first posted about it and would buy your pattern in a heartbeat. I’d make it up in a nice burgundy or cherry-red knit. The teal merino is gorgeous, though!

  10. The Dreamstress did very well on her color choice!! It looks amazing on you.
    And that Craftsy thing sounds awesome – I would lovvvve to see you on Craftsy!!

  11. Oooo gorgeous! That colour is fantastic on you, too! I’ve just discovered how amazing merino is and am afraid to start sewing with it because NOTHING WILL DO afterward. You are a brave woman.

    I’ve never heard of craftsy, but I like the idea. I’d like to say that I’d buy a copy of your pattern (because oh my world I’d love to), but I cut up my credit card a few months ago to prevent any more instant online spending. Student debt and all that. =/ Someday I’ll be the adult of my childhood dreams and buy whatever I want, but for now I have to be a realistic boring adult and smarten up.

    Still, my birthday is coming up… :D Maybe it’s time to start compiling a list of wants! Hurry up and get this online!! LOL!

    • Well– no. Probably nothing will do after. I did find some linen-merino jersey at The Fabric Store the other day, and a Tencel-merino blend. I’ll be all over that when I get a chance…

      Good for you, cutting up the card! We (husband and myself) haven’t ever had one. I got burned when I was the ripe old age of 18 and had them sent to me by the dozens (literally). Luckily, I didn’t do *too* much damage… Since then, I just don’t go there.

      Yes! I’m working on it now! (Well, more accurately, I’m taking a short break from it because my brain is going all tired and so forth… )

  12. The top is fab in every way – now I know you are as addicted to NZ merino as I am! I will think of you when am next heading in to buy some!

    What doing something really good and getting paid for it. Sounds perfect.

  13. Oh, I really hope you can get enough patterns sold to get some Astorias! I have to admit, though, that for a top like this I’m more likely to try and come up with my own pattern. But if you put up more complicated patterns, I’d be all over it. Best of luck to you with Craftsy!

  14. That looks really nice, comfy cozie; reminds me of wearing Alpaca. As I am a wool fanatic I have seen a few places on ETSY that you can buy merino wool by the yard. I would buy the pattern in a heartbeat; I like the ease of having a wrap.

    Tell me which did you find easier using a knit fabric or non for this style top? I went and looked and could see wearing it in red; just about any color really.

    I think you would be great on Craftsy, you have such a way of explaining things even for us novices. They would be smart to hire you.

  15. Pingback: Finished Object: Hemp Hurricane Skirt (And Flash Pattern Giveaway) « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  16. This top is definitely a winner! The beautiful fabric doesn’t hurt, either. I’d love to see a woven version – how much would the pattern change?

    • Quite a bit in terms of finishing techniques, construction, and the addition of darts… Knits are waaay easier to make patterns for.. I’ll try something woven next, but not this pattern. Maybe a pretty blouse for the 1912 sewing storms. :)

  17. I love that top! It looks so versatile, and I especially like how you can leave the front open too! Knowing me though, I’d start wearing it with the front open, get annoyed halfway through the day and tie it up – I’m not very good at committing to outfits!

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