Not that long ago Style Arc had a sale in their Etsy shop so I bought a couple of patterns. First up is the Sian Combo Top. A quick search reveals very few (like 3) reviews and/or images of this top. But two out of the three reviews were quite positive and the third simply felt like it wasn’t right for her.
I was drawn to this pattern as I am constantly on the lookout for tops in simple shapes where great fabric can be showcased so that multiple versions do not look too similar. And of course, offer the opportunity for colour and/or fabric blocking. Style Arc describes it as;
This great wardrobe staple features a flattering dropped shoulder and a comfortable silhouette. Create your own style using different textures or colours; knit or woven fabric. The combinations are endless. Optional contrast side panels.
So here’s my version.
I made a size 18 with no alterations in a scrap of cheap rayon and some very gorgeous Japanese spun cotton. A quick internet search reveals not much but according to Ask.com, spun cotton is;
Ring-spun cotton are cotton fiber strands that are continually twisted and thinned until a fine rope of cotton fibers remains. This process makes the short hairs of cotton stand out from the rope, which makes it stronger and softer as a result.
I presume that ring-spun and just spun are the same but if anyone can shed any more light on this, I’d appreciate it.
This fabric feels divine. Because it is spun it is very soft and very light and this version has a slight sheen but not enough to call it shiney. Unfortunately, it seems to be intended as men’s shirting which means a very limited colour palette and no prints. So I just bought some of all the blues available and some black. Which means that I bought every colour they had except for white and ivory because they are not colours that I can wear.
But back to the top. You can’t see it in this picture but I changed the back neck gathers into an inverted pleat. I am just not a gather type person. This was particularly easy to do as there is a pattern piece for a back neck guide. This is intended to ensure that the size and shape of the back neck are correct after gathering but also made changing it to a pleat very simple.
I used French seams throughout and I think this may have made it a tad smaller than it should be. Because Style Arc use 1cm seam allowances (generally speaking) those French seams need to be very accurate and I think I was a little off. Having said that I need to go up a size anyway. I cut this out weeks ago so can’t remember the details but I thought that the finished garment sizes indicated that the size 18 would be ok but it isn’t, as you can see from this very bad photo.
As you can see, there is significant pulling at the bust and the side seams are pulled forward. What you can only just see is that I didn’t do a forward shoulder adjustment and it definitely needs that. Check out that shoulder seam position. Next time I will also lengthen it, although less than it looks like it needs since if it fits properly it won’t be pulling up in the front as it is now.
I am looking forward to using this pattern again as I think it could turn into a real wardrobe staple and offers the opportunity to use lots of those not quite big enough but too big to throw out scraps.
So have you made the Sian Combo Top? Or have you used spun cotton?