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A Christmas Orla Top

Hello, Becky here from notes from the sewing room. 

This month I was asked to review a beautiful black sparkly Ponte Roma Fabric from Minerva Crafts. 

With Christmas just around the corner I wanted to make something that I would be proud to wear out across the festive season. 

The Fabric

Described as a ‘Lurex Ponte Roma Knit Fabric’ the material has multicoloured sparkly bits all of it that really catch the light.

It's not too thick and not too thin and has a comfortable amount of stretch, to make top/dress/cardigan easy to wear. There is nothing worse than clothes that are tight and really restrict your movement particularly over what is effectively party season where you may go out dancing! 

I love that the fabrics shine is made up of a few colours making it pretty to look at, without being too over the top!

What Did I Make?

I decided to make a Tilly and the Buttons Orla Top. My husband bought me the pattern last Christmas but I've been keeping my eye out for the perfect fabric to make it, so I was delighted that the time now seemed right! 

The Orla top is a semi fitted top that can be made with long or short sleeves. It's designed to be made with a woven fabric but it worked great in my ponte fabric too. 

The pattern also gives you the option to include a collar or not.  As I was using a stretch fabric I decided not to add a collar this time, but I'm hoping to try this next time.  

The top has a beautiful shape and sits really nicely around the bottom thanks to a lovely curved hem. 

The darts on the front bodice are quite unusual in their shaping but when sewn up really work well. Of course, as always Tilly’s pattern instructions are great.  There are pictures guiding you through the sewing process step by step, as well as additional 'tip' text boxes that give you extra help and guidance top.  

Did I Make Any Changes to the Pattern?

The pattern suggests you use an exposed zipper like the ones with metal teeth that can look really smart on tops/dresses. However, keen as ever to use supplies I already had in my stash I used a black lace zipper, this looks great on my top - it's still exposed but sits completely on top of the fabric rather than the teeth just being on display.  

I lowered the neckline by about 1cm too and mirrored this change on the neckline facing mainly as I have found previously that Tilly’s patterns are a little high in this area for me. This is probably just personal preference though.

The top is also supposed to be finished with a hem facing.  As I used a stretch fabric I literally overlooked the bottom edge and turned it under to stitch, this worked well for me.  

I also made most of my project on my over locker, apart from the darts, sewing in the zip and finishing my cuffs/hem line. 

I think this top will look great with jeans or tucked into a high waisted skirt. I wore it out to the theatre last night, we went to see an amateur dramatics performance locally – so I thought why not wear my new Orla. I teamed the top up with my blue jeans and boots, and I am pleased to report it kept me warm whilst still looking stylish (if I do say so myself)!


I really enjoyed making this top and love the fabric, so much so that I'm thinking of ordering it in a different colour too to make something else!  

I just need to get myself invited to a party or two now to wear my top out. If not, I will still wear it over my trousers or tucked in to a denim skirt to bring a bit of cheer to my day.  

If you'd like to keep up to date with my latest sewing projects follow me on Instagram or check out my blog Notes from the Sewing Room.

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