This month my Minerva sewing project has a real summer feel.

 I have wanted the Sailor Top Pattern by Fancy Tiger Crafts for a long time. It ticked a lot of boxes for me: it had sleeves, it came over my stomach, it had a flattering neckline, it had a style I see in shops a lot which I really like.

The Fabric I chose deserves a thorough review. It is unusual and when you see it here, it has some details which you might not pick up from the website listing. This fabric is however really inexpensive at only £3.99 a metre.

Firstly it is worth mentioning that the applique design is not sewn to the edges, this is fine for me but you have to check you don't get them folded over if they are on the side seam. Also the circles are not all over, they are a border arrangement which makes for fun pattern placement.

The hem is over locked on a wave. Some pattern jiggling is required here. I was not sure at the cutting stage what I would plump for so I made sure I allowed enough to have the original edge as the hem or turn it up and sew across the circles. I cut a XX and graded out for for more hip room (you can see that on the left hand side of the pattern). It is a modification I am always mindful of making.

The applique pattern also needs to be centred and well placed for a blouse, I didn't want to have two nipple circles! The fabric is a light cotton lawn and is a little see through but I have a white bra so all is well. It also comes in a strong royal blue colour.

Pattern wise it had clear instruction and was easy to follow. The neckline needs care and attention. I put mine on twice. The second time I marked the dots and notches (doh!) because I had too much gather on the sleeve and not enough across the back leading to Edwardian style sleeves and a tight feeling across my back. The second time was so much better and comfortable to wear.


In the end I went for a sloping front to back hem line which sat just where I wanted in all the right places - that is why we make clothes for ourselves isn't it? I sewed the sleeve hem facings on the outside so that I could have the thread detail on show. 

I loved messing around with the different aspects of the fabric but if you get some, ensure you take your pattern placement into account so that you have enough yardage. A very successful pattern. 

In the meantime I made another without french seams to check the sizing. This one has a better fit around the arms and has been a hit worn with trousers and jeans before high Summer.

On this one I took a tiny wedge out of the back band to avoid a little gaping I had on the white one.