Hobbling Handmade’s Stylish Shell Top Challenge

admin Pattern Review, Stylish Shell Top Challenge, Tips & Tricks 0 Comments

Up till now, all us Simple Sew Bloggers have each made different patterns each month but this time we are all having a go at the same one to show how many variations the pattern has… this is the Simple Sew Stylish Shell Top Challenge!!

When Gabby proposed the idea of all of us Simple Sew bloggers sewing the Stylish Shell Top pattern together, I thought it was a really cool idea. I could just imagine us, all sat at our sewing machines in different areas of the UK, making up our shell tops at the same time, and yet they’d all turn out totally unique – there are four variations of the pattern and can be made using pretty much whatever fabric our little hearts could desire.


Before I could even get onto thinking about which fabric to use, I needed to decide on which variation of the top to make; view D was already out because as much as a faff inserting sleeves can be, I wanted something that could keep my arms warm. In the end, I went for view A – the sleeves, front and back yokes would all be one fabric, while the square front and back bodice pieces would be another. I hadn’t even started cutting out, but I knew that the pattern would be a terrific stash buster, and one that I’d come back to again and again.


The day before the pattern arrived, I’d been sorting out my pyjama drawer (now I know this might seem like useless information, but I promise you it’s relevant) and realised how low I was on PJ sets for the winter. I’d already cut out some great pyjama bottoms from a lovely tartan brushed cotton, when it occurred to me that I didn’t need to use the Stylish Shell Top pattern for daytime top – it could be one to sleep in just as easily. I only had a little bit of the brushed cotton left, but knew that that wouldn’t be a problem; what with the pattern being split into two different fabrics, I only needed two squares of it for the front and back bodice pieces.


For the second fabric, I went for a lightweight white cotton with gold metallic stars – getting into the pyjama mindset! Despite my combining two completely different fabrics for the same top, the pattern still worked brilliantly – as long as the two fabrics are able to be washed together at the same temperature without one shrinking or the colour bleeding or anything (which shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve done your prewashing), the finished article will still look fab.

I sewed up the pattern within an hour and a half overall I think, with absolutely no troubles at all. I bias bound the neckline with ease (if that’s something that you might find fiddly, there’s a post on the Simple Sew blog about how to use bias binding) and the sleeves didn’t even need to be gathered to fit into the armhole – what a breeze! I’ve already worn the top with the pyjama bottoms loads of times, and can see myself making loads more in the future!

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