I’ve had the extended sizes of the Kabuki Tee from Paper Theory printed out for ages now, and it’s been in the back of my mind that I ought to find some lovely linen for this for ages now. A couple of weeks ago I tried to find some examples of plus-size bodies in the pattern, but found so few of them (which was very surprising since it was such a popular pattern when it first came out).
I rarely toile but have done so this time around (which is why I didn’t bother to finish the neckline). I’ve never sewn a right angle sleeve before, so I read the instructions before starting (very rare) and also watched this video that Tara put together on how she does it.
I haven’t pressed anything for these pictures (sorry), but the instructions were good and the sleeve will sit perfectly once I iron it out.
The reason I chose to toile this is that so many folks got in touch with me to tell me to be careful with the pattern because they’d ended up with something very oversized that they weren’t very happy with.
I chose my size based on my bust measurement and didn’t grade out at the hips (which, as you can see was a mistake)! I made a straight size 22 for my 47″ bust and 54-ish” hips (I was relying on positive ease in the hips for the size 22). I don’t mind oversized but thought it was best to play it safe based on the advice from the hive mind.
I’ve popped some pictures which show the sample garments from the Paper Theory socials- the area between the neckline and where the sleeve portion begins is much wider on my size 22 than it is on the samples in white.
Unfortunately, I have pretty narrow shoulders, so where the sleeve starts is practically already at the edge of my shoulders (as opposed to sitting quite close to the neckline as it does in the samples). I’m not sure if this is an issue that’s unique to me or if the extended sizes drafting presumed I got a bit broader in the shoulder or perhaps it was trying to make the top in similar proportions).
What do you think, is it worth moving the sleeve in, lengthening the sleeves and grading out at the hips before giving it another go?
The Ashton is available up to a “size 30″ or a 58″ hip and 58” bust (drafted for a D-cup). Helen splits her cup sizes across her size range, with size 0-22 available with a B-cup bodice and size 12-30 available in the D-cup bodice. This is something I’ve never experienced before (since Cashmerette offers cup-sizes across her entire size range which doesn’t go as low as Helen’s).
Since the D cup option was the only one available in my size, I took it. I cut out my pattern with a size 24 at the shoulders and graded out to a size 26 at the hip. In the instructions, Helen provides lots of guidance on fitting and suggests not grading more than 1 size if you’d like to retain the boxiness. Unfortunately, I’ve got a lot of armhole gaping in this toile- perhaps I would have used a smaller cup-size bodice piece if that was available.
This isn’t a finished garment that I’d wear outside of the house, but I have been wearing it a lot indoors on warmer days. I might try sizing down to a size 20 bust and see if that will let me get away with no doing much editing to the pattern.
If you have already purchased the Torrens, you’ll get an email with the new sleeve pieces once we’ve finalised the instructions in the New Year!
Because I didn’t have much fabric, I wasn’t able to concentrate on pattern matching, but the two sleeves are non-identical twins! They’re pretty close, but the fabric was quite shifty and I didn’t want to stress much about trying to get the crepey squares to lay exactly straight.
The same virtues of the Torrens still apply here- Leila drafted the shoulder for larger bodies and also put a lot of thought in to the neckline as well. I find the neckline to be the perfect width for my narrow shoulders- it’s not too high and my bra straps are never on display. I don’t find that the top slips around during the day, and I certainly never have to pull the top down after it has slid backwards and started choking me at the neck (it just never happens and it’s a total game-changer). So, while this is a deceptively simple looking top that maybe doesn’t strike awe- the comfort factor is next level because there’s no ‘poor-fit’ issues affecting the wearing!
Grainline Studios has recently released their free Hemlock Tee pattern in their new extended size range! I’ve loved the style of the top, and now it’s available in my size! You can get the pattern for free by subscribing to the Grainline email newsletter (which you can do here).
Based on Grainline’s new size chart (below) I made a size 24 (I’m 47″bust and around 54″ hip), and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the size on the arms was quite generous, and meant that I could skip doing a full bicep adjustment!
I cut out the 3/4 sleeve length and the length of the body is halfway between the cropped & mid-length body in this gingernut viscose spandex from Fabric Drop, which is based out of Dunedin in New Zealand. With some pattern tetris, I was able to cut this out from about 1.5 metres (and I’ve got a decent piece leftover too). I usually cut all my patterns on the open (flipping the pattern piece over and tracing a mirror image), and then cut sleeves (and other things I need to cut 2 of) one at a time. Doing that here certainly made it a pretty economical pattern!
The 3/4 length sleeves ended up being almost bracelet length for me, because I have quite narrow shoulders and my measurements put me in between size 20 and 22 in the bust, I made a straight size 24. I’m happy with the length, but would do some measuring of the full length arm piece before sewing that as I suspect it would be quite long.
I realised after the fact that I had inadvertently sewed up something almost identical to the Grainline sample on the right!
I’ve been saving this gorgeous rayon from Drapers Fabric for the perfect project. I’m happy to say that I’m really pleased with the usage here, and I think I’ll have enough leftover for a summer shell top (maybe an Ashton from Helen’s Closet?)
We’re currently testing the Torrens Box Top for Muna & Broad. The pattern is out with our lovely testers and will be released in November! As always, sign up to the email list if you’d like to be kept up to date on the latest.
Size Details: I made the smallest size in this pattern. The neckline is drafted so that it doesn’t show bra-straps (even on my very narrow shoulders). Leila drafted the shoulder seams with some wizard tricks- this shirt doesn’t constantly shift back at the neckline so that it chokes you at numerous points during the day! The only change I made was to crop the shirt by turning the bottom up with two generous folds. I love a thick bottom hem, so that was perfect!