I’ve wanted a gathered sleeve addition to the Torrens Box Top for quite some time! When I tried to make myself a cuff-sleeve pattern piece, it never quite went as smoothly or turned out like I was hoping, so it’s great to have a vehicle for putting out these pattern bonuses on a monthly basis to help folks (and me) extend the possibilities of the M&B patterns!
I got a whole bolt of this slightly strange feeling viscose (it’s matte in colour and almost furry in person- it’s not at all slippery, but it does crush as soon as you look at it and I did struggle with the back bottom hem)! Since I’ve got so much of this viscose, I imagine you’ll be seeing a lot more of it in the future (linings for things, pocket fabrics, maybe even pants for an outrageous matching set)!?
Other Patreon pattern bonuses have been: August: the Semi-Breve Pouch (a quilted pouch which practices a lot of the techniques for the Grainger Coat), September: this gathered sleeve bonus for the M&B Torrens Box Top, October: 2 bonus collar options for the Waikerie Shirt and Waikerie Dress. Makers and Insiders also get 15% off any patterns on the website and we share lots of other content on Patreon too!
You’d think that after more than a year of trying to photograph my makes, I’d be a bit better at posing or doing a good face- fear not! I’m here to prove that I’m just as un-photogenic as ever before! It probably doesn’t help that I’m always trying to have a conversation with my photographer- I popped out with a sewing friend and took some pictures of this re-drafted Torrens Box Top before heading out for a coffee!
Here I’m wearing my current favourite ‘leaving the house outfit’, my plum Willandra Pants (blogged here) and new viscose Torrens Box Top!
The Torrens Box Top got a thorough redoing when we updated the sizes recently! The neckline has been tweaked the most and the top is also a little longer. The shirt now sits perfectly in our block now and folks at the upper sizes should experience a little extra room around the hips! Even with my narrow shoulders, the neckline is still bra-strap (or Banksia Bralette strap) friendly for me, which I’m very pleased about!
Size Details: All my previous Torrens Box Tops are made in the original Size 1 sample size, but I took the opportunity to size down in line with my bust measurements, instead of my hip measurements. I made a straight Size E (which would have been a Size i in the old size chart), and my bust is 47″ and the widest part of my hip/belly area is fluctuating between 52-56″ depending on the day.
Fabric usage: I can’t say exactly how much fabric I used for this as I cut it directly from the roll, but I generally use a little over 2 metres for my sleeved Torrens Box Tops! You could use a little bit less by making the short sleeve version, and cutting your neck facings from lining fabric could save a little extra fabric if you’re caught short.
Also, these shoes are my latest love! They’re from Sevilla Smith, a business that I’ve admired from the longest time. I ordered two pairs of shoes, this being the largest (and the right choice for my feet). I find that I have a hard time finding shoes to fit when shopping in store, and because the back of these shoes doesn’t contain anything to stiffen them up, they don’t rub when wearing!
Having tested out the pleated front, flat waistband (View B) Glebe Pants in some black pinstripe wool suiting, I knew that I wanted at least a couple more pairs for the colder months. I love the fit on these, and I’ve got the construction down to a fine art. Because Leila included notches in the pattern to indicate the seam allowances, I can skip checking back on the instructions which certainly helps things go much quicker. I also skipped lining these pants, and I’m hoping I won’t need to go back to line the pants because of itchiness.
The Top here is a hacked Torrens Box Top made from this open weave cotton blend from The Fabric Store. They do warn you about the very open weave on the fabric potentially leading to issues during sewing, so I felt warned but ultimately surprised by what a pain this shifty mess was! I’m not sure this hem will be my final, I’m considering adding on a thick bottom hem to really push those ‘oversized sweater’ vibes.
Because the cotton outer fabric was so shifty, I lined it in a white ‘linen’ fabric which I got from a second-hand store. I cut front and back top pieces from the linen, sewing it at the shoulder seams before sewing it around the neckline in lieu of a facing.
Size details: I made a straight size A Torrens Box Top and Size 1 Glebe Pants, but since both patterns are in the process of having the sizing expanded and the size bands renamed, I sized based on my 55″ hips and did no grading.
Fabric usage: I generally squeeze my Glebe Pants from around 2 metres of 150cm wide fabric (and could use less by piecing my waistband together and using lining fabric for the pockets. There’s enough left of my original 3 metres for an extra project. I used around 2.5 metres for the Torrens Box top, and there’s still a piece left for another (small) project.
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!