I am so happy to be joining in on the Willow & Co pattern tour today because I am really excited to show you this amazing top that I made this week!
The Limon Dress and Top is the latest pattern by Elizabeth of Charming Doodle that I’m just all obsessed with. (My other favorites makes from her patterns are these incredible pants, the best hoodie, who could forget the reindeer head, and these pants featured in Stylo.)
This pattern has sweet and feminine details but still seems young and sassy enough for a little peanut to strut around in.
And my little peanut did plenty of strutting around in hers!
Hannah has a 21.75 inch chest, so I cut a size 2 blouse bodice with a 3 length, and I added an extra inch beyond that because she seems to be growing straight up these days.
The fabric is a really lightweight gray shirting that I got in the fabric district, and I used a tiny bit of a beautiful Liberty print as a fun detail on the back yoke.
I stitched the pleats on the back of the bodice instead of the front but that is just a matter of preference.
The bow detail isn’t a part of the pattern but is a very easy addition. It’s basically just a 10 inch by 4.5 inch rectangle that I folded up and slid through two slots that I made in the middle of the blouse, which I’ll talk more about in a minute. I wanted it to be less pristine and extra floppy, so I used a slightly heavier fabric and made it a little on the longer side. If you want a more traditional sized bow I would just reduce width and height until you get the size that you want.
Since we are headed into the hot summer months I decided to shorten the sleeves by 1.5 inches to give a bit more of a cap sleeve and I love how it compliments the sweet puffy shoulder.
The biggest change that I made was the installation of the bow detail. I must admit to you that I decided to do this at the 11th hour when the garment was 85% complete, with beautifully finished armscyes and stay stitched lining. Sometimes us sewers are our own worst enemies, right?! Sigh. I am so glad that I went with this detail I just wish that I had thought of it much earlier in the process.
I placed my two slits for the bow on each side of the middle two pleats. I wanted the bow to be very high on the bodice so I measured down 2mm from the top, and made each slit 1.5 inches long. Since the bodice was already mostly finished, I secured these holes with a bit of tiny hand stitching and No Fray but I would not recommend doing it this way! It worked but it was tricky and certainly a less professional finish.
I had already cut the placket line as instructed by the pattern piece, so I slipped a 1 inch by 2 inch strip of interfacing inside the bodice on each side of the placket, ironed them down, and then flipped the whole thing inside out to sew the lining to the bodice at the placket line.
A better method to make holes for your bow:
If I were making this again I would install the holes just after I stitched down the pleats, and before I attached the bodice to the lining. I think installing tiny vertical holes much like you do with welt pockets would work perfectly. (If you’ve never done that before, check steps 1-6 in this tutorial by Delia Creates.) I think 2 mm by 1.5 inches would be the right size to hold a bow this size, and it would give you a much more professional finish on the inside and out. I would just make sure that the top of each hole started about 8 mm below the neckline (as opposed to 2 mm down which I did) which would allow for the seam allowance for attaching the top to the lining.
I installed my buttonholes on the left side of the bodice (Hannah’s left) and put my buttons on the lining side of the bodice so that they would be hidden when everything was buttoned up. I still used three buttons because I was afraid that the weight of the bow might pull the neckline down or the placket open a bit, but everything stayed in place perfectly.
So now all that I have to do is sit back and adore this sweet top. I just love the how the fitted bodice, flared bottom, and rounded hem give it that perfect bell shape. Don’t you?
I’m so glad that I chose the top option because it is just adorable and slightly casual with shorts, but still seems special enough to be worn in place of a dress if we have something a little more formal going on. I think we can all agree that it’s just perfect for blowing bubbles in. 🙂
This is the second item that I have made from Willow & Co’s newest collection, the first being the Antalya Dress which I shared here if you are curious.
Thanks for having me on the tour ladies!!
PS-Did you see the post yesterday with the other thing I’ve been working on? It’s been wearing me out, but it’s a good one. 🙂