Dana top by Sew Over It – pattern review

Hello my crafty friends! How are you doing?

Those following my blog will know by now that I am a big fan of the Sew Over It patterns, so when they did a massive sale in February I had to take this opportunity to get the “My Capsule Wardrobe: Work to Weekend” eBook. It usually costs about £25, but I’ve only paid £15! What a bargain!!!

I already have their other eBook called “My Capsule Wardrobe: City break” and slowly going through each pattern. So far I’ve made Erin skirt, Alex shirtdress and Molly top. I have two more patterns to try out (Mia jeans and Lola coat), but because at the moment I do not need and /or want to make any coat or jeans I thought I could start tackling the patterns from the second eBook by Lisa Comfort instead.

Similar to the first eBook, “My Capsule Wardrobe: Work to Weekend” eBook also contains various patterns which are designed….you may have guessed from the book’s title….to take you from work into the weekend. Depending on the fabric choice each pattern can be made for more smart or corporate workplace or a casual, yet still stylish weekend break. Each look can also be dressed up or down depending on your style or needs. In this e Book you will find five patterns that can all be mixed and matched to achieve many interesting outfits.

Photo: Sew Over It

A short overview of all patterns included in the “My Capsule Wardrobe: Work to Weekend” eBook:

Edie Top & Dress is a simple fitted jersey top or dress with a classic boat neckline and 3/4 length sleeves.

Kate is a three-in-one pattern with an option to make a dress, shirt or a skirt. The Kate dress / shirt has a fitted bodice with darts, hidden button placket, collar with a stand and a short sleeves with turn-up cuffs. The skirt is made of many panels that reach below the knees.

Camille comes with an options to make a jumpsuit with wrapped bodice, tailored or fluted sleeves and wide leg trousers or you can make a stylish trousers that features a pleat shaping, pockets and a centre back invisible zip.

Anna Coat is a classic-style shaped mac with must have large lapels, epaulettes, pockets, back vent and a tie belt.

Last but not least pattern in the eBook is Dana dress and blouse, which is also the pattern I chose to make first. Dana blouse pattern has a boxy shape with a V-neckline, elbow length sleeves and a hidden button placket which gives a simple but fresh look. Dana dress variation has a simple cut that can be shaped at the waist with a tie belt. The skirt length is below the knee and you can opt in to add some large patch pockets.

Fabric choice

I wanted a blouse with lots of movement and viscose fabric is perfect for that, hence I purchased 2 meters of this lovely spotty print viscose challis from Minerva Crafts at £8.99 per meter. This is a lightweight fabric with lots of drape and the colours are nice and vibrant.

The fabric is so soft it can be a little difficult to cut out precisely, thanks to that wonderful drapiness. I used a starch spray to give it some stability and to ensure my grain line runs straight. If you are a fun of using a rotary cutter that would definitely help too, however you might still find it difficult to sew as the fabric tend to shift. When I discovered a starch spray I was over the moon, because it meant that I could finally use all me beautiful fabric that was a pain to work with. Once you complete your garment you can simply put it through the wash to get rid of that sturdiness.

Since I’ve made my blouse I washed it couple of times and so far I did not noticed any changes of the fabric. I always worry that the white will become pink if the colour leaks during the wash, but this has not happened! Thanks God!

Pattern adjustments

I am starting to like a boxy / loose fitting tops and blouses more and more recently. Why you ask? Because it makes the fitting process easier and I have to make the least amount alternations to the pattern. I have made only 3 adjustments this time….4 if you count choosing a different size! Normally I would cut size 18 for Sew Over It patterns, but I knew from the start that I wanted to add bust darts to help with the shaping, hence instead I’ve cut out size 16 version 2. The bust darts are barely visible so even if you are using a directional print it should not be much noticeable.

Apart from the FBA, I had also shorten sleeves by 11 cm because they were too long. The sleeves are drafted to be an elbow length, but on me they look out of proportion.

The patterns comes with two length options for the blouse Version 2 is hip length and version 3 is a cropped below the waist. Since I was using version 2 I had to shorten the hem because it was slightly too long. I decided to shorten it by 4 cm, but in hindsight I could have left it as it was. The blouse it is to short to tuck into a pair of trousers, so I next time I will extend it back to the original length.

Sewing the pattern

Sewing the pattern was surprisingly quick. It took me about 3 hours in total to cut out the pieces, fuse it and sew it all together! Amazing!!! The pattern recommended 2 meters of fabric, but I only used 1.4 meter due to the pattern adjustments. The remaining piece of the fabric is way to small to make another garment, but since I am making a lot of bags lately I will use it as a fun lining at some point. Happy that I can now find a use for those big pieces.

The instruction is written very well (as always) and I believe this would be made even by a total sewing novice. The hidden placket might look difficult but it super easy and quick to make. Also if you are scared of making buttonholes don’t worry! Even the most ugly one will not be visible on this blouse 🙂

I really like how the neckline is finished using a bias tape. It gives a clean and polished result and there is no annoying facing poking out. A winner in my books!

The only negative aspect of this pattern is the need of installing a press stud at the top of the placket. I understand that because of the way the pattern is constructed it would be difficult to undo the first button but I find it annoying when ironing.

Final thoughts

The Dana blouse pattern is a fast and easy sew. A perfect pattern to show off the lovely fabric prints and for any beginner to step up their sewing game. I really like its simplicity and can see that it would stand the test of time. Depending on the fabric choice it can be made as a more casual top or a stylish blouse for work and office.

This pattern is definitely going to my “happy to be made many times box”, a staple piece in any wardrobe. I am contemplating to make a dress version next in some linen fabric. It would be a great summer dress…What do you think?

Have a lovely week!

Monika xxx

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