Pattern testing the Hibiscus top by Glasshouse Patterns

Today I will share with you yet another pattern that I had a pleasure to test. It is a Hibiscus ruffle top/dress by Glasshouse Patterns.

The pattern

It is a begginer friendly sewing pattern with a racer style cut out back that you can make more feminine by adding ruffles to the top part of an armhole. It comes in 8 sizes and it is recommended to be made out of knit fabric with some drape ( especially if you making a dress version with ruffles). The pattern is skimming over the bust into more looser fit in the waist and hip areas.

The PDF pattern is quick to assemble and what I forgot to mention in Dahlia dress post is that pages are easy to align without the need to cut out the excess border line…something that I do not particularly like doing. Thanks for that Tanja! This makes the process of sticking all those pages together less of a chore.

Pattern adjustments

For a pattern testing faze this version was nearly spot on. Tanja did a great job drafting the Hibiscus pattern and I only found one grading error, but do not worry about it because it is all fixed now. Also the final version is more fitted at the bust, something I had to adjust.

I had tested size 8 based on my measurements and learning from my mistakes I decided to make my usual fitting alternation by raising a waistline by 3 cm. I used a shorten/lengthen lines on both front and back bodice pieces and it worked like a charm. I made no other major adjustments apart from taking in the side seam under the armhole by 5 mm, because it was a little bit too big for me.


The sewing process is super quick and fairly straightforward. It took me 2 hours to cut out the fabric and sew it all together! Amazing!!! I am starting to notice that Tanja likes to use very unusual (at least to me) order of precedence when it comes to sewing her patterns, which is great as I get to learn something different each time.

What I find unusual you may wonder???? In her instruction Tanja advise to sew only one shoulder seam and next attach the neckline binding. This blew my mind, because in this way I do not have to work out the lenght of my binding each time I’m using a fabric with different stretch percentage but I can start attaching it on one end slightly stretching the binding around the neckline curve all the way to the other side cutting of any excess. In all honesty you could do it in any way you are used to, but this method is pretty great.

She uses the same tactic when it comes to finishing off of the armhole seam. First attached the ruffle and armhole binding and then sew both side seams together. Even tho it was my first time sewing jersey top in that order I found it much easier and quicker. It eliminated the time I had to divide the band and necline/ armhole curve into quarters and pin things in place. What a dream!!! Do not wake me up hahaha


For my first Hibiscus top I used a green rib poly jersey from Minerva Craft. I got 2 meters for a different project but it was not the right weight for it so it waited to be used for something else. It was £5.99 a meter and it is lovely and soft. It drapes nicely and sew without any problems. I used about 140 cm for my ruffle top and had enough to also make a short sleeves Molly top.

For my second version I used exactly the same fabric that I made my Frankie t-shirt couple of months ago. It’s two color combination works really well with this pattern and I found a new way to use all my small fabric pieces. This pink cotton rib fabric is not as drapey as my first version and you can see that ruffles do not fall as nicely, but I love it anyway.

Final thoughts

The Hibiscus top is a super fun project to make that you can do in one sitting. It is a great pattern if you are looking a comfort with a twist. It is currently on sale so grab yourself a copy. I am planning to make more versions without ruffle next so I can layer it under the cardigan when the weather gets much cooler.

~ How should I hack it? Any ideas?~

Monika xxx

Little baseball t-shirt -Frankie by Tilly and the Buttons

Today I want to show you my second make from Tilly and the Buttons book “Stretch”. It is a Frankie t-shirt pattern.

Frankie is a simple T with raglan sleeves and curved hem. There are many options and varieties to this pattern so you can make lots of different styles with it. The pattern lines allow you to have hun with color blocking and are perfect if you have leftover of fabric that are to small for bigger projects.

The instructions for this pattern are included in the book and as usual Tilly made it very transparent and easy to follow.

Pattern adjustments

You may know by now (if you follow my blog) that I fall into a size 8 for Tilly and the Buttons patterns, but I always need to adjust them and remove some lenght to accommodate my petite frame. I did not want to trace pattern pieces just to cut them and shorten, so I followed my previous process by tracing size 6 around sleeves, neckline and armhole blending to size 8 at side seams. I had done it couple of times now and it works for me, plus it is much quicker in comparison to cutting at shorten/lengthen lines.

All went well this time as well, hovewer I realized that I have too much ease under my arms so blended to size 7 instead. This gave my more desired fit and overall I am glad I followed my intuition. I still had to decrease the lenght of the bodice by 5 cm, so I cut it off at the hem following the curve. I also straighten the side seams a little to give me more room to breathe.

Fabric choice and pattern construction

I could not resist to play with colors so I chose to make my Frankie using two different fabrics. Specially for this project I purchased cotton ribbed jersey from Minerva Craft in winter white and rose pink colors , because I really like how they looked together. I was not sure which way I will go with my color blocking so I purchased 3 meters in total (2 meters white and 1 meter pink) for £3.99 per meter which is a great price- currently on sale.

It took me about 30 mins to cut out the pattern, which have only four pieces and 1 hour and 15 mins to put it all together. It is the quickest make to date for me I believe. Sewing raglan sleeves is so much easier in comparison with set in sleeves (even on a jersey fabric), and my only dilemma is that I need to learn now how to adjust them for a better fit as the hem sticks out a little bit.

There is not much else I can say about this pattern other than it is a staple and I will make more in the future.

I wore it on my recent trip to Prague and can honestly say that it is very comfortable. Fabic is soft and it holds it’s shape throughout a day. It is breathable and looks great even after being bunched up in a backpack for couple of days.

Final thoughts

Frankie is an absolute must have in your wardrobe if you are looking for a t-shirt pattern that is cosy and will be “in fashion” for yours to come. There are few variations included in the “Stretch” book, which makes this pattern also versatile. I will be making more of them in different colors as next to Agnes top it is a second most wearable top in my closet.

~ maybe I will start play baseball now??? Just kidding hahahaha~

Monika xxx