I haven’t sewn many Hot Patterns designs, but lots of them appeal to me. Postage from the US used to be a killer and definitely put me off purchasing, but nowadays they have the option of pdf downloads, so have become more accessible. The pattern description from the Hot Patterns website is as follows:
Layering is one of the secrets to a truly fashion forward look, so let your T do all the work for you in this layered beauty, perfect for all those tissue and lightweight knits,
especially bamboo, modal, silk and rayon knits with a little stretch and a lot of drape. This one *will* also work in heavier knits like French terry, interlock and lightweight ponte or sweatshirting, but please proceed cautiously to avoid a bulky silhouette!
Relaxed-fit dolman sleeved pull-on knit top has an inserted wrap-over cowl neckline, and an inverted center back pleat. Top features a contrast V-neck faux-tank insert at the neck, plus contrast double-layer lower sleeves and a double layered hemline with a gentle frill.
This super-cool T is going to take your casual outfits to the next level…make this in different textures of your favorite solid color and teamwith matching or contrast yoga or track pants for a modern post-workout or lounging outfit, or try it in contrast colors and/or prints to wear with your favorite classic, skinny, bootcut or boyfriend jeans for a super-cool off-duty look.
So, it seems that this is the Hot Patterns take on a ready to wear top. Works for me!
I am not fantastically confident with Hot Patterns sizing. I measured around a size 14-16, but from past experience and discussion on the Hot Patterns Facebook group I was fairly certain that I would need to go down at least one size. I cut and sewed straight size 12, but possibly could have gone down to a 10.
As is usually the case, fabric choice is key. Although this top looks like a number of tops layered over one another, the only place where there really are two layers is the lower sleeve. The pattern under-top is attached to the body of the tee at the same seam as the cowl neckline. And the lower frill and striped fabric are attached only at the bottom hemline (which does make for a thick seam actually).
Speaking of fabrics, the striped and the pattern fabric come from Crafty Mamas Fabrics. If you are after high quality European knits, it is definitely worth checking Crafty Mamas out. They’re pricey, but the fabric is superb. The solid fabric I used for the body of the tee was a gift from a generous friend, and had the perfect drape so that this garment didn’t get too bulky at the seams.
This is not a quick sew, as there are a number of component parts to assemble. However, it’s quite enjoyable and very logical. I wasn’t overly thrilled with all aspects of the instructions. They suggested binding the neck edge of the cowl, but the method suggested would have been extremely bulky and interfered with the drape. I just turned that edge twice with a narrow hem, which worked well. The instructions for the centre back pleat also appeared odd to me.
They had you sew two lines of stitching at the top and the bottom of the centre back (in addition to the centre back seam, which I eliminated by cutting on the fold). But by doing this, I ended up with what was effectively a double box pleat with the centre of one pleat directly above the centre of the other. If I made this again I’d just do one larger box pleat – and I suspect that was what was actually meant to happen but wasn’t written accurately in the instructions.
Either way, I’m very pleased with my Layer Cake Tee. It’s fun and relaxed to wear, The fabrics coordinate beautifully, and I really like that it looks layered but isn’t! Just be careful with the sizing and the instructions if you choose to sew this pattern.