It was time to try a new style, and the Pattern Emporium True Romance Bishop Sleeve Top appealed. But there were so many possibilities! From the website: The bishop sleeve is a gorgeously classic design that has made a comeback both on the catwalk & in our favourite fashion stores. To get the most out of this feminine trend, this pattern includes 3 bodice shapes to fit & flatter a range of bodies, styles and, of course, show off your pretty bishop sleeves.
I have to say that hem banded tops always take me straight back to the eighties and nineties. I fondly remember a family friend who would always get a band added to the hems of purchased tops that came without them. It’s interesting how these trends come and go. I dithered for ages trying to decide what version to sew. I had these choices:
- 2 Bishop Sleeve Styles : Subtle & Dramatic
- 3 Sleeve Finishes : Cuff, Shirred or Elastic
- 3 Silhouettes : Banded, Flared & Tee
So, what did I go for? Can you guess?
I chose the dramatic bishop sleeve with the extended cuff, banded silhouette, with the band at hip height. There’s also an option for a lengthened bodice (I think it’s called ‘tall’) before the hip band, or having the band at waist height. As you can tell, plenty of choices!
The pattern comes with a boat neckline, but it would be pretty easy to adapt that as well if you wished. The fabric is rayon/spandex knit that I think came to me via Restash. Does anyone recognise it? It’s just lovely, and I have enough left over for another garment. It has just the right sort of drape for this top.
I must admit that I always love sewing a garment that doesn’t need hemming. Everything is finished with a band of some type – the hip band (I was slightly terrified that it wasn’t going to fit but it seems okay), the neck band and the cuffs. The overlocker ruled! I only needed to use my sewing machine to add gathering stitches, both at the hemline and to gather the sleeves into the cuffs.
I haven’t used this pattern company before. They seem to have an extremely active Facebook group, and all the patterns on the website come with plenty of options and loads of photos of the garments sewn and worn by women of all shapes and sizes. It’s really helpful to see them so many ways. There is a layers option so that you can only print the sizes that you need. I eventually decided on size 12, and think that I chose correctly. This pattern might get another whirl in a different combination of options. Watch this space!