When I bought the Tessuti Hilary top pattern I was thinking of my teenager. After all, I’m not likely to wear a peplum top. But she wasn’t keen on it. Then I spotted a version sewn without elastic in the waist, and a light bulb went off in my head. Just lengthen the body and leave off the peplum and waist elastic!
I cannot say just how much I LOVE this top. It’s just what I envisaged! It has the fun shoulder and sleeve hem treatment, and my preferred silhouette. This version isn’t perfect – but I’m not going to point out the imperfections at this stage!
Tessuti describe the pattern as follows: this pretty, peasant style top features a bloused bodice, pleated peplum, boat neckline, gathered waist and sleeves with gathered wrists. The perfect item to up, it can be worn with pants, shorts or skirts. Recommended fabrics: Suitable for woven fabrics such as lightweight linen, cotton poplin, cotton voile, cotton eyelet, silk crepe de chine and viscose.
I made life ever so slightly more difficult for myself by choosing to sew it in silk. Yes, that scrumptiously beautiful fabric is silk, and it’s as delightful to wear as it looks. All my colours, and the type of bold print that I prefer. So many thanks to the generous friend who knew that I would adore it! There was just enough fabric to squeeze out the top – the finished body length was entirely dictated by the amout of fabric available. As well as lengthening the body I widened it into a slight A-line shape (also entirely dictated by the available amount of fabric).
There really wasn’t much to the construction! Front, back, raglan sleeves, front and back neckline facings. The elastic at the top of the shoulder was easy to insert and gives lovely gathers. I used french seams for the body and sleeve seams. The sleeve hems are finished with a casing for elastic. Easy peasy! The only thing that I would do differently next time is to lower the front neckline a couple of inches. It feels a fraction too high during wear.
I may also consider sewing a size smaller next time. I have a feeling that I sewed size Large, but the Medium would have been okay. Maybe. The hem was secured by machine with a narrow double fold. Given that this is a special fabric, I could have considered a hand-rolled hem. Maybe I would if I were sewing it from a similarly luxurious fabric in future.
It’s worth doing a trawl of the Instagram tag for this pattern or of the internet in general to see the different versions that are popping up. It’s lovely as designed, and is also easy to sew with variations to the body – like mine – or with altered sleeve length. I do rather fancy trying a linen or a voile version with a shorter sleeve for summer.
This top is definitely on my top ten – maybe my top five – list of finished garments for this year. I feel absolutely fabulous every time that I wear it.