When Jenny from Seemingly Smitten invited me to sew her Julia Top I admit I was a bit unsure. I think I might be stuck in a fashion time-warp and have always worn lower necklines and more fitted clothes – such a hussy! At least I gave up the 80's shoulder pads. How would I get on with the much more relaxed and modern Julia Top?
I checked out the pattern in the Etsy store and it had nearly 3,000 reviews with a solid 5-star rating! This is a great sign for a likely excellent design and pattern.
The pattern comes as a PDF including easy-to-follow instructions. The top is available in sizes XS-XXL. I picked a medium based on my bust measurement. However my waist and hips were larger than the medium size but I needn't have worried – the top is very generous in those areas. If you sew the Julia Top – use your bust measurement and don't worry about the others.
There are sleeve length options and one thing I like about the pattern is that the bodice and sleeve lengths all have options for petite, regular and tall, so you can pick which fits you best without having to cut the longest size and then trim off later. I picked the regular length for the bodice and the short sleeve.
I picked this fabric that I bought especially for the Julia Top. It's from the silky prints range and is a perfect weight, drape, and softness for this top. There are some other fabric suggestions at the bottom of this post.
The top is easy to cut and easy to sew. It's reversible, the front and the back are exactly the same which means there are fewer pattern pieces to print, and should you drop some gravy down the front of the blouse, turn it around and you are good!
I love the slightly gathered puffy sleeves – no need to try to ease them in perfectly, they are intended to be a little gathered. They are loose and generous and allow full movement as well as a lovely drape. The neckline is simply turned twice and sewn in my example but Jenny also gives instructions on how to use bias tape around the neckline and then leave it exposed or turn it in.
But the big question – do I like it. A resounding YES. I was worried a loose fit would make me look like my mother (heaven forbid) but in fact, I found it flattering, comfortable, cool, and modern. I think it looks great paired with some simple black shorts or pants, left loose or loosely tucked in.
I also had to make no fitting adjustments due to the more casual style and found this quick and easy project a breath of fresh air!
A very easy to sew pattern with a nice result. The shorts are also a self-drafted pattern, copied from a pair I already own, which I never got round to writing about. Although it is always warm enough for shorts here, it's perhaps a bit out of season now for the rest of the world. I might offer these as a pattern for next year – would anyone be interested in a shorts pattern?
Fabric suggestions for the Julia Top: