There are two things to say about the new Bridget Top from Designer Stitch up front - firstly, it’s a very cute top, and a very well fitted design. Secondly, it’s not a quick project. But then, properly fitted and quick generally don’t go together, do they?
I tend to lean towards patterns that don’t have a lot of tailoring, so this one was a chance for me to try something I don’t have much experience with, and I’m very happy with the result.
This is an intermediate level pattern, with very clear instructions and diagrams, although there is some assumed knowledge, such as how to sew waist darts, and you will need to be prepared to insert an invisible zipper. You’ll also need to use a lightweight, drapey woven fabric to get the right look (particularly in the sleeves) - I’ve used rayon here, and it’s perfect. Rayon is more time consuming to cut and sew than cotton fabric, but completely worth it to get the lovely drape on the sleeves.
I worked with the short sleeved pattern, which comes with a choice of 4 (fancy) short sleeve options. I did the flutter sleeve, but you can also make a mid elbow cufflet, mid elbow gathered cufflet and a mid tiered spiral sleeve. The line drawings in the pattern help make sense of these options if you’re not familiar with them. If you’re used to sewing flutter sleeves for girls, the size of this flutter sleeve piece might be confronting at first, but with the right fabric, it sits beautifully, and I think it’s both really flattering and something a little different. There is also a version of the pattern with long sleeve options - long bell cufflet, split sleeve with self ties (I’m particularly loving the look of that one in the tester photos) and a spiral fluted cufflet. The bodice has a v neck (which I’ve made) or round neck and there is an optional soft-tie belt. I’ve made the shorter of the two length options.
The pattern comes with a lot of instructions and guidance on fit, and separate front bodice pieces for cup sizes B, C, D and DD. It’s always a good idea to read through all the pattern instructions before you start, and to make a muslin test fit (yes, I know, it’s time consuming and sometimes I take short cuts too!), but seriously, if you want the right fit, you’re going to need to do it with this pattern. Also remember that your sewing pattern cup size (based on the difference between upper bust and full bust) is not necessarily the same as your bra cup size (based on the difference between your ribcage measurement and your full bust). Just to give you an idea of how you can fit this pattern - I made a bodice and cup size one size smaller than my store bought top and cup size, and then graded up 3 sizes to get the right fit around my hips. You don’t get that with store bought!
This is a great pattern for a cute casual or boho style top, a classic shell top for work, or something fancier depending on your fabric choice. The different sleeve options and your fabric choice mean you’ll get lots of value from this, and now that I’ve invested the time in getting that first fit right, this is definitely one I’ll be coming back to.