Natalie Top Review

It makes me smile every time I get an email in my inbox from a new indie designer. And I really get excited when I see really cute, wearable designs. That's definitely the case with newcomer Nicole, owner of Liola Patterns. You're going to want to check out her site to see her growing collection of modern, clean cut designs that are sure to become closet staples. Here are Becca and Crystal with their views on her pattern the Natalie Top

I have been looking for MONTHS for *the* classic woman's shirt. You know the one I mean - the no-button work blouse - slightly fitted, very sophisticated, pair-it-with-skinnies-and-call-it-a-day kind of wardrobe piece. I searched and searched and couldn't find a thing. 

...and then I saw the Loila Patterns' Natalie Top up for review! HORRAY! 

I print, cut, and stitched it in an evening, and I was in loooooove! I used this $2/yard RedTag paisley panel for mine, and did a little click-of-the-heels happy dance when I managed to squeeze the whole thing in two panels. Hellooooo $4 shirt! It was perfectly drapey, too, perfect for this design.

Here's what I came up with:

The pattern includes darts to shape the lady curves, folded faux placket down the front center for a fun extra detail, and a button-tab sleeve for a full or 3/4 length sleeve. Perfect for working mommas out there, looking to fill gaps in their professional attire, and for those of us who get slimed in peanut butter at every meal but wish to pretend our lives are slightly more glamorous ;) 

It was super simple to follow - but not my first dart-bodice, gathered-sleeve, button-tab, bias-bound-neckline experience(s?). Beginners should allow some time to learn these tricks (they're fun, I promise!). I chose my size based on measurements and the fit is PERFECT! 

Pattern includes: 

  • Sizes XS-XL 
  • 11 pages of illustrated instructions
  • 20 printed pages of pattern pieces
  • optional front pocket (omitted here) and button tab
  • Measurement and fabric requirement charts

It's a fabulous wardrobe staple you should seriously consider adding to your pattern library! Happy sewing :)  - Becca

Thanks! Hi there! It’s Crystal, from Stitched by Crystal, and I am excited to be here to share my review of the Natalie top by Liola Designs. This was my first time sewing up a pattern from Liola patterns and it won’t be my last!  The pattern came together really great and I love the finished product.  I had so much fun sewing up this shirt and it was nice to sew something for myself for a change!
The Natalie Top is a loose fitting, long sleeve, shirt.  Even though it is loose fitting, it is such a flattering top!  It features a pleated detail down the front, has an optional chest pocket, and button tabs to roll up the sleeves.  The neckline is finished with a bias tape facing for a clean professional finish.  The pattern has a measurement chart to help you choose your size.  I sewed up the medium and the fit is perfect.  The pattern calls for 1 ¾ - 2 ½ yards of lightweight woven fabric.  I had ordered some awesome voile for this top, but when it didn’t arrive in time, I ran to JoAnn fabrics and picked up this black and white rayon.  I am so pleased with how it turned out and it is so comfortable in the soft, flowy rayon!
Ok, here is the nitty gritty on the Natalie Top...
  • Size XS-XL
  • Easy to follow instructions and clear illustrations for each step.
  • Loose fitting pullover top, so no buttons or closures to sew!
  • Darts on the bust for tailored look
  • Options for chest pocket and sleeve tabs
  • All measurements are given in metric and imperial measurements
  • The pattern includes a size chart and fabric requirements chart
  • The professionally drafted pattern was easy to print and assemble
  • There is a cutting layout included
  • Tons of great tips for every step from printing to sewing
  • The pattern doesn’t has any pictures of finished tops, but you can find lots of inspiration on the Liola Designs website
The instructions are really great, but next time I sew it up I think I might change the order of some of the steps a bit. I would prefer to sew the sleeve buttons and button holes in my sleeve tabs before sewing up the sleeves.  I also like to press my sleeve hems before sewing my sleeves too, that way I don’t have to try and get my iron in the end of my sleeve to press them, just refold and sew.  The pattern has you sew the pocket on last, but I find that easier to do first, before the sides of the shirt are sewn. After sewing up my shirt, I found out that Liola Designs has some really great tutorials for this top on their site!  Check out the tutorials for this cute collar and this sleeveless Natalie top!  And they have even more great tips on there for sewing the pattern, like this tutorial for sewing the pleats!
I love that this top can be dressed up and worn to the office or on date night with the hubby, or it can be paired with jeans for a more casual look.  I think I will be adding a few more Natalie Tops to my wardrobe this fall.  You can find the Natalie top in Liola Designs shop along with her other cute patterns, I have my eye on the Ella top and the Sparrow for next summer!