I was really excited to get the new Mama Claire pattern from Made for Mermaids for review - I’ve seen lots of tester photos, and it looks flattering on everyone. I also love that this is a reversible dolman top - one side with a boat neck, one side with a crossover, which can be worn either way. I’m in Australia, where it’s the middle of summer, so as much as I love the look of the long sleeved version, what I really need right now is short sleeved tops. This is a pattern that can work in all seasons, and in any light to medium weight knit fabric. I’ve used a rayon knit blend here for a nice lightweight summer top, but this would be great in winter in a sweater knit with long sleeves.
This is quite a straightforward pattern to sew - one back piece, two front pieces, a neckband and a band at the bottom (I’ve made the shorter of the two bottom band options). If you’re making the short sleeved version, the dolman sleeves are part of the bodice pieces, so there aren’t even any sleeve pieces to work with. For the long sleeved version, you attach them to where the short sleeves end, so, once again, no need to set in sleeves. The instructions are concise and clear, and there are photos and tips to help you throughout.
I did find that this pattern has quite a lot of ease in it. I made the size I measured for, and found the fit quite baggy around the bust, waist and hips. I’ve taken the side seams in here, and also tapered it in a little more around the waist to give it a closer fit which I think is more flattering for me, but in future I would size down. I’m a little over 5’6” and found the length to be more of a tunic than a top (sadly not a flattering look for me), so I took some length off the bottom before adding the band. As we always say when sewing for yourself, everybody is different, so make a muslin and be prepared to make some adjustments to make it work for your unique shape if you need to.
I quite like the look of the cross over worn at the back - there is a pattern hack on the Made for Mermaids blog explaining how you can make a double cross over version of this top.
Marnie (another lucky one enjoying the Aussie summer) made the girls’ version of the Claire, and found it super easy to make, with the fit spot on. This version with the long band will also be great for wearing in the cooler weather with leggings.
Heather also did a mom and me version of the Claire.