Romy, oh Romy

For whatever reason I default to the same few pattern companies over and over, but that means I often miss smaller releases, like the Tessuti Romy top. But then I spotted one over on HollyDolly and it clicked! I’m sort of vaguely restricting my pattern purchases to ones that really do something different than those in my existing collection (not just wider/shorter/more gathered/more buttons, or whatever). I don’t have any tank patterns with a bust dart, and I thought the high necklines and strap placement could be transplanted onto dresses or jumpsuits.

At least that’s what I thought I thought, until I realized I just saw this neckline everywhere in street style and I’m as much of a susceptible muppet as anyone else!

Anyway I’d already made it twice by that point. Whoops. Don’t mind me, I’m just assimilating over here.

I sewed mine at size ‘95% of M’, because I forgot to check the printer settings. But I didn’t want to waste paper, plus the printer is upstairs, UPSTAIRS, PEOPLE. So printing once was enough. That’s roughly equivalent to a size S.

This top is surprisingly long (would I say…unnecessarily long?? Yes I would), but I didn’t need to grade out for my hips! What witchcraft is this? The pattern calls for 1 meter of fabric; I bought 1.25 yards of 60” wide linen, and I squeaked out a full-length and a cropped version, with an assist from some scraps of cotton voile for facing the cropped one. I think somewhere between full-length and cropped would be my sweet spot for tucking in.

I had some issues with my first draft. One was technique – I don’t have a loop-turner, so turning the straps was tricky, and mine ended up more like fettucine straps than spaghetti straps. The other was fit. I had read somewhere that Tessuti drafts for a lower bust point, but it was NOT low enough.

I feel like every time I learn something about fitting my bust I get confusion, not clarification. Normally I have to shorten above the bustline, but now these darts were floating well above the apex! Where are my boobs??? Do they wander?

Regardless of big-picture boob position, I would need to lower the dart. Also, I wanted to raise the bottom of the armscye, so my bra wouldn’t peek out. It seems to show more on one side consistently, so either my sewing or my top story is asymmetrical.

Plus back neck gape, which is pretty standard.

None of these changes are complicated, so I tried them simultaneously. I lowered the bust dart like so by ¾”. I also raised the bottom of the armscye by ¾” and made the curve shallower for more coverage. The back neck is narrowed by ¾”, so I guess that was my magic number. Finally, I had to extend the facing – I made it 1” longer so I’d have room for my lowered bust dart, plus a little extra for the hem! There wasn’t much wiggle room between the dart intake and the hem before.

I think it’s a definite improvement! It’s possible I would have avoided some woe by omitting the bust dart entirely, but dang it, I bought the pattern at least in part to try something new. And it’s much more accurate now!

Okay, so was it worth it? I bought the PDF, and it’s fine, but just fine. The lines for each size are hand-drawn with an identical weight and color. I ended up wasting a lot of paper printing out the pattern pieces for tear-away Vilene, which they recommend instead of stay-stitching. Needless to say I just stay-stitched! The directions also instruct you to interfacing the facings. Nooo, thank you. I changed the order of sewing, too, so that I could French-seam the side seams.

Basically I used the What Katie Sews order of operations for the Ogden cami, with the main difference being that I sewed and understitched the straight necklines first, and then sewed and understitched the armscye curves, instead of one continuous line of stitching per front or back. As long as you don’t get the pieces twisted, this is a much easier way to construct the top!

While it seems like this simple shape would be a good pattern for a beginner, I’d hesitate to recommend it. It’s not really a ‘teaching pattern’. That being said, I’m happy with the results!

I’ve gotten some good use out of these this summer. They’re not revolutionary tops, but they’re cool and useful. It’s possible I would have had more detail shots, if I hadn’t gotten distracted by some friendly strangers…

You don’t care that I don’t use tear-away Vilene, do you, pretty horse?

Pattern: Tessuti Romy top I & II

Pattern cost: $8.62

Size: 95% of M, with changes, above

Supplies: 1.25 yards white linen, Sewfisticated, $8.74; scraps of cotton voile from stash (for facings); thread from stash

Total time: 2.25 hours/1.5 hours

Total cost: $17.36 for both tops

3 thoughts on “Romy, oh Romy

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