Ashton Top and Justine Skirt

Hi friends! Last week I showed you my version of one of Helen’s Closet‘s new Summer patterns, the Donovan skirt, and this week I’m back with my tester version of the other pattern, the Ashton Top.

The Ashton top is a basic woven tank with an a-line shape. It comes in two lengths, cropped and hip length. It comes with options to finish the neck/armscyes with bias tape or with an all in one facing. The hem is finished with a wide hem facing.

For my test I chose the cropped length and I used the all in one facing option. I used some 100% linen fabric that was leftover from these Emerson pants (and I cut the facing from white linen scraps that were leftover from the Willow tank I’m wearing in that same post!)

There have been some changes to the pattern since I made this tester version so I’m not going to go into a huge amount of detail on my changes since some of them wouldn’t be necessary if I used the final version. I cut a size 12 graded to a 14, did a 1/2″ forward shoulder adjustment, and lengthened the top by 1/2″.

I love the fit of this tank! It’s loose and comfortable and the cropped length is so good with higher waisted pants/skirts. (I really need to try it on with my matching Emerson pants to try the faux jumpsuit look!)

The seam allowance on the tank is 5/8″, which means that it’s really easy to do french seams. I love how neat the inside of my Ashton looks!

I do somewhat regret using white for the facing since it peeks out a bit at the armholes, but it was very satisfying to make this tank from fabric scraps. It takes very little fabric, especially in the cropped length and is a great scrap buster.

I’ve ordered some GORGEOUS Nani Iro sateen to make another Ashton, probably in the hip length this time. I know that this will be a pattern that I come back to frequently.

I’m wearing my Ashton with a skirt I made last month. I got this linen on super sale from Joann fabrics. I had been excited to try the free Justine skirt pattern from Ready to Sew.

The skirt is just gathered rectangles with a straight waistband and a button placket. There are some really fun patch pockets included in the pattern, but I knew I wanted different pockets– I used the pocket shape and pocket bag from Made By Rae’s Cleo skirt.

I made the skirt based on my waist measurement and it was a total disaster. I had my doubts about using 100% linen fabric on a highly gathered skirt but I did it anyway. It turns out I should have trusted my gut. There was WAAAAAY too much fabric gathered into the waistband and the linen was too stiff for it. I looked like I was wearing a circus tent.

I was so sad and wanted to just cut the skirt up and make it into shorts but my sewing friend Shar sent me a photo of a similar skirt with an offset button placket that I thought was really cute. (That isn’t the exact skirt she sent me but now I can’t find the exact one.) I ended up unpicking THE ENTIRE SKIRT, french seams and all, to rework it.

I removed 8″ from the back panel and 8″ from 1 of the skirt fronts to offset the button placket. I had to re-sew one placket, which meant I sewed all of those buttons on twice by the time all was said and done. (I was happier to resew one of the plackets than to have to redo my stripe matched pockets!)

Once all of the unpicking and resewing was done I was sooooo happy with the skirt. I love the offset placket and the slight amount of gathering. The striped linen is so pretty and looks great with a white t-shirt or with my Ashton top. (I also got the stripes lined up perfectly across the button placket on my second time sewing it– I was off a bit the first time. Woo!)

Have you had a major sewing fail lately? Do you try to fix your fails right away or let them sit in time out indefinitely?



12 thoughts on “Ashton Top and Justine Skirt

  1. I love the combo here! The offset button placket was a genius fix. Curious if you have any idea what gathers to waist ratio you ended up with… i have a cut of joanns linen i wanted to make a gathered skirt sundress with but have been reconsidering due to the whole not wanting to look like a circus tent thing!


    1. Thanks, Lisa! The offset placket really did with a miracle on this skirt— I’m so glad I didn’t have to redo both placket or the pockets. I am not totally sure about the ratio but I’d guess the skirt is maybe 1.5x larger than the waistband. It was probably 2x larger or more when I started. I think a gathered waist dress wouldn’t be quite as bad a bit more full— in my first iteration of the skirt the waist was a bit too big, too, so it was sitting low and too full. I hope your dress works out perfectly the first time around!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s so funny because I clicked on this post thinking, “That skirt is SO flattering! It has the perfect amount of gathers!” and only then read about how you had to completely redo it. Needless to say, I have been there, lol!!


    1. Oh, thank you so much, Inder! I’m sure we’ve all been there with having to totally rework something. It’s so annoying but totally worth it if you can save the garment! I’m really glad I pushed through and got it fixed.


    1. Thanks, Linda! I’ve worn this skirt a few times since I made it and the linen is so nice to wear. It’s the perfect summer fabric. I hope you get a striped linen to make something for yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cute outfit! You’re going to wear the heck out of that top. As for fails … yes. I tend to try to make them work no matter what, which ends up not being super satisfying because then I often have less-loved makes in my closet that I feel like I have to wear. I had a frustrating run last week where I tried to make tank tops from two different patterns and they both had awful gaping in the armpits. I sewed in darts but I’m still irritated at them.


    1. Thanks, Masha! Gaping in the arm is soooo annoying. It happens to me a lot on the back of the armhole so I usually have to dart it out on my pattern. I haven’t ever tried a high rounded back adjustment and I wonder if that would solve my issues. I hope you grow to love your tanks once you get past the initial irritation.


  4. Hi Teri, I’m very new to sewing and about to sew the Ashton Top. Could you please advise if linen has wearing ease in the fabric? If not, how do I obtain a comfortable fit – size up? Regards, Sandra


    1. Hi Sandra! You actually want to look at the pattern that you are sewing and compare the body measurements in your size to the finished garment measurements in your size. That will tell you how much ease there will be once it is sewn up. (So if your bust measures 38” and the finished measurement at the bust is 42”, there is 4” of ease in the bust.) The fabric doesn’t really dictate the ease— it’s the pattern that builds in ease. Knit fabrics are a different situation, since they are stretchy, but you’d still look at the pattern for the amount of positive or negative ease and the stretch percentage your fabric needs to have. Linen does tend to relax a bit with wear, which I think you’d notice more if you were making linen pants. I hope that helps!


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