Hi friends! How are you? Once again time has gotten away from me and it took me longer than I expected to get back here with a new post. Today is the first day that all three of my kids are back to school! My youngest has pre-school 5 mornings a week so I’m hoping to get back into some sort of regular blogging schedule. (If you’re ever curious about what I’m up to, Instagram is a great place to find me. I post in my stories regularly!)
Recently I had the opportunity to test the newest pattern from True Bias, the Calvin Wrap top and dress. This pattern has an exposed bias binding that both finishes the front and armscyes of the bodice and creates the straps and ties. It also uses bra rings and sliders so the straps are adjustable.
I have to confess that at first glance I wasn’t sure that this pattern was really going to be something that I would wear much. I like to be more covered up so I was worried about feeling exposed. Something about this strappy wrap top feels very sophisticated, which is totally not a word I would ever use to describe myself.
But, I decided to go for it because Kelli’s patterns often push me out of my comfort zone in the best ways. I remember feeling totally freaked out about making my first pair of Lander pants. High waists were totally new territory for me when that pattern came out. Last week I finished sewing my 7th pair of Lander pants so it’s safe to say that the style has grown on me!
Also, after #sewfrosting last year, I’ve decided that it’s ok for me to sew things that don’t get worn every single day. It’s fun to make something different than my usual style and to have clothes that might be reserved for date nights. Not everything in my closet needs to be easy to wear to the park with my kids!
I went for the top length view of the Calvin pattern for my tester version. I really went back and forth about what fabric to use since the fabric recommendations list a pretty broad array of fabrics as possibilities. I have a lot of cottons that I thought would work but I couldn’t get the idea of linen out of my head.
Just before I made this pattern I’d finished my Zadie jumpsuit in a black and white linen/rayon floral. I’d also cut a pair of Free Range slacks in a pretty avocado green linen. The leftover fabric hadn’t even been put away and I was inspired to try colorblocking/scrapbusting for my Calvin.
I really like the way these two fabrics work together and I love that I was able to use these scraps to make something. I thought it looked pretty good and then my husband told me it was “interesting.” Hmmm, now I can’t decide if it’s cute or if it’s interesting… haha!
The fit of the top is great! I’ve made lots of True Bias patterns and I’ve got my sizing pretty well dialed in. I made my standard size 10 at the bust and graded out to a 14. (My hips are more in line with the size 16, but since the top is cropped I didn’t grade out as far as I would need to for the dress. My measurements are 37″ bust, 32″ waist, 44″ hips.)
I’m wearing the top with my black tencel Free Range slacks and I love how they look together. I just finished some white Lander pants and I think this top will be really cute with those, too. It would be even cuter (and less interesting) in a solid black linen, which I’d love to make eventually.
At least one of the other testers modeled their Calvin dress with a t-shirt under it and I loved how that looked. As I’m wearing it here my bra straps show a bit. It doesn’t really bother me, but I wish I had a black bra (how do I not?) so that the bra straps would blend in a little better.
This top was really fun to sew. I didn’t even mind having to make zillions of yards of bias tape for it! As usual Kelli’s instructions are great– I learned a different approach for making a thread loop that will probably replace the way I’ve been doing it forever. And after all, I don’t feel super exposed wearing it so I’m really glad I made it!
Thanks for reading!