I was lucky enough to get to test the newly released Cielo Top & Dress from Closet Case Patterns...and if you know me at all, you know my love of a boxy top runs deep. So this was definitely a winner in my book!
The Cielo Top & Dress is part of the Rome Collection - a collection of patterns designed as a capsule wardrobe, filled with simple to make pieces that pair effortlessly with one another. Each pattern has been thoughtfully designed with beginners in mind, yet also have interesting design details and variations for more advanced sewists.
Although I would consider myself a more intermediate to advanced sewist, I really appreciated the attention to detail in the pattern instructions and design process. It helped me take a step back and really focus on construction instead of just whipping up a new top...I ended up with something I am really proud of, even if it is just a simple top.
I ended up making two different versions, both out of my very favorite fabric...our Avery Slub Linen Blend. Before I get into the details, let me just start with this - I didn't make any alterations to the pattern and sewed up up straight out of the pattern envelope! I chose my size based on my bust measurement and sewed a size 12.
That said, there are differences between the two shirts. Heather and her team put a lot of thought into this pattern and included separate pattern pieces for different bust sizes. If your upper bust and full bust measurements are different by 3" or more, you can use the pattern piece for cup size C. If your upper bust and full bust measurements are different by 4" or more, you can use the pattern piece for cup size D.
My upper bust and full bust measurements are 2.75" apart. So of course, rounding up, I decided to make the front for cup size C to start (the eggplant version). The shirt fits and has the same, perfect boxy fit. But the darts are about a half an inch too low and hit at an odd point on my chest. Not so bad that somebody else would notice just glancing at my shirt, but noticeable for me when wearing it. You can kind of see them in the photo below.
So I went back to the pattern and made a second version (the off white version) with the A/B cup pattern piece. I compared the two front pattern pieces and checked that the dart would hit me in the right spot. And wouldn't you know it...perfection.
The fit of both tops is almost exactly the same. The eggplant version just feels like there's too much extra space and moves around from front to back on my shoulders more. The off white version isn't snug through the chest, but fits correctly and has just the right amount of ease without being too overwhelming for my frame. Lesson learned - I should never second guess Heather and her team!
I personally love the cropped length of this top. It's just long enough that I can wear it with high-waisted jeans and not feel like I'm trying to pull off a look from the 90's. It's incredibly flattering and hits just below my natural waist and above my hips. French tuck that baby and you're good to go!
I definitely want to make the dress version next, but I know that I will need to grade the pattern out a size or two for my hips. Keep in mind that there is no shaping on the dress - it just comes straight down from the arms.
The construction of the dress is pretty great - similar to the Farrow Dress from Grainline Studio, the pockets are concealed in the inseam across the front of the dress. It's just begging for some colorblocking!
All in all, the Cielo Top & Dress is truly going to be a wardrobe staple. It's the perfect canvas to start playing around with pattern hacking and alterations! The instructions are clear and straight forward for any beginner and it's a great introduction for someone new to making garments.