Ever since I saw the testing call for the Matcha Top by Sew Liberated, I was intrigued by the pretty neckline of the pattern and wanted to make it. As always, actually making the garment took way longer than falling in love with it. Ok, there are always those few patterns that just jump the queue and are made right away, but most of the time my eyes are way bigger than my sewing time or my closet allow. And now, with the baby bump, quite a few plans had to be sent way down the queue again – I won’t sew a coat right now, I won’t sew jeans, I won’t sew a fitted blouse. But the Matcha kept its spot in the queue, since it’s so wide. And since Allie from Indiesew included the Matcha into her latest Fall/Winter Indiesew Collection, sewing it became even more of a priority.
The Matcha Top is a boxy shaped top with an interesting V-neck construction and a mandarin collar. The pattern pieces themselves don’t have a V-neck shape, but rather the V-neck is constructed by gathering the front and sewing it to the shorter mandarin collar, creating this unique V-neck shape. The Matcha can be made with wide 3/4 sleeves or as a sleeveless top. Needless to say during these winter times, I went for sleeves.
I haven’t bought too much fabric recently, but have been using more of my stash. Well, there’s still more left than I can keep, but it’s better than nothing and very budget friendly. While looking at the fabrics in my stash I remembered this pretty rayon challis from Indiesew. – perfect for this project! It’s very flowy, but with a nice weight. The fabric is surprisingly stable, too, which makes it a breeze to sew with. I even realized that the fabric doesn’t wrinkle too badly, making it a great choice for every day. And let’s just talk about the print for a second! Aren’t those birds and the flowers amazing? I absolutely love the print and the colours on the simple white background. I don’t think I own a single orange piece of clothing, but this amount of orange was just right to tip my toe into making orange garments.
The Matcha Top is cut and sewn rather quickly. There aren’t too many pattern pieces, and the only seam that requires a little more concentration is the collar seam. The front is cut in two pieces and sewn together with a seam up the middle front. That makes it easy to construct the neckline. I thought about omitting the seam, which is certainly possible, but makes constructing the V-neck a little more complicated. In the end I just cut two pieces and didn’t even pattern match, since the pattern is rather small and busy.
I know that I sound like a broken record, but I still love anything with a French seam, so I’ve sewn this top with French seams, too. Sewing a French seam is obviously not possible for the seam that goes up the front, since the seam allowances need to be pressed apart from each other. But the Matcha has a generous 5/8″ / 1.6 cm seam allowance, giving you enough fabric to turn the seam allowance under. I used my pinking shears to keep the fabric from unravelling, pressed the seam allowance in half, hiding the raw edge, and sewed a straight stitch along the seam allowance to keep the raw edge hidden and secured. I really like finishing seam allowances that way, especially when working with delicate fabrics where serged seams or Hong Kong seams might add too much bulk.
There are two notches marked on the edge of the front pieces, indicating how far to sew when sewing the front pieces together. The higher notch is for a more modest neckline, the lower notch is a little more revealing. Meg from Sew Liberated suggests that it is possible to sew tthe seam closed up to the lower notch and to add a little hook at the higher notch. I had seen some Matcha Tops where the neckline seemed to be a little bit too high for my taste, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to sew only to the lower notch and to consider adding a hook later. After finishing the top I felt more comfortable with adding a small hook to the neckline, although the top is definitely wearable without the hook, too. I will probably be going to wear a cami underneath most of the time anyway.
I added about 2″ / 5 cm to the length of the top to accommodate the baby bump. Meg writes that this kind of top doesn’t look very flattering when too long, it should end right at the hips, and I do agree with her. I thought by making the top a little longer I could shorten it next summer to the desired length. But to my surprise I actually need the 5 cm in extra length in general and I will definitely not shorten it after regaining my normal figure. The top is a little short in the front with the bump underneath, but luckily for me it’s cold here and I’m always wearing a cami and a jeans with a high maternity panel together with the top. So it doesn’t really matter that the top isn’t quite long enough in the front.
The instructions tell you to interface only one of the collar pieces, but since my fabric is very thin and I used very lightweight interfacing, I decided to interface both. I always struggle with attaching the inner collar piece nicely. I either have to handsew it to the outer collar or I have to live with a slightly irregular seam on the inside. But this collar was different, and it makes me feel like I’ve discovered a new super power. Since I interfaced both collar pieces, the fabric was easy to handle and kept its shape. It was easy to press the seam allowance of the inner collar piece towards the inside. This, together with my newly found love for wondertape and the usage of my stitch-in-the-ditch sewing machine foot, made sure that the collar looks pretty perfect on both the inside and the outside.
You can buy your copy of the Matcha Top at Indiesew – and check out the Fall/Winter Collection 2017, too! You can get the Matcha Top cheaper by buying either the full collection or the mini collection. As mentioned before, this pretty rayon challis is sold out, unfortunately, but keep your eyes on the Indiesew shop, there are always new awesome fabrics – like this rose plaid double cloth that I ordered the second it hit the shop.
– Being a member of the Indiesew blogger team I get a small compensation for writing this post. However, all opinions are, as always, my own. –