Monday, October 10, 2016

Spring Tops: the Pattern Fantastique Aeolian Tee

Have you ever disregarded a pattern, thinking it's not for you, only to find it in your shopping cart some time later? For me, that's the Pattern Fantastique Aeolian Tee. A boxy tee-shirt or dress sewn with great success by many in the sewing blog world (most notably Anna, who has made many beautiful versions). I'd dismissed the Aeolian since its release because of its wide sleeves. While I loved them on others, I thought they would resemble wings when coupled with my broad shoulders. But when I saw the lovely Bombazine ladies rocking their Aeolians on Instagram again recently, I threw caution to the wind and was cutting & pasting that PDF print out before I could utter "never say never".

I'd been ogling this Nani Iro print, Pocho (the grey/copper colourway now sold out, but others available here), and wanted a simple top pattern for it, so I opted for the tee version of the Aeolian. Because I suspected I'd want to play down the volume of those sleeves, I hoped the drape of a double gauze would be a good match.

Because the woven Aeolian is a well documented make here on the internets already, I'll keep it brief. The pattern is drafted and written for knits but because of its simple construction it's easily adaptable to woven fabrics. To do this, I omitted the neck band in favour of bias tape, turned to the inside. I really liked the stitched down back facing, so I kept that in - with some light interfacing added plus finishing at the bottom edge. Of course this meant a couple of extra layers at the upper back neck, but nothing some careful clipping didn't help reduce. I used a seam allowance of 1cm throughout, and also stay-stitched the neckline early on to prevent it from stretching.

This is one quick and versatile make - it'd work well in any lightweight, drapey fabric like voile, lawn, rayon or washed linen (lots of the latter due in store very soon!) A perfect pattern to use for a favourite fabric you're wanting to get a lot of wear out of, and it would be particularly good for a larger scale print, too. The raglan sleeves, deep hems and back facing on the Aeolian means this top is something a little different from your standard woven tee. There is loads of room for customization, too. 

You might have noticed that my Aeolian has a rogue seam down the centre front. I managed to botch the sizing so I unpicked the front panel (usually cut on the fold) and replaced it with one that had been pieced down the centre, squeezed from my leftover fabric. This is a size small, with the front graded out from underarm to hip by about half an inch either side.
As it turns out, the size mishap worked out mostly fine in the end because the fit is exactly as I was hoping for. I still grit my teeth every time I look at those sliced dots down the front... but for an every day tee, I'm going to turn a blind eye. I'm calling it a "design feature" and am moving on!

I've only worn this once because we are still waiting for Spring, but so far my imagined self consciousness about the wide-arms-plus-broad-shoulders hasn't turned out to be such a big deal. Plus wearing double gauze is always rather lovely. Also, these were recently delivered, so the cogs are already turning toward another one... the Aeolian could end up being my double gauze go-to this year. Who knew?!

- Fiona & Jane xx


  1. This works really well for you Fiona - love the shape and the fabric. I've had this in my cart many times, only to chicken out before checking out....maybe next time I'll go through it!

    1. Thanks so much, Justine. The Rushcutter's raglan sleeves look great on you so this will probably be the same? I think you should give it a go! :)

  2. I love this fabric, Fiona! You will get lots of wear out of this during the warmer months, I bet - the roomy sleeves would be especially nice in hot weather, come to think of it. I think you definitely need one in linen, just sayin'.

    1. Haha, thanks for sewing that seed, Inder! It would be so lovely in a washed linen. We are over a month into Spring and it's still chilly, but when warmer weather finally turns up I'll be all over that! :D


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