Monday, October 17, 2016

Arenal Top...I Mean Tops...with an "s"

Post contains affiliate links
The plan was to write this post several days ago but, alas, my laptop died. Insert bitter tears. Trying to post from my phone just doesn't work for me. BUT the Hubs has a job that gets him access to discount prices on computers. So now I'm writing my first post on the new laptop. Yay!
The newest pattern form Itch to Stitch has been released, the Arenal Top (on sale for the release, details below). The quick description is that Arenal is a beautiful top that comes with two sleeve lengths and two hem options. It sounds pretty basic (and it is) but the amount of things you can do with it really are unlimited. As I tested the pattern I loved seeing all the different ways the other testers made their shirts. If you would like to see more of their creations, go to the blog and find the release post. I ended up making four shirts. I almost never make that many of the same pattern, especially not in that short a time frame. That's how much I love it.
The main feature that offers so much variety in this pattern is the yoke. It's a lovely little detail that will give you a lot of options. You can make it in the same fabric as the body of the shirt, or in any contrast fabric that catches your fancy.
 And if you've ever wanted to know how to make the perfect V neck on a t-shirt...well, this pattern gives great instructions to make a flawless V. 
I opted for the regular hemline and 3/4 sleeve in the red shirt. I also made a long sleeve version with the handkerchief hem but I'm not a huge fan of the fabric I used for that one. Thus the lack of picture for that version. Once I tested the pattern exactly as written, I started to hack. The easiest one was just adding and extra inch of length and the lowest lengthen/shorten line. I guess it doesn't really count as a hack because the instructions tell you exactly how to do that.
One thing that stuck me about the top from the beginning was how well it would lend itself to panels. This one is one I've been dying to use. It's a mashup of Harry Potter and Mean Girls. If you can't read it, the words say:
Educational Decree No.364 

On Wednesdays We 
Wear Pink

It makes me laugh. Anyway, I cut this out a size or two larger because it's not as stretchy and drapey as the pattern was designed for. But isn't it perfect for the panel? The shot below is included because my 6 year old photographer caught a moment of me swinging my hair. It looked very Mean Girls-esque to me.

The other pattern hack was to use the two hem lengths on one shirt. In the picture below, the regular hem is sewn up in a very neon pink, with the handkerchief hem used in a stretch lace. I lengthened the overlay layer by three inches, sewed the sleeves as one piece, and attached the purple and pink layers at the yoke and shoulder seams. It required sewing the sleeves on in the round instead of sewing them in before stitching the side seams. I love the effect!

As mentioned earlier, the information about the sale is here. The Arenal Top pattern is on sale for 20% off until 10/19. As an added bonus, buy two or more Itch to Stitch patterns and use the code "lakearenal" to receive 15% off those patterns. I love a sale on good patterns! This one is wonderful because it is flattering and feminine. It's another winner from Itch to Stitch!