Cielo Top by Closet Case Patterns

Having recently discovered a (new to me) indie pattern company, Closet Case Patterns while surfing Pattern Review the other day, I purchased the Cielo Top & Dress pattern, and the Pietra Shorts & Pants.

The girls over at Pattern Review raved about their well written patterns, and I have to say I agree!

I printed off the paper pattern and traced off my size. I added two and a half inches of length to the top at the waist as cropped tops are not my thing at this age, but otherwise left the pattern unmodified. Like I know how to do any modifications at this point anyway!

I used some plain Moda Bella fabric in my stash. My intent was just to make a muslin and see how it fit, I wasn’t intending to finish it, but Jim suggested I do so for the experience. I’m glad he did!

The fit is perfect. Well, I think it is. But I’m not sure the boxy look is the right look on my body shape. I tend to look better in more fitted tops. If I cinch in the waist I really like the way this top looks on me, so I may see if I can figure out what modifications I would need to make that happen. Even if not, it’s a really cute basic top and it went together nicely.

Of course I had some issues. The neckline had the option of a facing or a a binding. I chose the facing. But after I washed the garment (I did pre-wash and dry) it puckered all along the neckline. I know it’s a sewing issue because the hemline did not.

My Babylock Ovation serger has been at the dealer’s for two months, thanks to Covid-19, waiting on a replacement main board, leaving me without a serger. I’m sure there is a name for these seams, but since I was serger-less, I chose to fold my seams under and top stitch them. I like the effect so well on this top that even when I get my serger back, I may finish them that way again.

I decided while I was doing a test garment to embroider it on sticky water soluble stabilizer and see how it turned out as well after washing.

Not good! It puckered badly. Of course had the embroidery been my original intent, I would have embroidered it prior to assembling the top, as the design I chose required my mega hoop, and it was nearly impossible to use a hoop that large once the shirt was put together, so my hooping wasn’t great either, but I will definitely use a different stabilizer next time.

The above photo shows the folded seams topstitched on the back of the bodice.
I may try another muslin with this pattern and attempt the bound neckline, and a different embroidery stabilizer. I think I might really like this top, despite the boxiness, in a lighter fabric with more drape.

I’m excited to try the pants soon, but I’d like to get the top worked out first. You may have deduced I burned myself out on sewing doll clothes for a bit!

CJ Tinkle

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Hilary

    CJ, the seams are modified Hong Kong seams. The puckered sleeve cap looks like it could be a needle/tension issue. I think I’d change to a finer thread and slightly longer stitch length.
    When I have stiffer fabric I use the dressmakers curve on the sleeve. I’d put a very gentle roundness to the top edge of the sleeve tapering to the hem. I’d also lengthen the sleeve an inch or two for a more flattering “fall” to the sleeve. Other option is shorten for a true cap sleeve. I’d also put a vent starting about 6” from the side hem on both sides. That really helps it drape when the fabric doesn’t naturally.

    1. tinksquared

      Oh Hilary, half of what you said is Greek to me :). Vent? Sleeve cap? Dressmakers Curve? Finer thread and longer stitch length, I understand. :). I don’t think ? the sleeves are puckered, but the neckline most definitely is.

  2. Cynthia

    I’t lovely, a dressmaker’s curve is also known as a French curve. Look on YouTube for how to use, especially one I like, “Fit to Stitch”.

    1. tinksquared

      I have one, but I wouldn’t have a clue how to redraft the sleeve and then the arm opening to match.

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