I absolutely L O V E my Imby Flowy top. Can you tell?
This was such fun to make, so easy and quick. It is also so very comfortable to wear as well. Add in the fact that it was a free pattern made from upcycled fabric and how can it get any better?
This is the Imby Flowy top from Karmme Apparel. It is a free download and the designer does sell a few other patterns as well. Unfortunately, within the past day, the pattern has been taken down with a note that it will be back up. Perhaps with a sale price? I will keep you posted. I can tell you the designer is self admittedly not a pattern designer and asks for your understanding (?). She does design apparel fabrics and clothing and is based out of Australia. She says the pattern is "one size" and fits size 8 to 14 Australian. I've researched and found that in the US we run about two sizes smaller than Oz. There is a conversion chart in this article that shows you the difference between Australian sizing and many other countries. Since I often wear a 4 in tops this worked out.
ETA: It appears to available again. Here is a link: The Imby Flowy Top
This PDF pattern can easily be adjusted to accommodate larger sizes as well as smaller ones. There is no fit other than the yoke and any concerns about the length of hem and sleeves. It is VERY full and that is what feels so nice. All the measurements provided are in meters. The directions provide a sheet showing them all quite clearly. I put the imperial measurements in by hand to help myself. All seams are 5/8ths. Two closure options are available. One is a back slit and tie. The other is a deeper front slit and tie.
In my resources is a big, plastic tote full of fabrics for muslins. It is 95% solid colored sheets and such. All I needed was a small piece to test out the front and back yoke. As I dug I noticed an odd piece of fabric with color and print. Surely it didn't belong there. I yanked it from the tote, out of curiosity and recognized a shower curtain I had purchased fairly recently. It was far too bright and vivid for our bathroom tastes and I took it down from it's life as an outer shower curtain and evidently threw it in the muslin tote. Dang, this could make the whole top, never mind my muslin yoke. I pulled it out. It was still a shower curtain and 100% cotton. It was slubbed, very soft and light and draped beautifully. This would work. I did a test lay and discovered I could get all my piece out of the curtain and still play with it's border effect. But a shower curtain for a blouse?
Everything about it was perfect, the fiber, the drape, the border print. I went for it. Will I tell anyone but dear sewists like all of you where it came from? Only upcyclers, friends, only upcyclers.
As mentioned, the only fit concerns with this garment are the fit of the yoke and the lengths of the sleeves and hems. I kept the sleeves as given. I reduced the length of the hem by 2 3/4 inches and took a 1 1/2 inch hem from that. This gave me the higher hip effect I wanted. I took a scrap of cotton batik and cut out the yoke. There is extreme fullness here as you will see in an upcoming back shot so no concerns for FBAs or large darts. There really is no underarm fit. The skirt is 70 something inches around. My personal concerns, beside the width of the shoulders, were also the depth of the V neck slit in the front. If you look at the pic above there are three arrows. The bottom arrow is where the pattern wants to end the slit. The middle arrow is where I ended the slit. The top arrow is where I thought I should end the slit. I cut back the armscye seam, the side of the yoke, 3/4 s of an inch. I highly suggest you make a yoke muslin first before cutting out this top. It takes minutes of only sewing up the shoulder seams and no more. Another question, which shown from the tops on IG was where the horizontal empire waist seam would land. It was in all sorts of places depending on the body. Mine landed right where I hoped so no changes there, across and a little above the apex.
This was so easy to put together and the instructions given, while conversational, get you there well enough. The designer has a youtube video of the entire construction which I highly recommend. I was originally lost a bit with the installation of the ties but when I saw the video, it was brilliant. I had never seen ties attached in that manner and now it will be my go to. Imby Video
A pic is worth a thousand words so check out the back of this shirt.
The large sleeves are gathered only half way across their caps. The front of the sleeve caps get the gathers. The back of the sleeves are smooth which you can see by looking at the back yoke here. The sleeves then have an angle that meets at the sleeve under seam. It is flat also and matched the skirt which has the same angle on its ends. All of the skirt gathers are directly below the front and back yokes. You can see why this top is so very comfortable and why only the yoke requires fitting care.
The cuffs are gathered but you could easily do a binding if desired. About gathering: Here is a shot I did according to directions, two rows of gathering within the SA.
Pleats are uneven and that did not sit well with me. On this next pic you will see better pleats on the front yoke. I did one row of basting within the SA and one beyond, in the garment.
Tiny pleats, falling where they may. Sigh.....it's the smocker in me.
Mark your garment well. The dots are critical. You will be meeting these three angles at this corner. You do NOT stitch to the edge here. Just stitch to the dots. I chose to topstitch my yoke. It looked nice on the slub cotton.
Finally, the cuffs, just turned and stitched. All seams were machine stitched and then serged, nothing fancier. The hem was machine topstitched an inch and a half up in a double row.
In the end, I think it is a rather elegant little top, clearly designed by a real designer with a great eye for balance, style and detail. I highly recommend this pattern. I have seen a couple similar among indie designers but none have the more elegant lines of this one. I have fabrics for a second one on my table waiting for cutting!!!......Happy Sewing,,,,,,,,,,,Bunny