Eureka! And what an appropriate name that is for this simple top! This boxy little number is designed and sold by Linda Lee and the Sewing Workshop and you can find it right here. I really have fallen for this simple design. It begs to be part of the "simple design, fabulous fabric" club and succeeds quite successfully at it, IMO.
I was not sure how it would work out for me. It was quite wide, quite shapeless and I was quite smaller, and with shape. Would it be another artsy type garment I have purchased from other artsy type designers that I have long since learned don't work for me? Big volume overwhelms me. But this design did not come across on me as big volume despite the bust size on the Xsmall being 43 inches! Somehow Lee knows how to make innovative designs without gooping them up with gobs of fabric and it's delightful. Let me get into my review for you.
I have my hand on my hip and not pushing any fabric to the back here. There is fabric hanging toward the back from the sideseams back where it should be but not a big oversized looking amount. The garment is cut wide but hangs directly from below the armpits, which are quite low. I found with the cuffs there is no bra showing on me and that is usually a problem on most sleeveless garments for me, never mind one cut like this. I did not have to adjust the angle of the shoulders at all. My shoulders are narrow and a bit sloping. There is a nice curve to the angle of the shoulder area.
This pattern is sold online at the Sewing Workshop website and includes the skirt, which for some reason I am not a fan of but you will see more of these tops from me. It can be made in wovens or knits. I have bought directly from SW which of course means I pay shipping but it also means that it is on sale now and then. Every week SW features certain fabrics and patterns at a discount and it pays to be patient. However, my local gourmet quilt shop now sells these patterns and I bought my Eureka directly there. They are getting more and more great garment fabrics and patterns all the time which thrills me. I wear the XS in this top but the XXL goes up to 50.75 bust. There are no darts and the garment is much longer than the way I adjusted for my height with the hem.
I fell in love with this fabric the minute I saw it. I have always loved cotton batiks. They were made for clothing long before people appropriated them for quilting. I love their tight weaves and distinct coloration but this one was really unique. It shaded with an ombre effect from selvedge to selvedge so I could not use the layout needed for a 45 inch fabric and I just, JUST managed to squeeze it in and match the front and back of the design. It took some serious juggling but it all was on grain and matching in the end.
It is 100% cotton and its bit of stiffness worked well for the pattern. Today I made another Eureka out of a soft knit. This pattern works better with a fabric with some body, IMO. The exception to that would be the versions I have seen worked up in sweater knits, beautiful! IRL, this fabric is even more interesting. It looks like sewing threads are stuck all over it, glue has rubbed off on it and stuck on, and kind of like it was used to wipe up the garage floor, but in exquisite shades of blues. My husband really loved it. I believe it is made by Kaufman. It came out of the wash and dryer with that pebbly "you don't have to iron me" look like linen gets, really nice fabric.
Obviously, this is quite easy to make. Here are some bullet points regarding the fit and sew:
* I reduced the hem by 4 1/2 inches total. I folded up a 2 1/2 inch hem and the rest I cut off. I tried my second Eureka today with the designed hem and its proportions were really wrong on my height. Test to see what works best for you.
* The hem is interfaced with Fusi Knit, serged and topstitched.
* Lee has you stitch all seams, serge them and iron to the side. I like how she always goes for an easy but clean look. I have a thing for deep hems lately.
* The neckline is interfaced for about an inch with Fusi Knit, not in pattern.
* The shoulder seams are stayed with a strip of selvedge, not in pattern.
* The only issue I have with this pattern, and quite a few others from PR did as well, is the method shown for the neckline. It is odd and confusing and a crossgrain strip is recommended for all fabrics, knit or woven. I tried it and was confused and unhappy with the results. There are just so many ways to bind a neck but not use a bias strip on a woven? I used my preferred French fold stretchy strip on the second Eureka today and it went together so easy peasy. I will say the strip did fit the neckline perfectly despite being woven and stretched as I sewed but did it lay nicely when done? No. Luckily the weird design of the fabric and the dark spots hide a lot of sin here. I wasn't about to undo a bias neckline of all those stitches and stretch it out and start over. It doesn't look bad, just not great, so I left it. If you have your own method of finishing a neckline that works for you, just use it.
* The "sleeves" have folded cuffs that you attach easily to the garment. There is no easing or gathering. Then you are advised to fold them back, if desired, and tack them in place to keep them in place. In the picture you can see two tiny red arrows. After I had the cuffs attached, I ditchstitched them at the underarm seam of the cuff and at the opposite area, on top of the cuff in an arbitrary spot that just was where the dark blue met the light blue. I stitched for about 3/4 of an inch and you can't see it at all. I used a 1.5 stitch length. It keeps the fabric cuff in place nicely. Do you see how it looks like threads are all over the cuffs? That's the design!
This is a great pattern that I highly recommend. I finished this yesterday and today I made another one and starting cutting out a third. My second is a loosey goosey knit with a totally different look (and story). Today I started working on my third. The third is very different as I really played with the design. I had a lot of fun playing around with this wonderful base garment. I think we all need something simple in our stash that can be turned to in a moment's notice, a garment that will let the fabric shine. It is a garment whose construction is so simple that we know we will succeed and that it can handle whatever fabric we throw at it. Could be a tank top, tee shirt, or a Eureka top. I know I will make this again and again and look forward to cold weather versions, maybe some woolens with felting or applique or maybe more summer versions with painting or stenciling. This top is a canvas waiting for ideas to find their home.
Please forgive the awful white jeans. These were the only summer looking pair of pants I could find as every thing summer is still packed away, she says as 8 inches of snow has fallen since morning. Those jeans are about three sizes too big but I keep them for the moment when I will take them apart and make them fit me once again. It's not today. I'm busy having my eureka moments. Happy Sewing............Bunny