Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The most beautiful thing I've ever made?

I fell in love with the fabric when I saw it.

Very rarely have I ever paired a fabric and a pattern up so successfully. This rayon was delightful to sew and is the perfect weight for this top. The richness of the colour and the pattern give me a little boner-in-my-heart.

Kati of Kate and Rose patterns graciously gave us all three of her patterns in her most recent release for being testers. The Zsalya is the second that I've made, and I just finished my second one.

The first was completed about a year ago (hence the non-preggo body)
Not so beautiful pic
I made very few fit changes (see pattern review below), and almost botched the sleeves (pic above shows them before being lengthened again – pushed up above my elbows to give me back some range of motion).

It's my favourite make in a long time and super easy to wear. The high neckline is great for those of us who are perpetually cold and it can be dressed up or down very easily.

This pattern obviously lends itself to maternity very easily. There's lots of room. All I did for version 2 was add length.

Clearly, we need to work on our photo-taking, but you get the jist.

I love the fabric for this one too. It's a little matronly, but there's something about the saturated colour of the flowers that makes me love it.

Zsalya Pattern Revew (also found here.)

Pattern Description:
Top or dress with curved front and back yokes and crossover surplice neckline inspired by folk wear silhouettes. Veiw A has gathered bracelet-length A-line dress with short gathered sleeves. Sleeve edge detail for both views echoes the surplice neckline. I made view A.

Pattern Sizing:
It's been so long since I traced off the pattern, but I believe I made the medium and graded to the Large in the upper back.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. I used the quick and dirty method on both versions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
As with the Giselle, I was skeptical that the bias edge on the neckline would lie flat, and it sometimes doesn't on my dress form, but for some magical reason it's perfect when I wear it. There aren't many pattern pieces, it goes together quickly and easily, and it's totally unique. No real dislikes.

Fabric Used:
First version (blue paisley): Rayon, Second version (floral): Polyester – both from second hand store.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I graded out to a large in the upper back on both and extended the shoulder a wee bit on the first version. I shaved that off the shoulder addition on the second version and like it much better.

Some of the width was taken off the sleeves as well as some of the sleeve cap was shaved off to lessen the amount of "puff" at the top. (both versions). I also think I remember taking some of the width from the sides, but again, it's been so long since I traced off the pattern that I can't remember for sure.

I almost botched the sleeves on the first version by cutting them too short. I was not sure about the bracelet length and went for more of a 3/4, but after wearing it, every time I bent my elbow the cuff would get caught on my arm and it just about drove me nuts. So I creatively cut the bottom portion of the sleeve again to the correct length using what little fabric I had left and got the sleeve length back to the way it was drafted. It still catches on my elbow a little, but it's definitely better than before.

For the second version, I lengthened the sleeves so they would hit at my wrist (about 2" or so). I also added 2-3" to the hem to account for my baby belly and turn it more into a tunic.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I will most likely sew it again. It's super easy to sew thanks to the very detailed instructions, and super easy to wear, thanks to the clever design and flattering fit.

I received this pattern for free for being one of Kati's pattern testers. I'm really so thankful to have received it. While the style isn't for everyone (I wasn't sure it was for me), I highly recommend you give it a try. It will surprise you.


  1. Wait, did I know you were pregnant? Congrats!

    1. Thanks Kyle! I've been MIA on my blog for a long while, so probably not. Due in January –at which time, I will most likely become MIA again ;-)

  2. Pretty, pretty versions of one of my favourite versions. Looks amazing on you!

  3. Oh man, I love that dark fabric too! I would have probably just hoarded it though, terrified of messing it up, so good on you for finding the perfect pairing of pattern to fabric. :-) Your pics of the second blouse crack me up--they pretty much look like every picture I've ever taken. Either I'm awkward all the time and don't realize it, or only when I'm in front of the camera. :-P

  4. I love your first fabric! Isn't it great when you get pattern and fabric JUST RIGHT? :D