Now I really must confess that I bought this pattern with my mother in law in mind, but seeing so many great interpretations on Instagram I decided to just make a quick muslin in my size to see what I thought….and I have never sewn a more satisfying muslin! I didn’t include the facings in the mock up, as it was just to get an idea of the size, but the instant I tried it out I knew I was going to love the finished article. And I didn’t take the unfinished muslin off for the rest of the day!
The Collins pattern is a level three on the In The Folds skill scale, which is quite low down, but looking at ALL of the pattern pieces makes it feel a little more daunting than a three – I made the sleeveless version (view B) and there are ten pattern pieces to cut, creating sixteen separate fabric pieces.
At the same time as sewing the top up I was listening back to old episodes of Love To Sew – and one of the episodes happened to be Episode 19 with Emily Hundt, the independent pattern designer responsible for the Collins top. It was lovely to hear Emily talk about her love of the process of sewing, and her desire to slow it down and make each step more considered by both the pattern designer and the sewist. The instructions themselves invite you to make your own mark on the pattern by choosing your method of finishing seams – for me it was French of course!
I made two versions. The first was in a medium weight quilting cotton, ‘Flight’ by Michael Miller, and the second was in a poplin weight organic cotton, ‘Moon Phase’ by Birch Fabrics (which I had earmarked for the Hunter tank by Jennifer Lauren Handmade…but I changed my mind!). The different weights of the fabrics really show off how versatile this top is – the poplin is soft and floaty while the quilting cotton holds a firmer shape.
I loved how easy this top was to make, it almost made itself! Every seam lined up perfectly, and the instructions are beautifully written, clear and easy to follow. Even some of the under stitching that I thought might be a problem turned out to be no problem at all. There is an unusual moment when sewing the facing where you have to roll up the outside, wrap the facing over the rolled-up fabric and stitch the seam closed around it but, despite the mild confusion and panic, this technique somehow worked! The only issue I had was turning the button loop as I don’t have a turner, the first try went pretty well while the second try resisted every technique that google recommended. In the end it was sheer patience that did the trick!
My favourite thing about this top is that the silhouette makes me feel extra slim! The pattern instructions recommend choosing the size based on the upper bust measurement as the waist and hips have quite a lot of ease, which, for anyone who ever has to grade between sizes to accommodate the hips, is the dream pattern! The fabric maintains the structure of the top, so there is no skimming in any places, let alone all the wrong places.
This is another pattern that I feel could be incorporated into any seasons wardrobe with the right fabric choice, and I will definitely be making more (and most definitely one for my mother in law!)!!!
And the sun finally made an appearance this year, just in time to compliment the Moon Phase fabric for my outdoor pics...