all my own work by ann

Sewing and textiles with Ann

Short sleeved Bronte top

DSCN2418This is a short sleeved version of Jennifer Lauren’s Bronte top. Its the second time I’ve made this pattern, but I threw away the first one.

Making a toile for a jersey garment is quite difficult, in as much as you buy some cheap jersey, in case it doesn’t work out, and what do you get? Cheap jersey, and it doesn’t make up very well. That was 18 months ago.

This fabric doesn’t show up the design very well, but you’ll see why shortly. So here’s a close up:


The back pieces fold over the shoulders and are held in place either with invisible stitches, or with buttons. I bought the buttons from Lealu 18 months ago, for this very purpose, but they blend in very well. I can just see them. With my first attempt, the shoulder overlap pulled badly all over the place and just didn’t fit, so I threw it away.

The fabric is from Girl Charlee’s recent half price sale, and I bought it with the intention of making a maxi dress. See later. I see that the price has gone back up again. But there was enough left over for something else, so I decided that another attempt at the Bronte top was in order. The patter is a PDF download, as Jennifer is in New Zealand, but I have always liked her Afternoon blouse, so wanted to give this a fair try. I checked that the traced pattern tissue matched the original layout, and they did. So I cut, marked carefully and stitched primarily with my new walking foot, so as not to mis-shape or stretch any of the fabric around the neck and shoulders. At least I was working with better tools this time.

There’s a bit of pulling in the photos, but as my photographing friend said, the fabric is so lovely that no-one will notice. Its comfortable to wear. I might make a long sleeved one for the winter, perhaps in the next size up……

So, to the maxi dress. I selected Butterick 6206. I shouldn’t have done!

Image result for butterick 6206

Yes, it is very easy to make, but it is very close fitting and shows every bump and bulge. I should have graded up quite significantly from the bust downwards, which is very unusual with Butterick patterns. I’m sure not what lesson I have learnt, as Colette’s Moneta fits me fine, so the lesson is not about avoiding jersey dresses. Maybe I should just have lengthened the Moneta pattern.


This was taken before I had stitched the hem. Its rare I ask for help with my sewing, but I couldn’t work out how I was going to get the length right without some help. Shorter dresses I do using the gadget on my dress form, but this needed to be stretched round all of the bumps and hang properly, and however close to my actual size my dress form might be, it is not close enough. Thanks to Jane for her help, and yes, we both got quite finicky about how level it was. Quite a difficult job, I thought.

So I suggest that you don’t use this pattern unless you have a perfect figure. So now I think I need to find a pattern for a woven maxi dress, with fullness around the hips. Any suggestions?



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