Today I'm very excited to show you the three versions of the Kastrup Top from the Danish pattern maker How To Do Fashion. It's not me who has been pattern hacking. You actually get all three versions when you buy the pattern.
Nanna is the ÜBER stylish lady behind these patterns and she has the most amazing vintage style. Seriously follow her on IG if you don't already do that!
The base of the pattern is obviously the same for all three versions. Princess seams on the front bodice and fitted sleeves with an incredible fit. So that's version 1 which is made for woven materials just like version 2. Version 2 has width added in the back which gives a more floovy (sorry, it looks like I just made up that word) look. And version 3 is made for stable knits.
I was sent this pattern as a gift in exchange for an honest review in a beautiful yellow folder and the pattern pieces printed on thick lovely paper (the instructions are all online) but since then, all her patterns now also come as pdf patterns. (hurry up and get 20% off pdf patterns to celebrate the launch).
I made the tops in backwards order, so this version 1 was the last one I made but I think it's my favorite. The fit is just, gah perfection!
The fabric is this incredible cotton and rayon double gauze from Kokka (bought at Miss Matatabi). It's hard to see in my photos but the triangles along one side of the selvage (selvedge for the Brits) are purple and the rest of the width of the fabric, the triangles are grey. I manage to cut my front side pieces from the purple triangles and the rest is made with the grey. I've spend a lot of time wondering how to get the best out of that fabric and I'm so happy wth this result.
I seriously love the fit of the sleeves. Perfection!
I made the size 38 and with no moderations except for removing a bit from the front side piece in the bust area....because you know my bust is smaller than the average bust. Princess seams are probably the best cut to ensure a beautiful fit on any size of bust. But the thing is they have to be fitted correctly. It's not like a side seam dart that can fit lots of sizes. The princess seam creates real room in the top but that room has to be filled out or it looks bad. This is NOT a critique of the pattern...quite the opposite actually. I'm just saying this so you are prepared to do some easy pattern alterations if your bust is not average. I'm sure you are used to doing FBA's if your bust is larger but here you have to do it too if your bust is on the small side.
And to show you how easy it can be adjusting a princess seam to a smaller bust, I remembered that I actually took at few photos when I made the first one (version 3). As you can see I only made the side piece smaller, not the center piece. You can see on the photo to the left that my notches still match up (DON'T FORGET YOUR NOTCHES!) hehe. Easy peasy!
This version has a center back seam and a little back slit opening so you can get it over your head.
Let's move on to version 2. Remember I made them backwards so this was really the first time I made it in woven fabric. And as beautiful as this woven fabric certainly is, it was not very easy to work with. It's pretty loose woven and I'm worried the seams will pull apart after being worn a few times. I also regretted not putting fusible interfacing on the hems of my sleeves. They are double layered but notice how the hem on version 1 (with interfacing) looks so much better than this version that looks a bit 'wavy'. Well, as long as we learn from our mistakes, right! I'm sure this particular fabric made it extra bad too.
The difference in version 2 is all in the back. The front pieces and sleeves are all the same as version 1. The back has width added and then there is a back yoke for the same fitted look around the shoulders. The side seams do move forward since the width is only in the back piece but otherwise than that I love this look too.
Here is a look from the back with the yoke. The instructions tells you to sew the double folded yokes to the back piece and finish the seam with an overlock. I like my seams enclosed as much as possible so I added a little bias covered slit instead. Tutorial HERE.
And now that we are talking about instructions. They are there (in fact you can go to the website and see them now under each version of the pattern) but the patterns are clearly geared to people who can already sew. Again that is not me complaining. Just trying to give you a useful review. There are great illustrations and a few lines of explanation for each step and that's it. Unless you are a completely beginner, this is usually what you need anyway so I'm all for it!
There were many places where I changed the method - just like I mentioned above with the bias covered slit. That's the cool thing about sewing. You can sew it to fit your own temperament and sewing level. I ended up with my seams completely enclosed around the neckline and sleeves but it was not easy and I totally understand why the suggested techniques don't go in that direction. I barely know how to explain what I did myself, ha.
The pattern pieces are perfectly drafted and everything fits together to perfection, which really makes using your own preferred sewing techniques a breeze.
This fabric is also from Miss Matatabi. It's a 100% linen voile in watercolor dots. As the name tells you....linen voile...it's super thin and soft and perfect for scarfs...not so much this top. Sign.
Last one, version 3 is meant for stable knits. I used cotton interlock for the bodice and a quilted knit for the sleeves. Regular knit rib for the neckband.
I missed one quite important detail that luckily didn't impact me to the point where it didn't fit but I want to share it with you, so you don't do the same mistake as me.
You are suppose to make the version 3 in one size smaller than what you would make the woven versions in. BUT the cutting instructions will tell you to cut the back piece to fold (instead of cutting two mirrored pieces and sewing a CB seam). So in the end you will only end up with half a size smaller which is GENIUS!
I'm sorry, this probably makes very little sense until you have the pattern pieces in front of you but don't say you were not 'warned'. What I'm trying to say, is to basically read the instructions more carefully than I did, and you should be good! (what else is new, haha)
So since I missed the going-down-one-size this is also a size 38 and with a back cut to fold. And yes it is looser but luckily not to the point where I can't wear it or it looks horrible. But you can definitely see how it is rather wide in the back.
If you want to see more photos of this version 3 top, I used it in THIS post together with my Emerson Crop Pants (scroll to the second half of the post).
Get your own Kastrup Top HERE.
It is a great pattern!