I was provided the Gable Top pattern by Jennifer Lauren Handmade in exchange for this honest review. All opinions are my own.
I have long been a big time fan of the sartorial stylings of Jennifer Lauren Handmade. Jen has an uncanny knack for pulling out the best of retro from the evil clutches of polyester and unfortunate plaids. She’s all the glamour of Joan and all the grace of Betty, with none of the awkward Peggy fashion experiments gone wrong.
I hadn’t had a chance to take the plunge into Jen’s patterns yet, but when the Gable Top crossed my Instagram feed, I knew it was time. It’s a fun, fresh take on a vintage silhouette: a high slash neck tee with a variety of sleeve options: short, long, and with contrast cuffs (the option I chose, obviously, because SWANS). I love how it’s perfectly at home with a circle skirt and with jeans, and that it can go from casual to glam in a heartbeat. I also love the feminine but not at all cutesy vibe that it exudes, which is key when you walk around with hair shorter than your average teenage boy.
Before I get to the pattern itself, I need to take a moment for a public service announcement so that you do not make the same mistake that I made. In sewing with knits, I never before paid much attention to the stretch and recovery of my fabric choice. And so I saw that the pattern called for a medium-weight knit and I figured I’d order a bunch of interlock prints to make two thicker tops perfect for fall. But when the fabrics arrived, one of them had almost no stretch at all, and when it did stretch, it sure didn’t recover very much.
In the pattern, Jen VERY ADAMANTLY advised that the fabric needed to have good stretch and recovery, and so I opted to forego it so as not to ruin $30 worth of textiles. I’m glad I did. I ended up going with my second selection, also both interlocks but with much better stretch and recovery (particularly the blue solid). In the future, I’d actually select some with a bit more, like a jersey. Lesson learned, but the finished product still looks and feels great. If you’re interested in learning more about fabric selection for the Gable Top, check out Jen’s really informative post here.
The instructions in the Gable Top pattern were very clear, accurate, and easy to follow. I appreciated the little tips and tricks throughout, and the pattern was expertly drafted. I needed to make a few slight modifications (narrowing the neck slit and slightly shortening the cuffs/lengthening the sleeves because I didn’t have enough cuff fabric) but had no trouble doing so.
In retrospect, I should have graded the seam allowance after I adjusted the depth of the front neckline. I misinterpreted the directions, following the fabric edge and keeping my seam allowance uniform. Instead, I should have let it get bigger, maintaining a straighter neckline seam, as I got closer to the front neckline. (If you’re planning on adjusting your neckline so it sits lower on your collarbone, see Jen’s tutorial video here.)
You’ll see mine is a bit curvier than other versions of this top. Whoopsies! I don’t think it looks bad, but I’ll remember to do the grading next time so that it looks a bit more professional.
I’ve laughed a bit to myself as Jen’s noted on her IG photos that the Gable Top is the perfect garment for spring (she’s in New Zealand where they’re all just kicking off the warm weather). I saw it and knew it would be my go-to tee for fall. I plan on making a million more as key additions to my layering wardrobe in the impending colder months. And then I’ll shorten the sleeve on the pattern and do it all over again for spring. The Gable Top is an instant all-weather classic, and those are the best patterns to own!
Have you tried any of Jennifer Lauren Handmade’s patterns yet? Which are your favorites?
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