Zsalya Top

Pattern: KateNRose's Zsalya Top and Dress from Perfect Pattern Parcel #6 
Fabric: 2 1/2 yds swiss dot
Cost: $10

Meet my new Zsalya Top, part of this month's Perfect Pattern Parcel! 

Ok, I know month-long blog hops can be annoying, especially when your turn ends up near the end of one. But the Perfect Pattern Parcel is so cool I think it deserves the extra attention. 

Why, you ask? The parcel contains three of my absolute favorite things: sewing, indie designers, and a way to contribute to a non-profit! The first two are pretty self-explanatory on a sewing blog, but that last one was the clincher for me. As many of you know, I work in the nonprofit world doing research and evaluation, and before that I worked in education. So I KNOW the difference that even just a few bucks can make towards a good program. To date, the Perfect Pattern Parcel has raised $12,000 for Donors Choose, a site that allows teachers to solicit donations for their classroom projects. The nonprofit itself has also been rated 4 out of 4 stars on Charity Navigator, with over 97% of donations going straight to the programs you fund (the data nerd side of me wanted to know...).

How it works: At checkout, you pick your price for the parcel, and how much you want to contribute to Donors Choose. Opt to spend more than $35 ($5/pattern) and you get the Odette Dress pattern as a bonus! So, if you were thinking of buying some of these patterns anyway, or want to give these new designers a go, this is definitely a good way to do it! Your last day to buy the PPP is Oct 31. 

That said, the parcel also contains a lot of great patterns. You've already seen my Odette Dress and Hudson Pants featured here (there's a good chance I'm curled up in my Hudson pants as I write this). The Zsalya Top and Dress was actually another pattern I had had my eye on for a while, so I was quite pleased to find it included here as well. The Parcel also includes the Syrah SkirtBronte Top and Julia Cardigan

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win

The Zsalya Top appealed to me because it is a great woven top with a bit of added visual interest. The neckline is especially cool, expanding to get on and off your head without closures but lying close to your neck when worn. The gathers and design lines make for a really great, feminine blouse I can wear to work or out in the park. 

I originally made up the top with full sleeves, but the amount of fabric turned out to be a bit overwhelming for my frame. (Mr. Made said I looked like a wench. Brutal!) I hacked the sleeves off into little cap sleeves and took it in under the arms a bit, and I like the result much better now!

The hardest part for me really was choosing the fabric. Even though I had seen it made up and studied the design lines, the different shape made it hard for me to visualize what it would look like in certain fabrics.  I originally had my heart set on a floral like the pattern envelope, but couldn't find one that suited my tastes (maybe because we're headed into Fall and stores are no longer stocking Spring florals?). After what was probably way too much deliberation, I ended up buying an expensive lacy floral, changing my mind, and picking up some cheap swiss dot. The result is a very airy summer top, which I like very much!

Now that it is made up, I can also picture several more fabric combos. I think my next one will have a printed yoke and plain body. I love Melizza's bohemian color-blocked dress (so much so that I have mentioned it twice now), and could also see myself making up a lacy version.

The one fit change I will make for next time will be to adjust the curve on the yoke. As is, it is made for someone with a fuller chest than I, so right now it tends to gape a bit, which you can see in the pictures. In this case, the curve of the yoke functions to provide shaping much as darts would. I had a hard time envisioning how to change it before making up my first version, but now that I have I know I need to straighten the curve to reduce some of the extra space.

As with most indie designers, I also enjoyed the detailed instructions. A few of the steps even include two ways of doing things: the "clean and fancy method" or the "quick and dirty method." I, of course, chose the quick and dirty route because, let's be real, it was a miracle that I had even bothered to look at the instructions at all. That said, the garment is still rather nicely finished inside, with serged edges and even some french seams. I cut my seam allowances at a wider 5/8" to give me some room to play around with finishes.

If you are interested in giving this parcel a try, you can find it here by Oct 31:

Pattern Parcel #6: Choose your own price and support DonorsChoose. Win/win


  1. Very pretty! I love the flutter sleeves. They work well with the style of the top. I think the white fabric was a good choice too. I really liked the floral version on the cover too, but I also ended up going with a plain fabric. I'm sure it will look nice with a variety of jeans and skirts, and can be either casual or dressed up. I haven't come across your blog until the pattern tour. I'll be following along now :)

  2. This is so cute! I love it! The little cap sleeves are great on you. I also really like your shoes!

  3. Beautiful top. and I also really like those sleeves.

  4. Gorgeous! And the flutter sleeves are just perfect on you! Thanks for sharing Pattern Parcel. I appreciate that you took the time to research the charity, too. ;)

  5. A gorgeous version of Zsalya Meg! I love the flutter sleeve adaptation :)

  6. I LOVE swiss dot. It's such a pretty fabric. Perfect for this style of top. I love the little cap sleeves, too.

  7. What a sweet top! I love the yoke and little sleeves, and the swiss dot is perfect for it. Beautiful!


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