Sunday, August 23, 2009

Knit peasant top from Vogue 8581 - take one

I know I didn't need a pattern for a peasant top. After all, with my treasure of 1970s patterns I'm sure I have a few buried somewhere.

But when I saw Vogue 8581 in the Vogue pattern book, I thought of a top that had quickly become a favorite of mine over the past few months. One that was very similar in styling to this pattern. (In fact, it's the blue one I'm wearing in my photo on this blog.) Before I thought about it and realized I could create a knit shirt with an existing peasant blouse pattern this one was in my shopping cart and on its way home with me.

(photo from

My daughter saw it and decided she'd really like version A - the short sleeve one on the envelope. As she doesn't let me sew for her too often I jumped at the chance. I choose a red knit out of my fabric stash, as that is a gorgeous color on my daughter, and began sewing.

The top is rated very easy. Which it is. What it is not is quick to sew.

Here's what I would do differently.
  • The instructions have you gather the front, back and sleeve upper edges before sewing the sleeves to the front and back. If your knit is lightweight, don't do this. You'll achieve a more even distribution of gathers if you gather the neck edge with one long session of stitches.
  • The instructions have you sew the neckband to the neck edge, right sides together, then turn the neck band to the inside of the neck edge and slip stitch in place. Ugh. I secured the neck edge with a stretch stitch, but in the future I would fold the neck band in half before sewing the neck edge and serging the edges.
  • The bottom fullness is pulled in with elastic. Don't bother using the pattern guide included for you to measure the elastic. For a size 14 the guide is 39" long. The hip measurement for a size 14 is only 38". To get the look illustrated on the front cover you'll want the hip elastic to be fairly snug.
Other than that, the rest went together quickly. I will say though, this is one low neckline. I was a bit concerned about the fit on my daughter after I had completed it. Sure enough, I will need to take the neck band off, remove about 3" in the shoulder area, and reattach the neck band.

She's anxious for the alterations so she can enjoy the top in the few warm weather months we have remaining. Plus she said she'll model it for us after I fix the fit. Trust me, it's much cuter on my daughter than on GiGi, my dress from.

Then take two will be coming up very soon. This time a purple long sleeve version to move her into the fall season.

Have any of you sewn this one? What did you think about the neck band instructions? Pin It


  1. I haven't made this one but I really like it. I love yours.

  2. I'm sure you will get those alterations done lickety split and we can see it on your daugher! I am looking forward to it!!!

  3. I haven't sewn this one but have a similar simplicity pattern that I'm about to attempt. Will let you know if there are neckband issues.

  4. Cute top! No, I don't own this one, I try to stay away from anything to voluminous, but you and your daughter can definitely pull this look off! Thanks for the tips about construction, I love when blog posts are helpful and share tips like that!

  5. It's a cute top. But, I have to wonder who the patter makers have in mind when they design such low necklines? I most always have to redesign them.

  6. Even when you buy RTW tops the necklines are usually way big!!! I have to fix every top I buy for my mom. She can't keep them on her shoulders. I love the top, though, especially in that really pretty red!

  7. I look forward to seeing it on your daughter! Have you planned your version yet?

  8. Anonymous9:16 PM

    I made it and did the neck band the way you suggested. Who has time to sit and slipstitch a knit top??

  9. Your tops looks great. Thanks for the review. I have this pattern as well and plan to make it.



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