Tuesday, January 04, 2022

The NEW Itch to Stitch Azores Top

"There's no way I can wear that" was my first thought when I looked at the line drawings of this pattern. 

But then I remembered a top I tried on last summer while at Nordstrom Rack. It had a similar shape with the waist cinched in with elastic thread. I liked it enough that I almost bought it.  The almost was because I sew and you know how THAT conversation goes - "I could sew it, I will sew it, etc."


 The pattern is the newly released Azores Top and Dress from Itch to Stitch.  Here's the line drawing.

The pattern has beautiful details with a shirred waist and wrist, a buttoned yoke with gathers for the bust area, and a short peplum. The pattern has multiple cup sizes also. I sewed an 8 with the DD cup option, grading to a 10 at the waist/hip. 

While there is enough room in the bust area, I discovered I will need to add length above the shirring next time. Any movement I make causes the top to ride up making it too short (and uncomfortable to wear).  I also found that I will need to add length to the sleeves.

I think the proportion of the shorter peplum works.  Just know that you need to wear something high-waisted with a slimmer silhouette on the lower portion of your body to balance out the fullness of the top.  

The shirring is created by sewing seven rows 1/4" apart with elastic thread in the bobbin area. I did two separate bobbins (hand winding each time). One I didn't stretch the elastic thread at all, and one I put just a wee bit of tension on the elastic.  The one with the wee bit of tension worked best for me. 

My fabric is semi-sheer and white and I didn't want to use any type of marking device for the stitch lines, so I marked the first line with blue painters tape. 

 I used my BERNINA 34D foot so I could easily see while I was stitching. 

After stitching the first row I switched to my quarter-inch foot for subsequent rows of elastic. 

By the way, I stitched seven rows of elastic, and was perplexed as to why it wasn't gathering up much. I figured it just needed to be steamed, which you do after all rows are stitched. But that didn't work either. 

Then it dawned on me that my elastic thread was probably old, as I couldn't recall when I had last used it.  I ripped out seven rows of stitching, ran out and purchased new elastic thread, restitched and problem solved :-) 

The most difficult part of the top, which is why its rated intermediate, is the yoke as you need to be precise when stitching the corners. Instructions to sew the yoke and facing using the burrito method are included.  The slit at the center front has a loop and button closure.

Fabric suggestions include woven fabrics such as lightweight crepe, challis, silky, seorgette, and charmeuse. My fabric was purchased a few years ago from SR Harris and I don't know what the fiber content is. 

I was a pattern tester for this top, and in exchange for providing feedback on the instructions and fit, I received a copy of the pattern.

Be sure to check out the pictures of the other pattern testers as you can see what this looks like on many others. 

By the way, if you're interested in purchasing the pattern, this link is an affiliate link - Azores Top and Dress Pattern. The cost is the same to you but I receive a tiny commission.  You certainly don't have to use the link to purchase either if you'd rather not.  

Happy New Year!


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