An Animal Print Sewing Workshop Helix Top

Everytime Linda Lee wears a Helix top on one of her Facebook Live videos (also posted on their YouTube channel) I tell myself I need to sew a Helix!  This past week I finally sewed one just to test the fit. 

The Sewing Workshop Helix Top in Animal Print Sharon Sews
I bought the pattern quite some time ago, but whenever I would think about sewing it, I'd wonder about sizing.  If I used my full bust measurement (which is what Linda Lee usually recommends) I would sew a size large.  However, my upper bust measurement puts me in a small. 

I know from experience that many Sewing Workshop patterns are oversized, so I chose to sew the size in between - the medium.  The finished bust measurement for a medium is 46", which gave me 6" of ease.  

The Sewing Workshop Helix Top in Animal Print Sweater Knit

It is larger than I like.  Even as I write that I chuckle, because I am always saying how I don't like my clothing to be tight or form fitting :-) 

But in this case, the top feels a bit sloppy and I think I'd be happier with a slimmer fit.  The finished bust measurement for a small is 42", which would give me 2" of ease.  I may try sewing a small, but with a one or two inch full bust adjustment.

As you can see from the pattern cover, the best part about this top is the unique seaming.  There are only three pattern pieces - a front, a back, and neckband.

It's described as "Long sleeve, spiral, bias-cut shirt. All-in-one front/right sleeve mimics back/left sleeve. Neck binding and stitched hems."

Because I was just testing the fit, I didn't think too much about my fabric selection. I ended up using an animal print sweater knit.  It's been in my fabric stash for so long that I'm not even positive where it was purchased.  I think it was from Fabric Mart Fabrics. 

The Sewing Workshop Helix Top in Animal Print Sweater Knit Sharon Sews
I didn't find construction difficult, but it is important to accurately mark everything because it's not obvious how the seams are to be sewn.

Even though this is a knit, I used a straight stitch throughout. I found it loose enough that there is no stress on any seam, so I didn't think there was any need for a stretch stitch. 

I did lower the neckline by 1-1/2", which is something I typically do for tops with a round neckline, like this one.  I just prefer the look with my large bust. 

Because I lowered the neckline, I had to recalculate the length of the neckband. I measured the circumference of the neckline (along the seamline), and multiplied it by 0.875.  Basically the neckband was 7/8 of the circumference of the neckline. I've been doing that a long time, and I'm not sure if I learned it from Kwik Sew or Linda Lee. 

The Sewing Workshop Helix Top in Animal Print Sweater Knit Sharon Sews

The best part of the top - those seam lines - are hidden because I used a print.  To help highlight them I added some decorative stitches using a red Mettler Poly Sheen thread. I received the thread, along with additional threads, in a swag bag that had been given to all of the 2021 BERNINA Ambassadors.  I don't have an embroidery machine, but this thread works great for decorative stitches. 

Decorative stitch from BERNINA 770QE Plus on Helix Top

Because I just can't seem to not share my boo-boos, here's a pic of how I messed up at the neckline.  I'm not going to bother to fix it. First of all, this top was really just a test. Secondly, my hair will cover that section. Thirdly, most people will never even notice it.

Besides lowering the neckline, I didn't make any other pattern alterations. I did find the sleeves too long, and hemmed them with a 2" hem. I have short arms (thanks Mom!) and this is common for me.

The Sewing Workshop Helix Top in Animal Print Sweater Knit Sharon Sews

With the looseness of the top, I would have liked it to be longer. I think if I sew this smaller I'll be happier with the length. 

Overall, it's a great top and pattern. This version will most likely be worn around the house with leggings during the cold weather months.

The Sewing Workshop Helix Top in Animal Print Sweater Knit Sharon Sews
I plan on sewing another, most likely using two colors so the design lines are visible.  I also have fabric to sew the pants, so I'll blog about those once they are completed. 

I couldn't resist another pic with the big puppy, and you'll be happy to know I didn't misstep this time. If you don't know what I'm talking about check out my Itch to Stitch Sabalito Top post. 

The Sewing Workshop Helix Top in Animal Print Sweater Knit Sharon Sews with puppy

As a BERNINA Ambassador, I stitched this using my BERNINA 770QE Plus. 

Wishing you a blessed day. Happy Sewing! 


  1. That actually looks good, for a Helix. I have one that I made several years ago and the arms are WAY more 'bat wing' that what you ended up with. Maybe it's because I'm short? LOL. I want to make it again but I'd need to take 4" out of the length in the upper part of the top (and then add it back to the bottom) and for the life of me I can't figure out how to do it. I just wear the baggy one I made because the stripes look cool and own the batwings as part of the style, but I think I'd be more comfy in one that had a higher yours, lol.

    1. I saw yours! I loved the stripes. I checked reviews before I sewed this one (that's a first - haha!) I'm not sure why mine isn't as batwing as yours - it also might be because my bust takes up a lot of the excess ease. IDK. I bet if you emailed The Sewing Workshop they'd help you with how to make that 4" change.

  2. Its large but still looks nice on you. I'm just not used to seeing you in loose fitting knit tops but it is pretty. I also have to take out at upper chest and this pattern, which I really like, eludes me for that same reason. Great test piece, Sharon.

    1. Anonymous1:09 PM

      Thanks Bunny. It’s not a style I normally wear but I think with some tweaks I can make it work 😀

  3. I made the Helix top in a smaller size than I usually wear. This top is very generous in size. The pants are great too. Very simple to make. The length of the pants is a bit short for my taste so check that before you cut them out.


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