The Colette Jasmine pattern is a pull-over woven top cut on the bias for extra drape. It has a couple of flat collar options and some shaping in the body. It is rated as a beginner pattern, and it is.
I’d never before dipped my toe into the waters of indie patterns. I knew of and had used the Big 4 for decades, but sewing was not popular when I was growing up, and all we had around was FabricLand.
When my favourite local fabric store, Needlework, opened up, they had all of these very pretty and tempting indie patterns stocked, including all of Colette’s. Of all of them, the Jasmine top showed the most potential to me: the bias cut promised a drapey, flattering fit, and it didn’t require any buttons (my sewing machine at the time was particularly good at devouring any fabric so unfortunate as to find itself underneath the buttonhole foot). It looked like a basic, fairly simple, short-sleeved shirt that had the potential to be a work wardrobe staple. Alas, it was not to be.
First, the good: the notches matched up. The collars worked. The sleeves fit pretty well. It is a garment I was able to assemble from the pattern pieces and instructions and it looked mostly like the picture on the cover. I graded between a 12 at the bust and a 10 at the waist based on the sizing chart, and then slimmed it down a bit for a closer, drapier fit.
So why don’t I wear them?
Wearable Muslin: the blue poly never pressed as well as it should have. It’s a cheap fabric I bought for testing purposes, so that’s not a real surprise. Also, because it was a test, the sizing is not quite right. The bust darts were a bit on the low side (I know, but I have the shortest back-waist measurement ever) and it all felt a little baggy.
This I fixed in the final, but the problem is that cotton lawn, even cut on the bias, doesn’t really drape.
Cotton is one of the recommended fabrics, but on my body shape, even on the bias, it simply does not drape enough to have a flattering shape. I look like the Great Waistless Wonder from the front, where I need to have all of that excess fabric to get the shirt over my bust.
Looking at the pattern sample with the benefit of hindsight, the model is … how to put this … carrying less mammary tissue than I am, and I’m sure that’s part of why the pattern is more successful on her.
As a result, I really only wear this shirt when I can tuck it into something. Since most of my pants and skirts don’t go all the way up to my waist (that high waist thing), this isn’t very often.
I can’t count the shirt as a success, since I get so little wear out of it (poor Liberty lawn). But I did learn something valuable from it which is, for me, that I will only wear shirts that either drape well because of the inherent nature of the fabric (like knits), or have closures. There is no point for me in making a pullover woven top, certainly not out of cotton.