First of all.. SLEEVES!!! This was my first time doing any sort of origami sleeves and it surely won’t be the last! I was ecstatic when the lovely folks at Makerist offered me a pattern to try. Honestly, the decision was really hard to make. There are so many lovely patterns on their website! But I’ve been stalking this Screwdriver Top by Our Lady of Leisure Sewing Patterns for a long time now so I feel like it was an inevitable choice. This was actually not my first time making an OLOL pattern. I made the Magarita dress for my 30th birthday and to be completely truthful, it looked beautiful but the process was a little bit hit or miss. I have a blog post and YouTube video all about that experience. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to give this company another try because their designs are definitely appealing! Good news: I had an amazing experience this time and I absolutely love my new Screwdriver top!
Apart from the obvious eye-catching sleeves, the Screwdriver also features a gorgeous wrap front with bands that tie in a dramatic bow. The shape of the front pieces form a cute petal shape at the hem when crossed over. The neckline is finished with facings which I totally questioned when I realised interfacing wasn’t suggested. However, I trusted the pattern maker and thank goodness I wasn’t a rebel this time! It worked out perfectly and I understand why interfacing wasn’t necessary. I think it would be a little too stiff and would affect the fit of the shoulders and the drape of the neckline. Especially because this pattern calls for sturdier fabrics – cotton, linen, shirting etc. Anything crisp enough to allow the origami sleeves to hold their shape and puff up nicely.
My fabric is a tropical print 100% cotton. It is definitely a thicker weight cotton and was the perfect choice to show off these sleeves and the big bow at the front. I guess I picked yellow because I was inspired by the pattern cover. My print is a little busy so I was worried the details could get lost but I think it all works well together. Though I do think a solid would be absolutely stunning and would really draw your eye to those fun details.
In terms of sizing, I have quite a lot of information to share. Firstly, I was majorly disappointed by the size range which goes from US 2-14 equivalent to UK/AUS 6-18. That’s a bust of 31.5″-43″, waist of 24″-35.5″ and hip of 35.5″-47″. My measurements put me at size F, the second to last size on the chart. Usually I fall somewhere in the middle of a pattern size chart. Because of the wrap nature and the amount of positive ease, I figured I could go down a few sizes for a closer fit. This pattern does not feature the layers option so I had to print the entire thing with all sizes and then trace. I traced and made a muslin of size D, two sizes down from my suggested size. It was pretty much perfect fit with one exception. The shoulder to bust area was pulling and restricting my movement a bit. I figured it was because I needed an FBA but honestly I didn’t know where to start making that adjustment on these pattern pieces because of their shape so I decided to go up a size. I ended up making size E and grading down to a D on the side seam. So keeping in mind that the wrap makes it adjustable, I think it is safe to say that the pattern can accommodate maybe one to two sizes bigger than specified. For reference, the finished garment measurements state that the minimum and maximum wrap tightness for the largest size are 45″-51″ at the bust.
Now back to these fabulous sleeves… I was really intrigued to see the construction and I have to admit I thought it would be really complicated. To my surprise, it was more interesting than difficult. You do the origami folds on the wrong side of the sleeves, then use machine tacks to hold them in place. From the right side, you don’t see the tacks, just some interesting tucks. The more random you do the tacks, the puffier the sleeve. The illustrations are great and simple to follow. The sleeve hem is finished with elastic which helps to add even more volume. The way the tacks are done, the underneath of the sleeves have no tucks in the seam area. I found that it hung weirdly and created an odd shape so I added a few tacks there. My sleeves have 360° tucks!
I was a bit scared that the top would end up being too long on me as it is drafted for someone much taller than I am. I am only 5’4″ and short waisted. But I quite like the length for this shape. It is perfect to pair with jeans! Once I wrapped the ties around my body, they automatically pulled around my natural waist. So the area from the shoulders to the waist then formed a slight blouson effect since I am short waisted. I have to say I actually love this fit! The ties do get a bit bulky in the back especially because of the weight of my fabric but that’s nothing to worry about really.
I guess by now you can tell I am pretty much obsessed with this top. To be honest, I felt uninspired when I went fabric shopping. All of the cottons and linens were sold out for mask making and only a few tropical prints were left. This fabric is literally the only one in the entire store I liked at all. I was actually planning to go for something a bit more muted but as soon as I saw this yellow, I remembered how gorgeous the cover model looked. The mustard yellow complimented her skin tone so well and as a brown skinned girl myself, I just knew this was the right pick. I have absolutely no regrets! This is a good time to mention that I really appreciate the diversity on the pattern covers of Our Lady of Leisure sewing patterns. It’s so lovely seeing different races represented, something truly lacking in the sewing community. That being said, I feel confident that this company shares my values and I will definitely be trying some of their other patterns.
If you feel inspired by my make, head on over to Makerist so you can grab your copy of the Screwdriver Top and while you’re at it… I give you permission to go crazy on their website.. trust me you’ll get sucked in too!