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Laura’s Vera Top

First off, huge kudos to Hayley this month for working so, so hard to get our lovely boxes to us. We are so grateful for our happy mail to get us through this crazy time!

The theme of adventure, whilst maybe a little ironic at the moment, I really love it. If staying home all this time has taught me anything, it’s to grab new opportunities when you can.

Anyway, on with what you’re here to read about, my lovely new top! I’m lucky that I can do my job from home. Whilst it is easy for me to just wear pyjamas and loungewear all day, I found it has been much better for my mental health to still “dress-up”. It has allowed me to be a bit more experimental with what I wear and put together, consequently I have been able to identify the gaps in my wardrobe, and what I want more of. One of those things is summer tops.

I have a lot of “going out” tops, jumpers and T shirts, but not a lot of casual “dressy” tops for summer. The ones that I can chuck on with a pair of jeans or tucked in a denim skirt and instantly look “made”.

As always, I checked out the Fold Line recommendations in the magazine for inspiration, and the Vera Top from Ploen Patterns jumped out at me. Just what I was looking for! I love cold shoulder style tops. Easy to fit with the trapeze style hem and on trend ruffles. The pattern also comes with a plethora of options, including an elasticated waist dress that I really liked the look of, so I knew that it was a pattern that I was going to get plenty of use out of.

By using this gorgeous cotton poplin, the ruffle sleeves were going to be nice and crisp and have plenty of body. I found this poplin not as stiff as others, I would say more akin to a thick lawn, so it was going be spot on.

The colour palette of the leaves is gorgeous – minty green and soft taupe with bright pops of magenta are my favourites. Just really summery and happy. Just what we all need right now.

I’d never heard of Ploen Patterns before, so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of construction and fit. Sounds weird to say, but I enjoyed the “tone” of the pattern. The wording in the instructions is really friendly and easy to understand.

I didn’t make any adjustments at all. Unfortunately, I did come across a couple of drafting issues (the elastic channel), but it was otherwise spot on. The finishing inside is really nice with an all-in-one facing.

The elastic in the sleeves are not tight to the arm, it is only to add the ruffle top. Even still, I opted to use bra elastic as it is stronger and more durable than standard. We don’t want droopy shoulders here!

To stop it looking like a tent (especially so as poplin doesn’t really drape!) there are bust darts which are very welcome to add much needed shape to the bodice. I think next time I will just move them up a touch as they are a little low on me.

Obviously the sleeves are the big statement here, so to finish them off with extra pizazz, I dug out this really cute tassel fringe from my haber-“stash”-ery (see what I did there!) from an age old SewHayeyJane box (for SHJ veterans like me, it was July 2018 “Festival Fever”!) that I have been hoarding forever waiting for the perfect project. The tones of deep and light pink match the leaves like a dream. Maybe it’s a tad much, but honestly, I am living for the extra.

Now’s the time to get experimental with your wardrobe – add the tassels and the pom-poms and own it. You might just love it!