Pattern Review: Camillia Top by Tina Givens

I've been wooed by Tina's style for years now and am finally getting around to making one of her patterns. I love the lines of her pieces, the angles, the patches, the uses of different fabrics, the linen drape-iness, the casual, yet elegant way she has. I've been particularly excited about the Camillia top, with it's funky hemline and sweet little patch placements, and somewhat more structured shape up top.

One of the aspects of her style that I've admired is the raw edged, unfinished look. However, I found it to be a real mental challenge for me to not finish things up while I was sewing. So, a bit of warning to any of you who like to finish off seams and edges properly, this pattern will not ask you to do any of that. If you want to finish things off more completely, you'll need to factor that in before cutting out all of your pieces. While the garment is simple enough to construct, I would not recommend this to a beginner as the instruction is fairly minimal.

I chose a classic navy Swiss dot for this top. I like the classic nature of this fabric, and the light weight is just what this design calls for, as it will hang and flow nicely. I chose a bright and lively Anna Maria Horner print for the small accent pieces on the front placket, the pockets and the back neck. I love the pop of color this provides.

As you can see in the above image, I did a simple zig zag stitch rather than hemming the bottom. I did not want to completely remove my pockets (that would have involved opening up the side seams), and did not want to do a rolled hem over the bulkiness of the pockets. I'm fine with this, but the next time I make this pattern I know to place my pockets up higher. I also made the little triangle accent piece quite a bit larger than the pattern called for, so I could see more of it. I cut larger accent pieces for the cuffs as well. Next time around, I think I will do the cuffs as a more traditional cuff with a button closure, finished, etc.

Back of the neck detail. The pattern calls for a pleat to be here, under the patch, but it made the top too narrow for me.

Back of the neck detail. The pattern calls for a pleat to be here, under the patch, but it made the top too narrow for me.

All in all, I'm excited to tackle this pattern again with a few modifications. I appreciate the challenge it gave me in just accepting the casual, artsy, raw edge style. In terms of basic garment longevity, I think some more finishing would certainly be helpful and I will do so on the next one!

If you'd like to make a Camilia top like Gina's we have some ideal fabrics in the online store: this subtle Nani Iro double gauze would be beautiful, and you can't go wrong with linen! How about this classic linen chambray?