Trying Something New

Hi! I’m Elizabeth from That’s Sew Lily and this is my first time participating in The Monthly Stitch’s Indie Pattern Month challenges and I’m so excited!

I’ve been sewing a lot more over the last several months but, come to think of it, I have been in a bit of a rut designer-wise so this week’s challenge to try a pattern from a designer I’ve never used before piqued my interest. It’s just so much easier to stick with designers you’re familiar with because you already know how their patterns will or will not fit your body. It’s even easier to not try any new patterns because you’ve already altered them, if necessary. I need to step out of that if I’m going to grow, improve, and challenge myself though.


I decided on the Polly Top from By Hand London after looking at a several of the IPM2017 sponsors. I’ve somewhat had my eye on a few of their patterns* and this free pattern seemed like a good opportunity to see what the drafting and instructional clarity are like before spending money. Also it looks breezy and comfortable for summer which is always a huge plus!

*Questions for myself: Am I a “blazer person”? Can I actually pull off the Victoria blazer? Maybe I’ll find out this fall.


I had juuuuuuuust enough of this gorgeous rayon challis left for the main body (seriously, an inch less and I’m honestly not sure if it would have worked) and some rose lace in my stash. All I needed was to buy some pink satin for the back of the front panel.


The front panel is just a standard overlay. Since rayon has so much drape and flow, I cut the satin front panel piece on the bias.  The two pieces were basted together and then the shirt was assembled. The rest of the shirt came along quickly too.


I always enjoy a chance to make and sneak in some gorgeous bias tape and I love the way the roses match. It can be really really tempting to skip the ironing steps, but it doesn’t take much extra time if you keep a hot iron (I have this mini travel iron) by your machine. And the results are definitely worth it!


As you can see the back neckline gapes a little. I made a straight size 4 based on my bust measurement but that didn’t take into consideration how my larger than average boobie measurement means that my back measurement is smaller. I’m not really sure how a full bust adjustment could be done with the design of this shirt so next time I might try a back neckline adjustment (By Hand London has instructions for this).

Overall I’m pretty happy with By Hand London and the way my Polly Top turned out. Hopefully I’ll add more Pollys (Pollies?? haha) to my wardrobe and more By Hand London patterns to my collection (see my musings above). I’ll just try to remember that I might need to do a full bust adjustment to any other tops or dresses I make. I’m really glad I branched out and tried something new!

14 thoughts on “Trying Something New

  1. Lovely fabric choices and a cute top! I’m certainly a fan of trying out a free pattern to see if I like the pattern drafting. Do you think that the gaping at the back is not just due to the bias binding – it which case it might be possible to reapply it and sort the problem out?


  2. This is such a great mix of fabrics – love the lace overlay & the pretty bias tape too. Glad that you tried something new because this is a hit on you!


  3. I have to say your top is just gorgeous. Much prettier than the tops shown on the pattern’s site. I’d never have given the pattern a second glance based on what’s shown there, but I absolutely LOVE your version of it.


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