Sunday, April 6, 2014

Warp Drive Blair

I am officially hooked on fast, simple knits. This one comes courtesy of Finland's Named Patterns, whose wares I've been wanting to try ever since someone pointed me in the direction of their skinny jeans (which are currently in progress!).  This one is the Blair bat wing top (so named because of the massive tent-like sleeves), and it's amazing! From start to finish (and by start, I mean taping the printed out PDF pattern together, cutting out the fabric, etc), this top probably took about two hours to put together. It's quite likely you could whip it up in even less time than that, but I was interspersing my sewing with some much-needed apartment tidying, laundry washing, etc. The result is a super-comfortable and breezy top, which could easily be dressed up or down, worn with layers or alone, all year round.

A few notes about the pattern, for anyone considering making their own: as mentioned above, it's a print-it-yourself deal, and meant to be printed on A4 paper, which most North American printers don't automatically have. However, printing it on legal size 8.5 x 14" paper works just fine, which is what I did. Then, you have to tape the pieces together and trace the pattern pieces onto another paper before cutting them out. For this particular pattern, you can get away with just tracing the sleeve (the only overlapped pieces) and cutting the front and back pieces from the actual print-out. Some people don't like the added step of having to trace the pieces, but the fact that the seam allowances are included (kiitos paljon, Nameless!) more then makes up for it.

My only real issue with the pattern itself is the method given for finishing the neckline: it's simply folded over twice and stitched down, which can easily end up looking terrible if you're not really careful. But that is so minor, because if you have even a smidgen of sewing experience it would be incredibly easy to modify the pattern slightly and use whatever your preferred neckline for knits might be (I'm already throwing together a second Blair, and will be using the neckline from my Hemlock pattern in lieu of the fold-over).

I love this top! It would make a great project for someone just learning to work with knits, and I'm looking forward to playing around with alternate versions. It could look really great with different sleeves, or with some added length to make it more of a dress thang...I'm thinking of maybe even trying it out with some really thin and drapey woven material...

Oops, almost forgot ye olde specs:

- the pattern comes in two sizes, and I made the smallest one
- I used a lightweight cotton jersey from Girl Charlee (I would recommend using any knit fabric in a similar weight for this top: because it's already an over-size fit, anything too thick would make it look pretty bulky)

In closing, I would encourage everyone to check out Named Patterns! They have a pretty good range of patterns for such a new company, and really excel at modern, minimalist looks (their awesome DIY philosophy is pretty great too!).


  1. Ooh I really like this! I think it looks like it has a bit less ease on you then in the pattern photos. Did choosing the smaller size mean sizing down? I'm also addicted to sewing quick knit tops (from free patterns! *cough* Hemlock).

    1. Thanks! When choosing what size to make, I considered the finished measurements of the top rather than the actual body sizing given (according to which I should have made the larger size). For the smaller size, the finished waist/hip measurement is 41 3/4" I think, and my own waist/hip measurements are 29/38. I had seen project photos where the finished top seemed to fit larger than I would want my own to, so I chose the smaller size accordingly (the fit of the sleeves adds the appearance of more volume as well).

      As long as you leave yourself a couple inches of ease around the lower hem, as I did, you should be fine :)

  2. Looks great. I've been tempted by this myself but recently was given a massive stash of patterns and buttons belonging to my colleagues mum, and randomly found a batwing pattern in there so I think I'll give that a bash. The Name patterns are very stylish indeed! Look forward to seeing your jeans.

  3. I love this top! This sort of thing is my weekend staple. I am so in love with Named patterns as well. I've only made their Tailcoat Top but have my eye on the Lumme skirt next. I may have to give this one a go as well!