For my test of the pattern, I selected a sweater knit recently purchased from FabricMart. It was described as a poly/cotton blend heathered stripe knit in the colors of sable, cream and dark brown. It is an interesting knit, with one side showing a flat knit with the stripes clearly delineated and the other side appearing more of a boucle texture. I chose the boucle textured side as the "right" side for my project. I've already thrown out the scraps of the fabric used for this top before thinking to snap a photo of the two sides, but here it is in another colorway where you can kind of see the difference between the two sides:
The size chart on the pattern envelope put me in a size XL (20-22) and the finished garment measurements printed on the pattern tissue, in addition to some flat-pattern measuring on my part, confirmed that XL was the size I wanted to make. I didn't even need to make my standard increase at the biceps on the sleeve! But I did shorten the sleeve pattern by about 1.5 inches.
I really wanted to make the version with the hood (after all, that's why I bought the pattern!), but my test fabric was only 2 yards and I just couldn't squeeze the hood piece on what I had. So I had to go with the collar version and the shorter back length of View B, with the front pocket. By the time I finished the garment, however, I was more than happy that I had to use the collar instead of hood--this collar is fabulous! My sweater knit was fairly substantial to begin with and I interfaced the collar piece, as the pattern instructs. Thus, the resulting collar has a nice ability to stand up in a shapely way, but is not so stiff that it looks board-like. It also is soft and malleable enough to be able to fold it down if I wish. It's really fun to play with for different looks! Also, the collar pattern piece is just a big rectangle, so it would be very simple to cut the collar to be a shorter height if you wanted.
Here's the finished top:
The photo looks like I got a little over-zealous with the iron, but this isn't noticeable on the garment in real life.
A closer look:
This pattern is quite simple to put together and did not take a lot of time to construct. The most time consuming part is probably creating the front placket opening. And, while the pattern instructions are actually quite good and seem reasonably clear, I did veer from their suggested procedure in two aspects. The first variation I did was when making the front placket. The instructions tell you to sew the two fronts together with a seam which goes from the hem up to the bottom of the placket. Then you work on each of the two sides of the placket to finish the front. I thought this sounded like kind of a PITA to have to work on one side of the placket while the other half of the front was attached and dangling off to the side. So, after stay-stitching each inner corner of the plackets, I constructed them separately, then stitched and finished the center front seam. This worked just fine for me and probably involved much less swearing.
The other spot where I veered from the instructions as written was with the sleeves. The pattern instructs to stitch the body side seams and the underarm sleeve seams separately and then do a traditional set-in sleeve, stitched in the round. I totally understood why the pattern instructs to set the sleeve this way--this is not a dropped shoulder, the armscye sits at the normal shoulder point and, therefore, the sleeve has a relatively high cap. When inserting a regular sleeve with a normal-to-high sleeve cap, it usually is easier (and you typically get much better results) if you set in the sleeve more traditionally. However, knowing that I was working with a knit (which can be a little more forgiving when easing), I chose to put the sleeve in flat after I sewed the shoulder seams and then stitch the underarm and side body seam in one long go from bottom hem to sleeve hem. It worked fine.
An even closer look at the collar with button closure:
I used an elastic hair tie for the button loop.
All in all, I think this is a great pattern. Pretty simple and quick to put together, and the instructions are pretty decent. The fit is good--I can wear a long-sleeved T-shirt or turtleneck underneath it, but nothing heavier than that. I like that it has a regular sleeve/shoulder, rather than a dropped shoulder line. The collar is really fun to wear and feels cozy, especially if there's a little wind in the air. I think it turned out really cute and I will be making at least one more before I put the pattern away (gotta have that hood!!).