Hot Patterns Urban Gypsy off-the-shoulder top

HP Urban Gypsy Sew Paradise

I’ve had this on my must-sew list for at least a year. I wanted to make one for last year spring break, but ran out of time. This year, I planned ahead (and I sew more now), and it’s done, a full 10 days in advance. That’s the new me 😉

I love this top for several reasons – first, it’s very on-trend with the off-the-shoulder look. I made this in a gifted-to-me super light cotton lawn that is gossamer thin. The fact that it’s cotton is it’s only saving grace – in silk, I’d have drunk the entire keg of beer just trying to sew it. The cotton behaved well with a hot iron and some serging.

The pattern goes together very easily – the instructions are clear, and even though I charged ahead and sewed the fronts and backs together at the shoulder seams (like a raglan tee), I did note later in the instructions, that I wasn’t supposed to attach the front sleeves til I was ready to connect the flat, interfaced front band to the elastic-cased back band. It was simple enough to pick out about 2″ of seam and sew it back up once the neckbands were sewn on. I did read them first, I just missed that part. There’s a lot of “If you’re doing A, skip to 7” and things like that, so I missed the part about not sewing on the front sleeves til later.

This top has a shelf bra! Yes, you heard that, a shelf bra is built into the design of this top – there’s a stretchy white bra under this, so I won’t have to wear a strapless bra (who loves those? no one.) I used white ITY for the built in bra. You could sew some cups in there, but I don’t really need them.

I ended up making the back of the top longer than the front, quite inadvertently. I knew from other reviewers of this on the HotPatterns sewing club on Facebook, that petite people had shortened this top. I wanted to wear it with shorts (see below) and not have it look like I wasn’t wearing pants. So I shortened the pattern by folding it up before the hem makes it’s curve – but apparently, I was not even in my fold-up on the front and back (and fortuitously, it was the back that was longer.) Sometimes happy accidents happen. I’m going to actually measure that out and mark the pattern with a slash and tape to make it shorter next time.

I’m showing this with some of my capsule wardrobe for the spring break trip (six days, no laundry facilities) – the shorts are ones I bought at H&M in an emergency “how’d I gain weight?” in Europe this summer, after the shorts I brought with me were suddenly too small. And they’re snug-ish, but I’m working on that. I am wearing them as well with wide leg Perfect Pants from Christine Jonson Patterns.

I love this top, it was very easy to construct, and with the number of light cotton lawn prints in my stash right now, I’ll definitely be making a couple more of these. There’s a tie-sleeve version (seemed like a guacamole catcher to me) which I might try for my next version. There are also front pockets which I will also try in a future version. I did NOT make a muslin – in HotPatterns, I generally get a good fit right out of the envelope with tops (pants, I do have to muslin and adjust.) Besides, with a large stash, a good deal of it things gifted from friends, I really have wearable muslin fabric to work with. And a lot of it.

I highly recommend this pattern. It’s easy to sew, there are nice details and it’s very fashion forward. I’ll replace these images with pool and beachside ones once I’m on spring break!

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