Thursday, November 2, 2017

Twice as Nice

Fear not; I'll wear this with a jacket.
A few weeks ago I took a class from Marsha McClintock of Saf-T-Pockets. As you may know, her focus is on travel garments with lots of pockets, many hidden, as well as reversable garments. In this class we made a reversable shell from her pattern Twice as Nice.

It would hard for a pattern to be easier and still worth the trouble. There is one tricky bit, but otherwise it's a straight-forward make.

It is composed of a front piece cut on the fold, a back piece cut on the fold, and an optional pocket. I did cut out the pocket but then decided to omit it.

a pocket from one of Marsha's sample tops
The top has armhole darts that are not illustrated anywhere on the outside of the pattern envelope. To me, that's a feature to be highlighted, especially in a sleeveless garment, so I am not sure why that was omitted from the drawings.

I chose fabric from stash for the class version. Both the purple and the black are cotton lawn - light enough to make a reversable shell.

The tricky bit is the clever way you attach the armholes of the two layers. The two layers are constructed as separate shirts through bust darts and shoulder seams. Then they are joined at the neckline in the usual right-sides-together method. Next the two shirts are attached in the arm holes, using a burrito method. I had seen this done with vests where the two sides of the fronts allow you to pull things through the shoulder opening, but I could not visualize it without the front openings. The geometry is counter-intuitive.

It was worth making a reversable garment just to try out the trick.

The vents and hemlines are to be joined together so I decided to leave the layers loose. I like that the other color shows.

It is a nice basic pattern and I like having those in stash to retrieve from time to time. It does not take much fabric so it's perfect for remaking an old garment.

A while back I made a tunic from this bright red linen. And then I seemed never to reach for it. Time for a remake.

This version looked most interesting in the scarecrow pose.
Following the class Marsha sent us a PDF pattern for a sleeve to add to this top. It is a short sleeve that I lengthened to 3/4 length. I did not make this one reversable. Marsha does include instructions for doing that but I am not sure I'd really like two layers on the sleeves even in a lighter fabric.

I was unable to cut either the front or the back on the fold which turns out to be a good thing. More vertical lines; more opportunity for sashiko.

It's plain. I think these will be good layering pieces and an opportunity for jewelry or scarves.

One tip: the front armscye includes clips for the dart legs, as well as a third clip for attaching the sleeve (or pocket). I managed to confuse those and only discovered it when I tried to match the sleeve notch to the garment notch. Next time I hope to watch for that.


  1. Nice basic!...........hmm may have to get this pattern.

  2. I am going to order that pattern! Very handy for an upcoming trip.

  3. It's a personal choice, so maybe not for you, but I think we are almost to the point where we can casually and comfortably show our naked upper arms. Your's aren't bad. I'm truly envious of the impeccable fit of that shell! I'll get there one day.

  4. Very nice redo of red linen! I wear linen year round, it's not just for summer! :-)
    I just had my first experience with a armhole dart via a Style Are pattern. I liked the look and will certainly give this Saf-T pattern a look see. Thank you!

  5. Saw your review at PR and stopped over to read your post. I now understand why the red top has a center seam! Love your reversible shell and have used the sleeve burrito method previous on other patterns. I agree that the pattern envelope is not inspiring and I too love a sleeve dart for better fit with sleeveless tops! Glad you reviewed this!

  6. Thank you for the review of this pattern, it looks most interesting. Armhole darts are the best and I don't understand why they are not used more often. I love the reversible top, so cool.