Friday, June 4, 2021


The Whistles top is an older pattern from the Sewing Workshop, the companion to the Bells top. Two  entirely different tops in one envelope. I made the Bells shirt a while back and did not end up wearing it much, though it is an interesting top. It has a feminine shape and interesting sleeves. I think it is the most fitted of any of the Sewing Workshop patterns. I wonder where I put that...

For some reason, I did not pay attention to the second shirt in the pattern envelope - the Whistles shirt. I needed Linda Lee to point out how interesting it is. Now I see the light. She does an amazing job of directing my attention each Tuesday at 11 CDT. Do you watch these FB live sessions? She could sell ice to the Eskimos, as they say. And I go willingly because it's so inspiring. I might be making quilts and pillowcases otherwise!

Right now, the Sewing Workshop offers two kits for this pattern, each with gorgeous bold panel prints designed by Noelle Phares. Her work is beautiful and I'm tempted to order some panels from her. I was also tempted by the kits, though they are now sold out.

Part of what I love about sewing is making my own selections, so I have stubbornly refused to order any of the kits they are offering this year. So far.

But back to the Whistles shirt. It is a fairly simple shirt, much like the Now and Zen shirts, with a slightly dropped shoulder, straight sides with vents, and straight long sleeves. 

The Whistles has asymmetrical front and back seams that incorporate very cool architectural details. There are 3 wedge shapes arranged along the center front, some that hide buttons. 

And there are 3 similar wedge shapes along the back. 

The fabric is a cotton-linen blend from my local quilt store, the Cotton Farm. It is a *shot* weave, where the warp and the weft are different colors. It gives the fabric more depth and a richer color, I think. It washed and dried beautifully becoming quite soft. It does not seem to wrinkle much. And it is fairly light weight, nice for our warmer and warmer weather.

The front and back pieces must be cut single-layer, due to the asymmetry. When I initially cut out my pieces, I failed to properly label each of the wedge shapes and so had to go back and re-attach the tissue. Some of them look similar but each of the 6 wedge shapes is unique.

I interfaced all of the wedge shapes. Only a few of them have button holes and buttons, requiring interfacing. But I did not want some of them to look crisp and the others, wispy. I'm pleased with the resulting look, though it does feel a teeny, tiny bit heavy. Do you think so?

The collar is plain but can stands up crisply or can be folded flat if it feels too hot. I like having those options. I interfaced both top and bottom collars too. One slight issue with the neckline is the way the raw edges are finished. If you use a serger, as I did, it does not look finished when left open at the top. Of course, I could add a little bias binding right there. Maybe a little piece of silk that contrasts?

Next time I might finish that one edge near the neckline with something nicer than serging (see above picture). However, after Linda Lee's recommendation, I now use embroidery threads in my serger. It creates a much more invisible and soft edge because the thread is two-ply rayon. Also it doesn't melt under the iron!

The sleeves are plain. I knew I'd want to roll them up so I used French seams. If I make it again, I may add a placket and cuff, or some sort of detail to the sleeves. 

I think that this solid color allows the details to shine. The Whistles does create a beautiful top in those Noelle Phares panel prints, but I think that fabric would show even better on the plainer Now and Zen tops. 

This top lends itself to using coordinating fabrics for the wedge pieces. I came very close to using another cotton-linen blend in gray and white stripe for some of them. In the end though, I am very pleased with this new shirt. Maybe I need to go out to eat someplace and wear it now that I'm fully vaccinated!

I hope you are sewing something beautiful!


  1. Beautiful shirt and it looks lovely on you. I agree with you that it looks warm.

  2. The fabric really shows off all the details in this pattern, it looks wonderful. I too am a Linda Lee fan.

  3. Thankyou - LOVE your reviews.

  4. I like this in the fabric you've chosen. Different. And, it could probably be used as a lightweight jacket, too!