Often, after working on a quilt with a lot of math and small pieces, I feel like I need a good, easy, but still interesting project to work on. A palette cleanser of sorts. I've been in the mood to sew some clothes, but I am not ready to undertake my big clothing project of 2016 just yet. (Spoiler alert: The big project is JEANS! You all, I'm saying it here: I am going to make my own jeans!) While scrolling through Instagram, I saw something that lead me to the Ryan Top by Whitney Deal. It's a sweet, cute, simple top and I knew it was just the kind of project I needed.

Ryan top

I purchased, download and assembled the pattern Wednesday morning in a spare hour at home while washing the fabric at the same time. Skills, I tell you! I cut it out early in the afternoon and set it aside for after school sewing. And by four o'clock, I was stitching away. With a small hiatus to cook and eat dinner, I had the entire thing finished by bedtime. Man, did it ever feel good to start and finish something in one day!

I pulled the fabric out my stash – it's a lightweight cotton yarn dye that I picked up in Nashville last summer. It is lightweight with a nice drape and beautiful hand. I love it. The pattern contains five pieces – a front yoke, back yoke, front facing, back facing and the bodice (you cut two of this one piece). The pattern is well-written and is geared towards beginners. My only issue was that some of the seam allowances were 1/4" and some were 1/2" so I really had to pay attention to exactly what each step called for. Not a big deal – just something to note.

Ryan top neck

Instead of using the front and back facings on the neckline, I decided to finish it with a bias binding. This all personal preference. I don't care for the way facings feel on my neck while I am wearing a blouse. First I cut a 1 1/2" bias strip from some Liberty scraps. (This was a little too big – I could have done it with a 1" strip). Before sewing the shoulder seams, I stay-stitched both necklines at 1/8". After the shoulder seams were completed, I sewed the bias tape on with the 1/4" seam called for when attaching the facings. There's a good tutorial for this method over on Grainline if you don't know what I am talking about. I followed the pattern as written for everything else.

Ryan top front

My bust measurement put me right in the middle of a size L so I felt confident making this without a muslin. I do think the pattern runs a little small – I feel like I could use a tiny bit more easy under the arms. I'm a C/D cup for what that is worth. I think if you are much bustier than that, you would have to make some adjustments. If you are on the high side of the measurement range for your size, I'd say go ahead and make that muslin. I know. Boring, but better safe than sorry. Even though I feel I could use a tad bit more room, I will still wear this a lot as it is. It's comfortable and cute – a perfect summer shirt.

Ryan top back

Note: this top is long! Almost tunic length, I think, although Jane told me that it is too short to be a tunic. What do I know? Regardless, I like the extra length as I am long in the torso and normally have to add a couple of inches to compensate. Not this time. It's perfect as is for wearing with skinny jeans or leggings. I could make a darling dress if you lengthened the bodice piece or be a super cute top with even five or six inches less length. I can envision many different iterations of this pattern in my closet. I'm thinking about a shorter one in a sweet Liberty floral to wear with shorts this summer or even a two-fabric version, one for the yoke and one for the body. I could go on and on – you get the drift. Bottom line: I recommend this pattern.

Unrelated: something prompted me to go back and read some of my archives last night. What a trip down memory lane! It's hard to believe that I have been writing in this space for almost 10 years (RIGHT?!?). It made me realize just how much I miss sharing some of my process and daily thoughts. I am on Instagram daily, but I don't think that is the same. I feel there is just not the space to write about some of the things swirling in my mind on that platform. I'm not promising anything, but I am wondering if you may just see more of me around here with small bits to share instead of just finished projects.

Happy Friday, friends! Enjoy the weekend.

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