Phoenix Rising From The Flowers

Every so often I get this mad thought that maybe I have too much fabric in my stash and perhaps I should pause my subscription box.  Thankfully Sew Hayley Jane usually stops this insanity by sending through through an absolute stunner.  Like this vivid floral peachskin in the June box that I’d never have chosen for myself (my mouse clicky finger only knows how to trigger for blues and greys) yet which gave me a sudden and violent desire to see it hanging in my wardrobe.


It had an added bonus in being a pretty darn perfect match for the recently released Hey June Handmade phoenix blouse.  And the current unpatriotic British heatwave is highlighting how few true high summer clothes I really have, so to cut a long story short all my sewing plans went out the window and this jumped straight to the top of the queue.  And pretty immediately onto my back after that.


It’s the perfect top for this ridiculously hot weather – loose and flowy and looks great with shorts, but would work equally well with smart jeans and heels for a girls lunch.  Peachskin isn’t admittedly as cool as a lightweight cotton or linen, but the phoenix is airy enough to not make that a problem.


I have a 38 bust and 42 hips so cut out a 14, but realised when I got to sewing up the side seams that it was way too large and I should have gone for the 12.  It may not be the pattern’s fault in fairness as I’m halfway through a marathon training plan and haven’t redone my measurements despite noticing a new super power ability to eat cake and not put on weight.  (How awesome is that by the way? Way better than X ray vision or flying)  I solved the problem by just taking the side seams in by 1/2 an inch, but now the arm scyes are just a smidge on the tight side so next time I make it I’ll follow the 12 cutting lines to give myself a little room under there.

The only other fitting issue is one I always have – my pesky short back (I’m 5’8 for goodness sake, how can I have a short back?!).  On dresses I can adjust for it by removing some of the back bodice length, but I still haven’t quite figured out what to do with tops that are all one piece in the back.  The photo shows where it pools on me.  I’m thinking of trying slashing the at the back waist and overlapping the slashed pieces to take some fabric out – do you know if that would work?  I’d be eternally grateful if anybody knows the answer to my dilemna!


Construction was surprisingly easy.  It’s certainly not a beginners pattern (the lightweight shifty fabric you need dictates that as much as the techniques) but with a few makes under your belt then there’s no problems.  The instructions are beautifully detailed and I love that with the PDF you only print out the sizes you need.

It was also my first time sewing up a yoke using the burrito method and I’m now a complete convert, which is totally not just because it has a cool name that makes me think of food.  The whole pattern is designed to be finished beautifully on the inside with really clever use of french seams, facings and bias binding, but introduced in such a way that none of them seem overly arduous.  And at the end you have a really high quality garment you can feel really proud wearing!

That’s all from me, I’m off to the beach to go paddling in my phoenix blouse!



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