Completed: The Bronte Top

2 Jul

This is totally my new favorite outfit. I TOLD y’all I was gonna wear the hell of out this navy Hollyburn skirt! I love looking like an American Flag, ok.

Bronte Top

Today, though, let’s just focus on the top.

Bronte Top

This is the Bronte top, a new release from Jennifer Lauren Vintage. Sewn up in a knit fabric, this is obviously not your standard tshirt – the lapped shoulder/neckline detail almost make it look like you’re wearing a dainty shrug, and it’s a nice nod to the 40s without looking super costumey vintage. As soon as I saw this pattern, I knew I had to have it. Don’t get me wrong – I love plain, basic tshirts. I make and wear them all the time. But, let’s be real – there are only so many ways you can design a plain tshirt. This pattern gives a little extra oomph in an unexpected way, and I love it!

Bronte Top

Upfront disclaimer: I was given this pattern free of charge, in exchange for a review. Although, I’ll be honest – I was planning on buying it anyway, because it’s a really cute style that’s completely different from anything I’ve seen around the sewing world. I was also madly interested to learn how the neckline was finished. This review is going to sound completely biased because I really love the pattern and how the finished top turned out. Sorry! It’s just that good.

Bronte Top

Like I said, this pattern is designed for knits, and the first couple of pages are dedicated to helping you choose an appropriate fabric and set your machine up to handle sewing it (assuming you don’t have a serger). Pretty helpful stuff if you’re a knit n00b! One part even compares the appropriate fabric to feeling the same way as underwear fabric, which cracked me up to no end (seeing how much I talk about butts on this blog, I’d reckon y’all probably know how much I appreciated that reference ahaha). But, I mean, it makes sense! The same weight of knit fabric that’s used to make comfy undies would be PERFECT for this top. Plus, you could use the extra yardage left over to make, well, undies.

Bronte Top

I sewed up the size 6, and made no alterations. I’m pretty happy with the fit, although I think I got a little too stretch-happy with the binding and now it sort of gathers where it should lie flat. Oops. I’m so used to modifying my bindings for every top I make (I guess I just like them tighter than how they’re drafted), that I did it without even really thinking. Next time I make this, I’ll go with the binding length as written in the pattern, because as you can see in my photos vs everyone else’s – the binding should definitely sit more flat. Oh well, live and learn!

Speaking of the binding, if you’re curious – it’s sewn on the same way as I think most of us are familiar with. Folded in half, sewn to the right side and flipped back. Works pretty well, though!

Bronte Top

I did make a few changes to the construction, just because I like my knits sewn a certain way, which may not necessarily be the “easiest” way (but I think it looks the nicest!). I did not hem my sleeves until the side seams were sewn up – I like my hems to be a complete circle, don’t like a seam cutting them in half. I also only turned the bottom hem up once, instead of doubled-up. The instructions are very beginner-focused, but they’re easy to skip over if you don’t need the hand-holding.

Bronte Top

My fabric is this red and white striped cotton jersey from Mood Fabrics, with the white binding being some leftover cotton knit from Organic Cotton Plus. The jersey is a little lighter than the pattern suggests, but it works out very nicely. Getting the stripes to match wasn’t much of an ordeal as there are only a couple of pattern pieces to deal with. I sewed everything up on my serger, minus the topstitching, which I did with a twin needle.

Bronte Top

The pattern has you tack down the overlap at the very end – if you don’t attach it down somehow, it will flop open and look stupid. I just went back over my topstitching a second time in that one little section (for each side), but you can also use buttons or other trims to embellish the neckline.

Bronte Top

One surprising thing I really LOVED about this whole experience was the printing part. Ok, actually, I hate printing PDF patterns – like, I’ll go out of my way to avoid it. First I have to find a fucking printer (which I don’t have – well, not one that works – and yes I know it’s the 21st century), then I have to print a bunch of test pages to get the sizing right, then I have to take the thing home and tape it together before I can even start sewing! Argh! Taping together is the worst part, forreal. So, let me back up. I didn’t enjoy the actual printing of this pattern (which I’m pretty sure no one does, amirite), but the taping part was significantly less traumatizing than it normally is. The way the pages are taped together means that each piece gets it’s own set of taped pages – so, instead of ending up with a giant swath of tiled paper (that’s the part I hate – it’s always too big for my table, and takes up the entire floor and I have to crawl around it like a fucking insect. Whyyyy), you’ve got a little stack of smaller tiled papers, each one with one pattern piece to cut out. GENIUS. That shit is pure genius. Why doesn’t everyone tile their PDFs like this?

I also used a tape gun to stick the whole thing together, which made the whole process move a helluva lot faster. Mine’s not pink, though, I kind of wish it was now.

Bronte Top

So that’s it! Overall, I really like the pattern and I’ll definitely sew it again (I’d love to try the long sleeve version, but I’m going to wait until the temperature here is a little less like Hell). You can buy the pattern here, should you feel so inclined πŸ™‚

Also, just a fun fact – but my name is Jennifer Lauren too πŸ™‚ Obviously I go by my middle name, but HOW COOL IS THAT.

A couple more things!
– Say helloooo to my newest sponsor, Indie Sew! Indie Sew doesn’t just sell sewing patterns (but they do – they have lots of great PDFs from various designers); they are also a sewing community for sharing and discovering new blogs. I especially love how they have a gallery where you can upload your creations – and it shows up on the pattern sales page (which I find EXTREMELY helpful, since sometimes the pattern artwork doesn’t necessarily appeal to me for whatever reason). I just love what they’re doing and I’m super excited to watch this community grow and flourish. Check them out!
– This has been EXPLODING across the blogosphere last week, so sorry to cram this shit down your throats again – but have you heard about Capital Chic Patterns? Run by Sally of Charity Shop Chic, these patterns are a little different from what we currently have on the market. For one – the styles are very fashion-forward, runway-influenced. Don’t get me wrong, I love vintage styles, but Sally’s right in that we kind of already got the market cornered on that πŸ˜‰ For second – the patterns themselves are aimed for intermediate to advanced sewists, not beginners. Can I get a halleluiah?! MAN. I love me some quick’n’easy beginner patterns, and I know the beginners sure love them – but it sure is nice to have patterns that are aimed to flexing our sewing skills. If these two points haven’t convinced you, just take a lurk at the lookbook and drool away.
With all that being said – I actually tested the Cosmopolitan (but I only got as far as a muslin for fit and instructions, as my time was very limited during testing), and I can’t wait to get my hands on some nice wide lace so I can sew it up proper; it’s GORGEOUS. I’ve also got my hands on that White Russian, which I will be sewing up when, again, it’s not Hell Fahrenheit down here.
– We have a winner for the Fashionary Giveaway! Lucky number generator says….



Woohoo, congratulations, Trinity (and high-five for committing to a lifetime of crafty!)! Hope you love the book as much as I do πŸ˜€

Thanks so much for entering and playing along, y’all! It was EXTREMELY interesting to read what kind of crafty/artsy things everyone is into – seems like we have a lot of knitters, musicians, and scientists who hang out over here πŸ™‚ While I’m sorry to say that I only had one Fashionary to give away – otherwise I’d give all y’all one – you can still buy the red book if you want to join Team Matchy πŸ™‚ (go on, do it, you know you wanna~!)


26 Responses to “Completed: The Bronte Top”

  1. Tina Spear July 2, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    Lauren, did you use a twin needle to top stitch around the neck & arm hole areas? If so, how do you get it to not have that little “hump” in the middle of the two stitches?

    • LLADYBIRD July 2, 2014 at 8:12 am #

      I did use a twin needle πŸ™‚ there are a couple ways to get flat topstitching- use a walking foot, adjust the tension for the top threads, and use wooly nylon in he bobbin (it’s stretchier than poly thread so it helps those stitches lay nice and flat). Another big big contender is my fabric- the cotton rib knit is pretty substantial (as well as the stripes: the fabric is lightweight but not slinky), so it behaves better in general πŸ™‚

  2. onecraftyminx July 2, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    I am so excited about this pattern! I had a tshirt like this years ago and I wore it to shreds and have longed for a replacement ever since. Now I can have 27,000 versions! And yours is soooo cute, of course, like all your makes.

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2014 at 7:55 am #

      Right?! I had a bunch of these back in the day too (like, in High school, haha), I’m so excited to be ~reunited~ with an old favorite πŸ˜€

  3. kitty cat stevens July 2, 2014 at 8:57 am #

    wow– how cool is indie sew? i just checked them out and you’re right– totally in love with what they are doing! maybe once i get some pattern sewing done (instead of just altering things) i will join up! i also love seeing so many patterns on different people– super helpful for a newb like me that doesn’t know how to pick one out πŸ˜‰

    i know i’ve already mentioned to you that i want to learn to sew knits so i can make shirts and this is such a fun twist! i’ll definitely be checking it out ❀

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2014 at 7:56 am #

      Girl, we have got to get you over here for a knit lesson! I can see you taking to that like a lil duck to water πŸ™‚

  4. Sandra July 2, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    Just super cute!

  5. Jane July 2, 2014 at 9:41 am #

    LOVE IT! I’m going to make my next version exactly the same as this! x

  6. Kelly July 2, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    Love it! I bought the pattern a few days ago and really can’t wait to make it up!

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2014 at 7:57 am #

      That was me after I received it! I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could start, and it was agonizing haha

  7. hongroadlome July 2, 2014 at 9:51 am #

    Love this make on you! Do you have a favorite T-shirt fabric? In particular, a favorite opaque white knit?

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2014 at 8:01 am #

      I’ve learned that my favorite tshirt fabrics are slightly sheer (I like the drapey weight), BUT, a really good opaque knit is any of the interlocks from Organic Cotton Plus. They’re pretty substantial and very opaque – I would wear black bras under my tshirts and you couldn’t see through them haha. I made a couple tshirts with the fabric, which you can see here. it’s also the same fabric I used for the binding on this Bronte top πŸ˜‰

  8. jne4sl July 2, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Lovely and a perfect fit. I noticed somewhere in French a reference to a “col amΓ©ricain.” Poking around I’m pretty sure it referred to an envelope neck like this one. So not sure why we’re given credit for this style and clearly we don’t use the term but totally appropriate for your flag outfit.

  9. marcyhmakes July 2, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    I should’ve known you were a J-Law.

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2014 at 8:02 am #

      I’m just full of surprises πŸ˜‰

  10. Mary N. July 2, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    Well damn. I literally just made that same outfit- I guess great minds think alike? Well I suppose I too will soon be posting a Hollyburn/Bronte combo outfit. Only mine has bonus embroidery. πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2014 at 8:02 am #

      Love that embroidery! But whyyy do you tease me with pink hair tips, want to see more pls!

  11. homemaker4hire July 2, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    CUTE. I’ve noticed a serious lack of t-shirts and tops in my wardrobe and have gone and bought Nettie to fill that gap, now I need to go buy this too because life is just so much more fun with cute t-shirts. Thanks pretty girl!

    PS lovin’ the freshly colored locks, so bright and festive!!

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2014 at 8:04 am #

      Yes! Tshirts are my favorite closet gap to fill, so fun and fulfilling to make and they get worn the most! Bonus if the pattern is extra cute πŸ˜€

      And thank you! I’m loving this new color too, I’m on a ~color adventure~ these days haha

  12. Amanda July 2, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    Cute top (and outfit!). I was wondering if bra straps would show when I first saw this pattern, but it doesn’t seem to be the case with yours. Good to know because I love the design!

    • LLADYBIRD July 3, 2014 at 8:04 am #

      I never even though about bra straps showing but you’re right! They are hidden in this style πŸ™‚

  13. missjoiedevivre July 31, 2014 at 1:28 am #

    Seeing this resulted in an instant text to Johanna at Making It Well demanding age talk me into, or out of, buying the pattern on the spot. Being the sensible person she is she suggested I wait until I have suitable fabric, but I remain completely enamoured. I love this and think you look amazing.


  1. Completed: Some Tshirts! | LLADYBIRD - September 26, 2014

    […] many more tshirt patterns out there (off the top of my head, these come to mind: Ensis, Briar, Bronte, Coco, and Lord, don’t get me started on dresses that can be hacked into tees), but I stuck […]

Yay, comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: