Kennis, the designer behind Itch-to-Stitch has come up with another fabulous pattern for summer, the Crystal Cove Cami, which is designed for woven fabrics and has the following features:
- Options for A, B, C, D and DD cups
- Relaxed fit bodice
- Spaghetti straps
- Overlapping back with curved hem for a unique look
I have to say at the outset that no new fabric was harmed in the following makes as this pattern requires so little fabric that it is a fabulous scrapbuster. First up is a version that I thought I could layer for winter so I can wear it straight away. I chose a beautiful linen left over from a shirt I made from Tom. I bought this fabric in New Zealand many years ago.
I tried to dye my grey ITS Hepburn turtleneck mustard but it went khaki, which didn’t work at all, so I’m going to find some mustard merino and make one specially to go under this cami. I’ve worn it twice already and it behaves pretty well, although, being linen, it does wrinkle somewhat. It works well teamed with my self drafted merino top and Itch to Stitch Mountain View jeans.
My second version was made from a cotton and silk blend from Potters that I used to make a top, also years ago. The design is printed diagonally and I didn’t know if it would work, but it’s ok. I looks a bit as though the top is cut on the bias, but it isn’t. Please note that the weather was pretty stormy when these outdoor photos were taken and I wasn’t warm. Talk about suffering for my art! Worn here with my white Jalie Éléonore pull on jeans and mustard COS shoes that I wore as part of my mother of the groom outfit.
Number three is made from silk fabric harvested from this old ready to wear top, which I no longer wear because I’m not keen on the cold shoulder look. I couldn’t bear to give the top away as I love the fabric.
This was my favourite of the three test camisoles. It reminds me of Christmas and I suspect that I shall be wearing this one on Christmas Day, when hopefully the weather will be warmer!
What sets this top apart from all the other cami patterns is the split back with that lovely rounded feature, which I think is also rather flattering.
This fabric was the most difficult to sew, but I think will be the most rewarding to wear.
My last version is a hack of the pattern and therefore not part of the testing process. Kennis posted up a inspiration photo of an Anthropologie Gemma eyelet cami and, as I had just been to the op-shop and bought a cotton broderie anglaise valance (for mere cents), I thought it could be used to replicate this one.
This is my interpretation. Because it’s a valance, the actual embroidered component is very narrow, so I had to piece together both the front and the backs. Please note that I scoured the fabric in soda ash prior to making it up to ensure that it was as clean as possible and to restore the whiteness.
The front was fairly simple to put together, but the back took a bit of consideration. I wanted to have the curved back but I also wanted the scalloped edge. In the end I sewed the scallops on my sewing machine, having interfaced the edges, and then cut round them. This was quite tricky but I feel as though, from a distance, the edge looks integral to the fabric, even though I couldn’t replicate the size of the original scallops.
One of the things I really like about this version is the peplum effect caused by joining the fabric.
The fabric is quite pretty and I’m going to dye the remainder, possibly with avocado, and make another summer top.
As already mentioned, the pattern comes in various cup sizes, which is much appreciated by me as I feel that I am not the standard B cup, but when I did my measurements I came out as a B. Hah! I made the 6B grading to a 2 at the hips. I always find the Itch-to-Stitch patterns easy to grade. Due to the layers feature, I simply print the two sizes I want and then use a curved ruler to blend between the two. I transfer markings where necessary and I have never found the fit to be off. I made no other changes – the darts were in the perfect place and the spaghetti straps were the right length. The neckline and armscyes are faced, and the facing encloses the straps, so everything is neat. I did a rolled hem on the linen version, but did a tiny hem for the next two. I am wearing a strapless bra with numbers 2 and 3 and feel as though it’s changed my shape somewhat, so I made slightly wider straps for the white one, but I can still see bra straps, which I dislike. I may just have to make myself a special bra that I can wear under these tops!
I have to say that I cannot wait to wear these in the summer. They will be easy to layer and will be so cool to wear once the weather warms up.
Next up is a silk version for my lovely daughter-in-law to take on her honeymoon to the Amalfi Coast – squeee!
I can recommend this pattern for summer, but also if you are from cooler climes, it works well layered over a close fitting top. It is currently 20% off on the Itch-to-Stitch website and at $8 is excellent value for money, so be quick while the sale lasts.