For a very, very long time, I have been searching for the perfect work top pattern. I want something that is simple, professional and cool. I’ve been really digging the Megan Nielsen Patterns’ aesthetic lately, so I thought I would give the River Top a try.
I picked up some slightly stretchy viscose batiste from Fabrications in black and ecru. I’m pretty sure these fabrics are meant for lining, but I said who cares and I am glad I did. They are super soft, drapey, and ultra light, though not light enough to show through as long as you are wearing a matching bra. They do wrinkly pretty easy, so I would stay away from any kind of remotely structured pattern. This fabric is definitely what I am lining everything with from now on.
decided to go for the cropped version, but added two inches to the length as is my standard for anything marked “cropped.” I only needed 1.5 extra inches, but with the wide hem allowance (2.5 inches), you probably don’t even need to add it. I cut a medium at the bus and graded to an XL at the hips (even though I was slightly off the chart, which is a little insane to me as I am not an abnormally large person). I wasn’t sure how this would play out in the final garment as it made for a pretty extreme curve from bust to hip, but I went with it anyway. It turns out it’s actually perfect and strikes that beautiful balance between blousey and baggy, which I think is exceptionally hard with a raglan sleeve. No part of this top clings, but it doesn’t tent out anywhere either.
Because I cut my top 2 inches longer and graded out so much, I ended up with some extra bulk in the hem allowance of the black top. This was super easy to fix before cutting out my second version in ecru. To start, I straightened out the curve as much as I could near the hem. Next, I folded up the pattern hem allowance and traced the curve from the side seam onto the hem allowance and trimmed it off. This means that my pattern went out at the sides and then in. It looks weird at first, but makes sense when you’re folding up the hem.
The pattern itself is a really basic design and quite easy to put together, so I found the process almost underwhelming and not interesting to photograph, which is why I haven’t shared much about them even though I have been wearing each at least once a week. The River Top is genius in that it is reversible and can be either crew or v-neck. I actually love wearing the crew neck at the front to feel some wind in the V at the back. I’ve also found it super versatile in that it can be tucked in to pants or left loose to create really different looks.
I am super glad I did both versions up in ultra neutral colours, because these tees have already become wardrobe staples for me. It’s taking all of my willpower to not get over excited and try to make a thousand more as I often do. I also need to leave myself room to continue to search out that perfect work top. The River has come close, but it’s still not quite it.