Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Staycationing with the Penrose Top

This month my local Garment Guild set ourselves a challenge, in recognition of one year since the first lockdown, to make something we would have worn on vacation if we'd been able to take one.

My vacation choice would have been to visit my sister in Singapore, and with that in mind, I cast about for a lightweight summery top that would have helped me in the heat there! I decided on the Penrose Peasant Blouse by Sew News Magazine, which was their current free sewalong (pattern still available to download free until April 30). It's a loose and floaty design, and I paired it with a very lightweight cotton blend that I'd thrifted a while back -- it had been made into a curtain but was clearly a garment fabric.

This was a fairly quick sew. I wasn't enamoured of the separated over-boob gathers so I simply gathered the entire front in between the outer notches. It's a looser gather but I like it. If I made it again, I'd shorten the shoulder length somewhat so that the neckline is a bit higher, but it is definitely wearable and not scandalous as is ;) 

The neckline is a yoke in front but a solid back, so it's not a lined yoke - it has front and back facings. If you take care to sew evenly when attaching the facing, and reinforce the corners with a few extra stitches, you can clip right down into the corners and thus get a nice sharp edge when the facing is turned. There are no tricky bits to this one, it's a quick sew and an easy wearing toss-over-the-head top.

This fabric is smooth and airy, and so fits this pattern well. It's definitely a holiday worthy top that would have got me through some hot days. I hope that I'll be able to wear it on some local excursions this summer once our current stay-at-home orders are lifted. I think this could easily be lengthened into a swimsuit coverup or even a caftan-ish dress. Nice simple pattern!


  1. Thank you for this review. I plan to make this top, and will most likely raise the neckline a bit, following your comment.
    Looks like a nice, breezy top that would have worked well in Singapore! Someday!

    1. It does seem to fit a bit large, so if you're shorter in the upper bodice/shoulder like I am definitely a bit of shortening is in order :) I hope you enjoy making it, I think it'll be a perfect cool summer top!


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