It is Fibre Mood Issue 15 Launch Day! Another great round of patterns from the team over at Fibre Mood, and I’m excited that I could yet again make one of these beautiful patterns work for my ever-growing belly now that will also be wearable in the future! I have been so happy to have had the opportunity to participate in many of the recent Fibre Mood launches, thanks to the versatility I’ve found in their patterns. Today, I’m excited to show you the Chloe Top – a one-shoulder top with a gathered asymmetrical bust line, featuring a big glorious bow on the shoulder. I’ve seen some great versions of this top – it is perfectly summery, can easily be lengthened into a dress, and dressed up or down!
I sewed my Chloe Top out of an Art Gallery cotton poplin fabric gifted to me by Minerva in exchange for photos and blog post about my experience on their website! I have no requirement to post about either the fabric or the pattern here, but I’m excited to tell you about both, so here I am!
Cotton poplin, or quilting cotton, is definitely not a go-to fabric for garment creation. However, this has never stopped me from making it work – I love novelty prints and fun designs too much to take quilting cottons out of my sewing options! It is a lovely fabric to work with, as far as construction goes, but is fairly stiff and does not offer much of a fluid drape. Over time, I’ve found that while cotton poplin certainly won’t work well for all of my projects, there are some things that it does lend itself well to. For me, this includes dresses or skirts with a gathered waist (or in this case, gathered bust!), garments with details such as patch pockets that are intended to stand out, or things with large, structured accents – like the bow on this top!
I first fell in love with this fabric print when the teaser of the design line was introduced a few years back. I was travelling through Italy with my husband and had just seen (and fallen in love with) olive trees in person for the first time. The timing was serendipitous, and I filed this print away in my head to sew with once it was released! When I had the opportunity to work with this fabric, courtesy of Minerva, I was thrilled. The release of the Chloe Top was an excellent pairing, as I’d been looking for a great pattern to pair this fabric with!
Want a little honesty for a second? I’m at the point in my pregnancy where the way I picture myself in my head (and oddly, often what I see in the mirror) is shockingly different from the way I look on camera. I am still feeling mostly like myself, of course with the addition of a beach ball attached to my torso. My mobility is certainly limited now, bending over to pick things up when I drop them is much more of an adventure than it usually is, but overall, I still kind of feel like me. However, when I looked at these photos, I immediately started critiquing them. My face looks round, other areas of my body are holding weight differently, my hips are set wider apart than usual which affects the way I look when standing, on and on and on… I felt discouraged. I had left the house feeling really cute and put together, and when I saw these photos I didn’t feel much that way anymore. However, I stepped away and then looked back at them a couple of days later, and realized that you know what? I look just fine! Changing bodies are hard and confusing, no matter what the changes are, but I can choose to love myself through it rather than feel awkward or uncomfortable in my own skin. This is what I look today, and I’m building a whole baby, so life is good!
A couple of notes about making / wearing this top during pregnancy. The bodice is clearly gathered at the top, loose around the belly, and offers ample room for growing baby bumps! I was 30 weeks pregnant in these photos, with a very significant bump. I chose my top size based on current bust measurements (which are larger than usual), and sewed a size 40. I did not make any alterations to the length from the original pattern, though I do think another inch or two would’ve looked a little nicer through these next couple of weeks. While the stretchy pregnancy panel in my current shorts is absolutely necessary for comfort right now, it is a noticeably different fabric from the denim of the shorts, and it does peek out below the hem of my top as you can see in a couple of these photos. I considered adding a little length to this top, but I wasn’t sure I’d love the longer length once the bump is gone, so I decided to hold off to make the top more versatile overall. Admittedly, shortening a top hem in a couple of months would not have been that difficult to do, but I didn’t think through that ahead of time! If I make another version of the Chloe before the end of my pregnancy, I’ll plan to add those inches!
Of course, the best detail of this top is that BOW. The bow turned out exactly how I’d envisioned – big, fairly structured, and obvious! Again, I did not make any modifications to the suggested measurements of the bow piece here, though the pattern does suggest that if you want a more dramatic bow, you can change up the suggested ratios slightly. This would result in a bigger bow and shorter ties, which in a fabric like this, would look fantastic!
I’m so happy to have gotten to take part in the launch day link party for Fibre Mood Issue 15, and to have had the perfect fabric on hand to sew it up in! Make sure you take a look through the awesome makes being shared today over on Instagram – the Dolly Dress, Belle Top, and Pipa Dress are some of my other favorites included in this issue!
Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! The fabric used for this post was provided to me by Minerva in exchange for photos and a blog post of my finished garments posted on their website. The Chloe Top pattern by Fibre Mood was gifted to me as part of the blogger group helping to promote the newest issue of Fibre Mood Magazine and the patterns it contains. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me balance the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth