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Sew Caroline’s Out and About Dress – As A Top

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sewcaroline pdf pattern

Time for a PDF pattern review! I initially received this pattern for free as a part of this sponsored post I wrote for UpCraft Club (the post talks about their PDF sewing cards – you can buy PDF cards in your local quilting shop, check it out!). It is designed as a dress, but dresses aren’t very practical when I am hiking, sitting, kneeling on a daily basis. I chopped a few inches off the skirt and made it into a top!

pdf pattern for peplum shirt

I feel really good in this shirt. It hides all the lumps and bumps that my two children left on my stomach, gives me a semblance of a waist, and is easy to wear.

A knit PDF sewing pattern for women - I took the Out and About Dress from Sew Caroline and made it into a top!

Another inch and I’d be back at tunic length for wearing it with leggings! I like this length with jeans though.

sew caroline out and about dress

I styled it with my Laurelhurst cardigan and favorite Minnetonka boots*. Perfect for spring!

Pattern: Out and About Dress by Sew Caroline* sewn in an XS. It has a knee length & maxi length, elbow and long sleeves as variation options.

My Measurements at time of making: 36/28.5/36.5

Price & Sizing: XS-XXL (Bust size 30.5-40.5) – $16

Changes I made:

  • 2″ off bodice length
  • neckline moved up 2″
  • 1″ off elbow sleeve length
  • sleeve slimmed
  • 1″ narrowed on each skirt side (so, fewer gathers)

Fabric I used: Wispy Daybreak Aura, by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics*

pdf pattern for women

What I might do if I make it again:
I would reinforce the waist! I reinforced the shoulder seams with clear elastic* but didn’t think about the waist. After a full day of chasing children, it seems to sag a little. I would definitely use a high quality fabric though – this was my first go with Art Gallery’s knit on a garment for myself and it is amazing. Totally worth it.

Overall thoughts on the garment:

I really struggled with bodice fit on this! As you can see from the sizing chart, my bust measurement would’ve put me in a medium, but the armsyce/arm hole was HUGE. My muslin looked ridiculous. I think the shoulder seam is a little narrow, from a fitting standpoint, but it is comfortable, so I’m not sure how I would adjust to keep the shoulder wider but the armhole small.

With that being said, it is comfortable and definitely has been worn since I made it. I will make more!

Overall thoughts on the pattern:

It is pretty straight forward, she uses pictures which I prefer, and with a fabric that has a clearly visible front/back difference. Although with a basic design like this I didn’t need them, it would be a great shape and pattern for beginners. I will say that the price seems a little steep, although I know I have seen sales pop up here and there!

Other versions I found online:

  • Radiant Home Studio has made two, I really like this fun print – it looks comfy and pulled together!
  • Dixie Diy made my favorite version, adding a flutter sleeve (she has a tutorial for it!)

knit women's top

knit sewing pattern for women

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needle and ted

Saturday 9th of April 2016

I was actually rather drawn to your cardigan, I think I need one of those, I'm obsessed with drapes.


Saturday 9th of April 2016

The fabric you chose is wonderful. I was wondering how that fabric would look as a shirt.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 11th of April 2016

Thanks! It is seriously dreamy, if you haven't gotten your hands on any AGF knit.


Friday 8th of April 2016

it looks good on you and I love it paired with the Laurelhurst.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 11th of April 2016

Thanks Melissa!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 11th of April 2016

Thank you melissa!


Thursday 7th of April 2016

I love yours! That is my favourite sleeve length. Unfortunately the XXL wouldn't fit my bust, which surprises me since I'm normally a medium or large.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 11th of April 2016

I think Love Notions has something similar!! (and thanks!)


Thursday 7th of April 2016

Thanks for the mention! I was surprised when you said you made an XS, but your fitting issue made sense when I kept reading. I have a smaller bust than you, but made a S. I must have a wider rib cage and shoulders. Thankfully, the knit is super forgiving and I would guess most people won't have any issues getting the right size. :)

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 11th of April 2016

This is why I pretty much only sew with knits, I need some forgiving flexibility in *everything* I sew :)

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