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Zsalya Woven Blouse by Kate & Rose – Pattern Review

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Today I’m sharing my Zsalya top! When I first started sewing more for myself, I searched on Facebook and Twitter for ‘pattern testers’ hoping to find some new designers and styles to try. I stumbled across Kate & Rose ‘s call for testers and happily signed up.This pattern has such unique details! I love how strong and unique her patterns’ aesthetic is, but the different versions I’ve seen online showcase the versatility of the design.

As a pattern tester, I received a copy of the pattern for free but all opinions are my own!

The front yoke has a wide cross-over that doesn’t gape or bunch; if you’re short torso-ed like me, it would even be nursing friendly without any adjustments. Look at the sleeve! Just a subtle detail that isn’t hard to sew, but I like what it adds to the profile.

The back is simple, and this picture clearly indicates to me again that I need to set up my full-size ironing board and/or figure out a better pressing strategy.

The sad part about this pattern is how much time I spent seam-ripping. I wanted to be all fancy and have the insides be beautiful so I tried to use bias-tape on the yoke seam… and didn’t account for the bulk added by the gathers. The front of the bodice stuck out like a hoop skirt – I wish I’d taken a picture! After painstakingly ripping out my top stitching and binding, I serged it like a lazy person.You can also see the original red & white fabric in this (bad) shot.

You can see the fabric’s subtle stripes in the close-up shots.

The sleeve cap has slight gathers, but no pouf-iness!

I’m really happy with how it turned out, but can see it getting shoved to the back of my closet due to its high iron needs. I need a maid!

Pattern:  Zsalya Top & Dress by Kate & Rose, size small (I was on the bubble between small & medium and opted down, I’m glad I did).

Fabric I used: Red and white striped shirting fabric from Jo-Ann Fabrics, dyed with RIT Fuchsia

Changes I made: I used a smaller hem allowance so it was slightly longer.

What I might do if I make it again: I can’t ever seem to get gathers on bodices “just right”. I might try a pleat(s) instead, or maybe even a knit bodice attached to a woven yoke.

Overall thoughts on the garment:  I love this silhouette. It totally hides a big lunch, the sleeve detail is fun, and fit is spot on. Fuchsia is one of my favorite colors!

Overall thoughts on the pattern: It is so well drafted and written, I think anyone could sew it and be happy with the result. I especially like that she included a “proper” and “fast and dirty” option for attaching the bodice and yoke. It’s nice to see how it “ought to be done” even if I choose the other option! I highly recommend it.

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Friday 18th of July 2014

Congrats on your feature. Cute top!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 10th of August 2014

Thanks Heather!


Friday 18th of July 2014

I came via Sew Can She. Your top is adorable, and would be perfect for me as a dress! I am collecting very loose fitting dresses because I'm having reconstruction surgery on my hands beginning in October, each of which will require a full year of physical therapy for full function to return, and I am forbidden to use zippers, snaps, hooks, or buttons during that time! No elastic waists are allowed, either, and there goes my entire wardrobe! (I'm an elderly grandmother of 4 who wears Mom jeans and Chic shorts - I confess!) I only wish the pattern wasn't so expensive or I'd order it in a heartbeat, but it's outside my budget. I'd love that as a dress made in a knit fabric (I won't be able to iron, either; not that I'm sad about that!). Thanks for sharing your pictures!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 27th of July 2014

Hey Barbara! Sorry it took me so long to get back to you- we are moving and have had trouble getting internet set up. The Zsalya does come in a dress length as well - but I understand having a budget! I so hope that your hand surgery goes well. I poked around to try and find some patterns that might work for you, and are free - let me know what you think! I can't wait to be a grandmother and wear whatever I please :)

Lengthen this one into a dress:


Friday 18th of July 2014

Wow! Great top, Stephanie... and you've been featured on SewCanShe newsletter/blog: congrats!!!! Irene

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Sunday 27th of July 2014

Thanks so much Irene! The SewCanShe feature was such a nice surprise - thanks for giving me a heads up :)


Saturday 12th of July 2014

That's a lovely blouse. I don't know why I never remember that dying is an option. I've got to try it sometime.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Saturday 12th of July 2014

Angela, it was a last resort!! Dyeing is never as hard as I think it will be though - definitely try it! Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday 8th of July 2014

Oooh, super cute top, Stephanie! Love this - color is great, too!

~ Sierra

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