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  • Writer's picturegeriberman

Float On Top by Forest and Thread

Isabelle of Forest and Thread designed the loveliest pattern - the Float On Top - and I am so happy that I was chosen to pattern-test it for her.

Before I dive into the pattern review, I want to say that we just returned from a vacation in Crete, Greece. This explains why I have been absent from blogging for a few weeks. That was a much-needed break after 2 years of going nowhere, and being in numerous lockdowns. There is talk that we may be headed for another lockdown here soon in the coming days, so I feel lucky that we got some break-out time before the “imprisonment” starts again. In the meantime, we are in a 7-9 day quarantine, which I dreaded initially but it is turning out to be the vacation that we needed after the vacation. We all tested negative twice after the vacay, but the quarantine is compulsory for travelling back from a “red” country. Nevertheless, travelling to Crete was a huge blessing and I feel incredibly grateful for the family bonding that we experienced there. It’s like a second home since we’ve gone there half a dozen times so far.

Back to the Float On Top: there are some details of this top that make it stand out of the crowd of tank top patterns. First, its A-line shape creates a swishiness at the hemline, adding great flow and movement to the tank. It also has a hi-lo hem as it curves to a lower line in the back. The 3” wide hem lends a little bit more extra weight to give the top an even swishier feel.

Second, the side seams are cut at an angle towards the front, which makes for some interesting possibilities for colour-blocking or pattern-mixing. Together with the angles of the side seams, the shape of the wide hem provides a soft geometrical element that makes this top unique.

Finally, the elegant seam finishes also lift the tank up from the ordinary. French seams are applied at the side seams, and the crew neckline and the armholes are closed with trim or bias tape. There is a little sliver of trim or bias tape accentuating the neckline and armholes, and that is just precious. The back seam is also closed up neatly and opens up into a keyhole opening for a button-loop closure. There are sewing patterns that don’t ever require you to use your overlocker, with seams that are finished off cleanly, and I really love these patterns because the insides of the garment look as good as the outsides. This is an extra perk that makes a sewing pattern super-duper cool to me. There is extra care and thought taken for the internal beauty of the garment, and that always wins me over. Because of this, this pattern floats right to the top of the best sewing patterns I’ve ever sewn.

Best of all, this tank fits me to a T with zero modifications. I made a size 0 based on my bust measurements, and I am amazed at how well it shapes itself perfectly around the neckline and armholes. Extra amazing since there are no bust darts at all - or maybe I don’t really need them since my chest is almost flat terrain. The pattern comes in 2 size ranges. The first is 0-18, with size 18 catering to a 123.5cm full bust measurement, and I think this range has no bust darts. But the second size range is 14-30, and it looks to me that there are 2 bust darts on the front bodice for this D+ cup range. The largest size caters to a 146cm full bust measurement.

The fabric I used was a tie-dyed mid-weight linen. You can check out the Youtube video below on how I folded and dyed the fabric to create the pattern that you see on the tank:

I am definitely going to need more Float On Tops in my life. In fact, I am brewing up a hack to make it into a dress. Also, I’ve purchased other patterns on Isabelle’s website - the Damn Good Dress and the 241 Jacket. The pattern instructions are very clear and the drafting is superb for the Float On Top, and that has whet my appetite for more of her patterns. In addition, Isabelle offers sewing kits, pairing up carefully curated fabrics with her patterns. So make sure you take a look at those.

It was a joyful experience testing for this pattern. I loved how open and thoughtful Isabelle was throughout the process. She took time to consider and respond fully to my feedback. I am grateful for this opportunity to test it and am happy to have stumbled upon her other designs. She has a knack of including unique elements into classic patterns. I look forward to more of her future creations.

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