Today I’m over at Hey June Handmade sharing a tutorial on how to add ruffle sleeves to the Key Largo Top. I’m totally honored to be there, and ruffle sleeves are so big right now (sorry, bad pun!) that you really will want to add them to all your tops!
In creating the tutorial, and falling in love with the Key Largo Top, I sewed up three of them, all in different fabric substrates! So I want to share them all with you, including my thoughts on how each works.
For the first Key Largo Top I sewed, I used Art Gallery Sage Painted Desert Night Fabric. This is the ONLY brand of quilting cotton I’d use for apparel sewing because it’s so soft and has some drape. But as you can see, the whole shirt ends up a little stiffer. If you look around the neckline, you can especially see some stiffness.
Please note, quilting cotton is not one of the recommended fabrics for making the Key Largo Top. This was my muslin. And yes, I felt comfortable enough with Hey June Patterns to sew up my muslin in expensive Art Gallery Fabric quilting cotton! This is because I have sewn these patterns enough to know how they fit.
That said, I made NO adjustments to the pattern for this first version, and it’s completely wearable and I love it! After this one though, I added 1 inch width to each shoulder and 2 inches to the length. You can see how the shoulder seams ended up too far in. And even though this top is designed to be cropped, I needed the extra length because I’m 6′ tall, and that’s my standard adjustment for Hey June Patterns.
The next Key Largo Top I sewed from Art Gallery Observer Voile Indigo Window Crystal Fabric. If I could only keep one of these 3 shirts, this is probably the one I would choose! As you can see, I added ruffles to the sleeves. (Remember to check out my tutorial over at Hey June Handmade.)
The voile is lightweight and drape-y and cool for summertime wear. The voile is a dream to work with too. Because all the inside edges are enclosed or finished, the issue of voile fraying is eliminated. Voile is slightly sheer, so I’m wearing a tank underneath.
The voile does wrinkle slightly by the end of the day. Even though I sewed the same size as the 1st Key Largo, I think this version is more flatterning/slimming due to the way the fabric drapes with the curves of my body.
The 3rd and final (for now!) Key Largo Top I sewed is from Art Gallery Spices Fusion Rayon Challis Paparounes Spices Fabric. This was my 1st time working with Art Gallery Fabrics rayon. I’ve seen the drape of this fabric described as liquid, and that word is truly accurate! The sleeve ruffles are pure magic on this version. It’s too bad these photos are stills and not videos!
This rayon fabric seems to resist wrinkling, at least it did for me, and I wore it all day! Rayon fabric is shifty when cutting, so you have to be super careful. The stripes in this fabric actually helped keep track of where things were supposed to be. One thing I noticed is that even though I used the exact same method and measurements to create the ruffles on these sleeves as the voile Key Largo Top, these ruffles end lower on my arm. In my opinion, it’s due to the heavier weight per ounce of the rayon fabric than voile fabric.
And the rayon fabric does “relax” during the day while wearing it, so it doesn’t look quite as fitted at the end of the day as at the beginning. Also, this version will extend into fall wear because it has less breathability than rayon. It is also slightly sheer fabric, and I’m wearing the same tank underneath.
Want to see them all side by side? Here you go:
Overall, I’m pretty excited about my 3 new Key Largo Tops! They each have slightly different feel and look when being worn. Now head over to Hey June Handmade so you can add ruffles to all your Key Largo Tops too! Leave me a comment about which of these versions you like best and why.
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