For an easy-to-wear, easy-to-sew summer top, I chose to make the sleeveless version of Silhouette Patterns #222, Carolina’s Knot Keyhole Top. This top totally satisfied my craving for a top with some shirring included in the design. I also liked the subtle way that the “knot” detail made a bow effect – which just happens to be a trend in clothes for 2023. I couldn’t wait to get sewing!
I decided to make a trial run, and my fabric choice for the muslin was a black rayon jersey from Fabric Mart Fabrics. I chose my size from the back of the envelope finished garment measurements chart, as usual with Silhouette Patterns. My only complaint there is that the bust and waist measurements were flipped again (at the time of this writing). Other than this minor typo on the envelope, I found the measurements to be accurate.
I did find this pattern runs a little smaller than the size I normally choose in Silhouette Patterns. I chose to trace the pattern in a size 2 at the shoulders and waist, and tapered the pattern to a size 3 in the bust. I normally wear a size 1 in Silhouette Patterns but I sized up because I didn’t want a snug-fitting top with negative ease. This size choice ended up being just right. I also used a size 2 armhole. If you would like a detailed post or video about using a different armhole size than the bust size, let me know in the comments below!
I only made a few other minor changes to the pattern. The first was I chose shorten the keyhole opening by closing it up about 3/4″ from the bottom. This was to be expected since I have a short torso and necklines usually have to be shortened on me. The second was to take out a little fullness above the keyhole opening. I knew it needed to be taken out because the shirred area on the top was kind of sagging inward, and was fixed by pinching up about 1/2″. You can check out the drawing below to see how I changed the pattern to fix that.
The last change I made was to give shorten it to a more cropped length and give it a 2″ hem. The weight in a wider hem helps the top drape nicely and stay down. Since it is a shorter length, I don’t want it to pop up when I stretch or raise my arms!
I really like the way the stripes look with the cinched bow keyhole top. I made the top with a hunter green and black striped rayon jersey from Fabric Mart Fabrics. Also, if you don’t have a serger, you can sew this top on a regular sewing machine! You can read here to learn some tips I give on sewing knits without a serger. You just have to take care when putting on and removing the garment so that you don’t pull it excessively and pop a stitch. Even close fitting garments like this one can be sewn on a regular machine – that is exactly how I sewed the muslin and most of the final garment on this top.
Things I Will Do Differently If I Make It Again
If I make another one of these the only thing I would do differently is to remember to do a swayback adjustment. I have written about how you can adjust an already constructed top to fix a swayback, click here for the blog post! I can use this technique on this top since I forgot to alter the pattern for this before I sewed it up! Let me know in the comments if you’d like a quick before and after post of me using that technique here. I will say that for this top, since it is shorter, somehow the wrinkles don’t bother me as much, so I probably wouldn’t bother. Also, it would make the top slightly more snug at the waist, and I’m not sure I have much to spare before I head into the negative ease department there. I want to avoid that.
I paired the wearable muslin with a self-drafted rayon challis prarie skirt. I think it made a really cute, summery pairing with the sleeveless keyhole top! The breathability and softness of rayon challis make it one of my favorite fabrics to sew with – especially for warm-weather pieces! Leave me a comment below if you’d like me to write about how I drafted it! For tips on sewing with rayon challis, check out my blog post!
Overall, this was a really satisfying sew. It only takes three pattern pieces to make the sleevess version, and it came together really quickly, even with my changes. The instructions were clear to follow as well. I think I’ll be making it again, and this time I will sew it with the sleeves and lengthen it into a short dress- I think that would be adorable! Also, to see a video of this and other makes, check out my @makeitjustsewchannel YouTube video Recent Makes – June 2023. Let me know in the comments if this is a pattern you’ve tried! Happy sewing!