The Peppermint Magazine Paddington top – I liked it so much I made two! Back in 2021, this was one of those patterns that was all over Instagram, so I decided to give it a try. I love a good puff sleeve with elasticated cuff (it also reminded me of another, much more expensive top pattern) and so I went for it with a ‘wearable toile’.
A good puff sleeve needs a fabric with some structure – my Vali top used a cotton gingham which was lovely and soft but with some structure, and for this top I opted for cotton lawns. You might recognise the fabric here – I used the offcuts from this top to make a Seamwork Madhu, which I shared last summer. I really did get 2 tops out of just 2 metres of fabric! Anyhow, I love this ditsy tulip print, I also have it in a yellow colourway which I’m planning to sew up this summer – I bought them from Blackbird Fabrics last year as I just couldn’t resist.
Onto the pattern. It’s from Peppermint Magazine and designed by French Navy Patterns. Did you know that Peppermint Magazine, based in Australia, make fabulous patterns which you can download for free (although please do make a donation)? They are pretty size inclusive too, this tip goes up to a 50inch bust. The beautiful Paddington top is one of many fab patterns available in their library, but it’s the first I’ve made.
The pattern is great. It sews up pretty quickly, especially if you cut a few corners like I did. The top is pretty simple from the front, with big puffy raglan sleeves, and a button fastening at the back. The instructions tell you that almost all of the testers managed to get the top over their head with all the buttons fastened. So I just sewed the button placket shut. Much better! If you had a bit more patience than me, you could simply eliminate the button placket and cut the back piece on the fold.
There were other lovely nuggets of info in the instructions too, like telling you not to worry about puckering stitches around the sleeve cuffs, as the elastic means it won’t be noticeable. Great advice and, I can confirm, very true! All in all, this made the Paddington blouse a quick sew.
My only small gripe with the top as it is, is that it’s a bit of an awkward length on me. I think it’s meant to be cropped, but I have a short torso…so it’s not quite long enough to tuck into high waisted jeans, but still rides up a bit too much if I pick up my toddler. If I make another this summer I think I’ll lengthen it. I also think it has great potential to be hacked into a dress, simple by shortening the bodice and adding a gathered skirt (I’m sure somebody will already have done this!
I mentioned I made two of these tops..my other one was in a liberty print! Wah!
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