Here I am, finally getting around to writing my blurb on the Pauline Alice – Bailén Top & Dress pattern I tweeked to make myself a cami. When putting together my tap pants I knew I would want a matching camisole. I almost went with the Seamwork Savannah pattern, which had the lace sections I wanted, but choose Bailén in the end because it was free and used darts.
The ivory cotton voile I used is soft, light and and so comfortable for my new undergarment set. I ordered this fabric online from Blackbird Fabrics and, like everything I’ve gotten from them, it is superb quality garment material.
The artsy, and rather blurry, sunshine photos. You can can see my lace does not lay completely flat at the neckline. Next time I will add little dart(s) in the lace to have it lay nicer.
In the not so artsy photos where you can see my modifications are not perfected yet. The lace insert at the top needs a bit of adjusting next time so the so the straps don’t pull inwards. Also after wearing for a day I’ve also realized I’d like the neckline lower when using as a camisole.
I love the upwards darts in this pattern and am really happy with the fit I got. I had to take in the upper sides by the equivalent of 2 sizes, tapering back to the size 42 halfway down and extend the darts by 1″ to get this fit. That is because I really should have gone down in size and done an FBA adjustment for my D cup measurements.
Garment Cost $8.70 CAD
Pattern cost $0.00 CAD – Free PDF offered on the designer’s site!
Size chosen and modifications made:
- Size 42 chosen based on my measurements. As the pattern is designed for a B cup I really should have gone down a size and done an FBA.
- Tapered sides in at top reducing by about 2 sizes.
- Removed 4.5″ of length from the pattern so just skims the top of my hips.
- Modified the straps to insert a lace panel at top and edged bottom with lace rather than hemming.
What I liked
- Love the upwards darts, they give a flattering shape.
- Pieces fit together perfectly and construction steps were clear.
- Indicated on page 1 of the instructions the cup size and height the pattern was designed for, to assist with determining adjustments.
- Uses French seams.
What I disliked
- Didn’t give specific details on how to work with and sew bias cut material such as sewing with a narrow zig zag or alternating bias grain to avoid twisting.
- No lengthen/shorten lines for the top though they are included for the dress.
- No details for making own bias tape for straps.
My rating for this pattern is 7.75/10 based on my rating scale
The pattern lost points due to the missing lengthen/shorten line, not enough details for working with bias cut fabric or how to make my own bias tape for straps. Also, the pattern stated the difficult as 1/3 and I think working with bias cut can be a bit tricky for beginners, especially given the pattern did not mention tips like sewing with a small zig zag to allow for stretch. This is a free pattern though and a great one that I’ll certainly use again. It’s well drafted, material recommendations/requirements are spot on and the fit is very flattering.
- Make one in black silk.
- Lower neckline if intending to use as a cami
- Don’t curve the lace and straighten scrap curve slightly, if modding for lace insert, so it does not pull inwards.