Thursday, March 11, 2021

Block Print Hilary Top & Self-Drafted Skirt

I'm going through a puffed sleeve phase, and I'm not a bit sorry about it. Figuring heavily in my billowing daydreams is the Hilary Top by Tessuti Fabrics made here in a floral hand block printed cotton. I'm wearing it with a self-drafted skirt in a flowy tencel from

After not sewing for over a year (baby, pandemic, virtual school, you know), I've got to catch up on the trends that popped up while I was hunkered down at home wearing Target leggings and a college sweatshirt. When I picked up my scissors again in January getting some puffed sleeves into my wardrobe was the first order of business.

The Hilary Top 

I had my eye on the Hilary Top by Tessuti Fabrics first because it seemed like a sure thing. Easy fit through the body, and all of the gathers are made with elastic rather than the typical baste and gather method, which I find tedious (so tedious!). I made a (mostly) wearable muslin to trouble shoot the fit and familiarize myself with the construction. I LOVE the way the facing and the sleeve seam are finished together. The inside is so neat and tidy and better than anything RTW. 

The original Hilary Top design has a peplum. I used the advice on the Tessuti blog to lengthen the top 6" to eliminate the peplum. I also added some extra width to the sleeve (because I am that serious about puffs). I added 1" at the shoulder and 3" at the cuff by slicing the arm pattern piece in half lengthwise (image below). I'm not sure I would do that with a bulkier fabric, but I love how it turned out here. 

The fabric for the top is a hand stamped, Indian block printed cotton from Rohiyan on Etsy. It was my first time ordering from this seller so I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  When I got it I knew the super light weight cotton would be perfect for those elastic gathers. I did a little math, and this fabric is around 2 ounces per square yard. 

The Self-Drafted Gathered Skirt

I didn't actually intend to wear this top with this skirt, but as the skirt also has elastic gathers and the colors work so well together they ended up on my body at the same time. This skirt is a self-drafted favorite of mine. A simple gathered skirt is a great place to start drafting for yourself. A few key measurements and you can quickly have a made to measure garment. It feels so good to reach for a pattern that you know will fit you just right. 

This skirt design has elastic at the middle of the front and back, but no elastic at the sides to minimize the bulk where I want things to look slimmer. The front elastic begins and ends just above the pockets. I've written about the skirt a few times before: red print, black, teal. The first time I made it was in 2014! 

The skirt fabric is Telio Tencel Twill II from I've used very similar (possibly the same) fabric before so I knew how the drape and body would translate into a gathered skirt. The color is called Wine, and it works great with the pinker hue of the floral block print. I actually bought the fabric to go with a different top, more on that later. 

The Hilary Top is an easy one to dress up or down. As good (if not better) with jeans and flats (or more likely sneakers) as it is with boots and a skirt. I think it will see more casual wear overall. Here I'm wearing it with my favorite jeans (Everlane Cheeky Straight), and hand me down flats. 

Supply List:
Shirt Sewing Pattern: Hilary Top by Tessuti Fabrics
Shirt Fabric: Indian Block Print Cotton from Rohiyan on Etsy

Skirt Sewing Pattern: Self-drafter by SweetKM (me)
Skirt Fabric: Telio Tencel Twill II in Wine from


  1. Your shirt is the perfect marriage of fabric and pattern

  2. Thanks! I really love this fabric.