FO Friday | Willow Tank & Another Kiomi Top.

I shared this selfie on Instagram Tuesday afternoon. My first Willow Tank turned out really well! I was definitely intimidated by the bias bindings and those 1/4″ seams. Turns out, I have a 1/4″ presser foot from my quilter-wanna-be days! Worked like a charm.

I was a little unsure about the fit at first – maybe it was big?. All the lovely sewists who share their projects on Instagram don’t really show much at all about fit (and let’s not even talk about how unhelpful the “garment on a hanger” or “garment on the floor with a pretty flower” photos are!) and most of the woven garments in my closet have sleeves or they’re oversized. But thanks to Sarah (one of Monday knitting group girls) and Michele (my neighbor, who sews) – I think it’s good!

So I was excited on Wednesday to start the second JoAnns test project – another Kiomi Top. I wore that first top twice and decided the armholes are most definitely too tight. This time, I cut the next size up. I also cut a narrower binding, intending to use those 1/4″ seams.

I tried it on after finishing the neck (I do like the narrower edge) and yep, the armholes are barely any bigger. I compared them to the Willow Tank (which is a much different shape) and cut a deeper armhole. And now the body just seems to gap. sigh. I’m glad this was only a $20 fail. and that I’ve learned a LOT in just seven garments. The first top was my third garment and I can already tell the difference in my confidence (and hopefully my abilities)!

A few of the folks who’ve made the Kiomi Dress talk about how the photos in the book don’t match the pattern. For starters, the neckband in the photos looks a lot wider than the 1/2″ of the pattern. And there isn’t any sizing information to know how much ease those models are wearing. I’ve decided this pattern just isn’t for me.

Which means I’m still looking for a pattern to use that beautiful Liberty print I bought last month. (and for someone laying low with a boot on her foot, that’s really not a bad problem to have!)

Wishing y’all a wonderful weekend!



  • Kym

    Getting the right fit with sewing patterns is really quite challenging! Those wovens just don’t have the “give” that a hand knit piece does. It takes a bit of time to find the pattern-makers/designers that fit well for you. They’re all a bit different! (And especially with all the independent pattern-makers out there! A blessing and a curse!) I usually measure certain fit-features (armhole depth, sleeve length, etc.) against garments I already own — and like the fit of. You’re really smart to use more inexpensive fabrics before cutting into your Liberty print! (Because unlike knitting, it’s really hard to re-purpose fabric once it’s been cut and sewn!) Sew on, Mary! Enjoy! 🙂

  • Honore

    Every stitch helps and the tops are fun… I think you have the right approach to reviving your sewing skills…so stitch on. Sorry I can’t recommend a sewing “bible” or two…it’s been ages since I’ve made a garment. Have you tried a web/YouTube search?
    Stitch on!

  • Kat

    The armcye adjustment is the most challenging (because it incorporates so many other adjustments) and I am sorry Kiomi did not work for you! I wonder if there is a quick cheat to make that top work though…

  • Carole

    It’s all about the process, once you find and/or adapt a pattern that fits the way you want you’ll be able to repeat that design over and over without adjusting.

  • Margene Smith

    You’ve found the reason I no longer sew garments. Fit is always a gamble because fabrics change, bodies change, and styles change, BUT when you find the one item that you can fit perfectly, you’re gold. Your desire will help you on the quest to a good fit.

  • Penny

    I’m impressed with the garments you have made, and increasing confidence and ability are both good things. Sorry you couldn’t get the fit you wanted. The Kiomi pattern seems a little frustrating, and it sounds like you’ve made the right decision to give it a pass. The Liberty print is beautiful – good luck in your search for the right pattern. : )

  • Annette

    I am also impressed, the fit “looks” good, but I know how a “feel” good fit is different. I’ve tried sewing tops and it is fun but frustrating at how long a time it takes to make a pattern work, for one’s own specific body parts. (Knit materials are more forgiving.)
    Soldier on, . . . or rather – Sew on!

  • Vera

    Why is it that so many patterns I come across have tight armholes? The top does look good to me, but I understand what you mean about the “fit feel.”

  • Vicki

    I’ve found armholes to be (more and more) challenging even in ready-to-wear! It’s rare that they’re perfect. You’re sure learning a lot, tho!

  • Lydia

    I love the print. Maybe next summer there will be some garment sewing for me; I’d love some skirts and dresses.

  • Bonny

    You’ve come so far with sewing skills in a short time! Maybe this is related to having some concentrated sewing time being semi-stuck at home in the boot (not a fun method for quick learning), but your projects are looking great!