Transparency note – I wrote this post in real time after sewing this top back in April of 2021. Somehow, despite having the post written and photos taken, I did not get this post published! Rather than re-writing the post, I’m posting it as written at the time, with the added note that I enjoyed this top through a good bit of pregnancy and am looking forward to wearing it as the leaves start to change here soon. Enjoy this much delayed post 🙂
I chose this fabric not recognizing how quickly we would transition from winter to springtime. I had a couple of projects with more firm deadlines, so once I was ready to cut into this beautiful fabric, I worried I’d missed the opportune window. These colors speak to cool weather and warm gatherings by the fire for me, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to translate this palette into something wearable in the bright and sunny spring and summer months.
You may have read my thoughts on the Cielo Top pattern with my first Cielo, but if not, I’ll give you a little recap. I always thought it was a cool pattern, but it didn’t really speak to me until I started seeing it pop up in my Instagram feed in View B with the sleeve cuff omitted. The big, gathered sleeves simplified into a shorter, hemmed version really caught my eye and I finally decided I needed to add it to my collection. I really like to make the pattern as-is the first time around, so I made View B WITH the sleeve cuff first, but I’d been planning on View B without the sleeve cuff, and this is finally it. I was not disappointed, I love the style! To achieve this modification, I simply left off the bottom sleeve cuff pieces and hemmed the sleeves with a double turned under edge.
As I finally pulled this fabric out to sew in March, we’ve been vacillating between temps in the mid 50s and low 80s. I had really built this fabric up in my head to be a strictly autumn / winter color palette, but when I held it in my hands again I was pleasantly surprised to find that it has just enough hints of pink, green, and teal in it that it would be lovely in the spring, as well! The tiny little flowers reminded me of the little blooms that are budding on the cherry blossom trees all around my town, and I was reinvigorated to make moves!
I’ve really come to equate knit fabric with easy projects and woven fabric with time-consuming projects in my mind, so I was really pleased when this project came together over the course of 3 evening sewing sessions. My sewing time is limited these days, and I consider it a grand achievement to steal away into the sewing room for 30 minutes to an hour at a time a few times a week. Unfortunately, this has led me to sometimes avoid certain projects after imagining them to be these big, daunting, time consuming things! Luckily, this one surprised me in the best way. I spent one evening cutting and two evenings sewing, and then I had a brand new pretty thing ready to wear!
In my attempts to add a little extra spring brightness to this top, I decided to add a special finishing touch along the sleeve and waist hems. Instead of a traditional straight top stitch, I played around (for only the second time in 3+ years!) with the decorative stitches on my machine. I chose a leafy green thread and a little leaf and vine stitch, and used this to secure my hems. Being a Liberty London fabric, the floral print is busy and bustling on its own, so the leaves don’t stand out unless you are looking for them. This made me feel a little bit safer to try out the decorative stitch – just in case it had turned out quite ugly, the print would absorb it enough to prevent it from becoming a terrible eye sore! It did not, in fact, turn out ugly, and I love knowing there’s a sneaky bit of extra love in the garment. You can see it (if you look hard!) on the hems below!
After sewing my first Cielo Top, I anticipated that I might want to add on some length to my next version(s) so that I could pair it with a broader range of bottom garments. I’m 5’8”, so the cropped length is a little more cropped than intended on my longer torso. However, given the fact that my baby bump is growing constantly right now and most of my bottom garments these days are high-rise, belly-covering, maternity wear, I decided to leave the cropped length as is. I’ve been wearing this primarily with my favorite maternity leggings right now, but I’m also looking forward to sewing up a simple tank dress or two that I can layer underneath some of my blouses as I move further along into my pregnancy.
This Liberty London fabric was a dream to work with, as usual. I only have one cut of Liberty left in my stash, and I’m already sad thinking about coming to the end of a fun run of Liberty sewing! I do have a few little odds and ends left over from most of the prints I’ve worked with over the last couple of months, though, which eventually will be sewn into pretty little things for my toddler. Until then, I’ll be enjoying my own personal handsewn Liberty wardrobe!!
Thanks for reading my thoughts on this pattern! The fabric used for this post was provided to me by Minerva in exchange for photos of my finished garments and a review of my experience with the fabric posted on their website. The Cielo Top and Dress Pattern by Closet Core Patterns was purchased by me. All words and opinions expressed throughout this post are my own, as always. Links provided throughout this post may be affiliate links – if you choose to purchase any products through these links, I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This simply helps me justify the costs of my sewing habit and the time it takes to share it with you!! Happy Sewing!
- XX Elizabeth