sewing the Sirocco Top and Ania Tunic
Collabs | Patterns

Coffee + Thread Fall Blog Tour 2020

October 30, 2020

Hello! I am so excited about his post today! I was asked a month or so back to take part in the Coffee + Thread Fall Blog Tour, and I was truly so excited. Olga had asked a couple of years ago if I would like to be a part of the Madrid Dress Blog Tour, but unfortunately my schedule just wouldn’t allow for it at the time. I was pretty bummed, but I LOVED seeing all the beautiful dresses that were showcased as part of the tour. When another chance came around to participate, you can bet I was jumping on board!

I will be honest – though I had admired both the Madrid Dress and the Sirocco Top in photos for quite awhile, I had not sewn a Coffee + Thread pattern before this tour. I had a hard time choosing what I would sew, but I ultimately couldn’t turn down the Sirocco Top, and decided to also try out the children’s Ania Tunic pattern. Here’s why I picked these:

  • Mama / Mini Twinning. Anytime I have the option, I’m gonna take it 🙂
  • Fabric. I’ve set a plan for myself this year to sew one particular fabric from my stash each month – for October, these wonderful sugar skulls. Both of these patterns seemed like they would work well with a range of fabrics, including this quilting cotton!
  • Time of Year. I wanted to choose patterns that would be wearable now but also through the rest of 2020. While the weather has been pretty lovely in my area lately, it is only going to get chillier, and I knew a flowy dress might not be my smartest pick for immediate regular wear.

Working with Coffee + Thread patterns for the first time, I had no expectations going in. While the line drawings looked great, and the finished pieces I found with Instagram Hashtags were also fantastic, I tried to manage my expectations about the patterns themselves. I ended up very pleased – these patterns were well made and great to work with! Neither were difficult to construct, the Sirocco has no closures and the Ania has one loop and button, but the designs are elevated with details such as facings, a keyhole, and yokes.

The Sirocco Top is a fabulous pattern with lots of great details – the facings are probably my favorite bits. I actually wish I’d made them a little more prevalent in my own top. I had just enough fabric to make both of the tops that I chose, but not enough to do the self fabric for all of my facings. I went ahead and used self fabric for my sleeve and neckline facings, and a coordinating cotton solid for the hemline facing. I was originally a little bit disappointed to have to use the solid coordinate, but now I’m wishing that I’d used it everywhere! I love the way that little bit of seafoam green peeks out from underneath!

The overall shape of the top is really nice – classic and simple, but the slightly cropped, slightly high-low hemline is also on trend with current shapes. The sleeves, though, are really the best part. I’m all about some big sleeve energy these days. I was slightly concerned that my pattern choice and fabric choice were going to clash in a way that would leave me wearing a big stiff tent… It does not AT ALL (in my opinion, at least. If you disagree, keep it to yourself! Haha).  I have lots of really lovely quilting cottons from when I first started sewing and only wanted to create with novelty prints. As my style, creativity, and confidence have evolved over the last few years, I’m often left feeling like those quilting cottons left on my shelf may live there forever. I was SO happy to find such a great fit between the Sirocco and this substrate – those cottons may get sewn up, after all.

Quilting cottons are rarely a bad idea for little ones, and this is no exception. As mentioned above, I chose the Ania Tunic because it would be a great piece that she could wear into the cooler temperatures. Breathable cotton paired with long sleeves – kiddo perfection. The top features a keyhole opening at the center back neckline, fastened with a single button and loop. The pattern offers an illustration, as well as a link to a tutorial on constructing the keyhole. Although I followed these instructions, I think I still did something just a little backwards, as the binding of my keyhole really wants to face the inside of the garment rather than the outer! Fortunately, it’s not terribly noticeable and the overall effect is still there!

My little one has quite the bedtime routine these days, which starts with us heading upstairs and dancing to her favorite song (Hot Dog from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, of course) in my sewing room to get our sillies out before we wind down. This means that she always knows what I’m working on, which has in turn meant that she gets pretty excited about her new things! She watched the progress of our two tops for a number of days, and recognized mine immediately when I wore it for the first time, asking where hers was right away. We’ve enjoyed our twinning outfits quite a bit. The pockets are her favorite details – the first time she tried it on, she stuffed her little hands in the pockets and refused to take them out, even when she fell over and could barely push herself back up!

Thanks for checking out these awesome tops that I had the opportunity to make in partnership with Coffee + Thread. If you haven’t yet, take a look at the #c+tfalltour2020 hashtag on Instagram to see some other super awesome makes that have been popping up over this month-long event. I am SO happy to have finally sewn with a C+T pattern, and I’d love to see you guys sew some, too. Throughout the Fall Blog Tour, Coffee + Thread will kindly be offering 25% off of all of their patterns with the code “shopC+T” – I’ve used it to pick up the Madrid Dress (finally!). 

Top: handmade by me
Pattern: Coffee + Thread – Sirocco Top and Dress
Fabric: Michael Miller – Bonehead Sugar Skulls in Grey (quilting cotton)

Tiny Top: handmade by me
Pattern: Coffee + Thread – Ania Tunic
Fabric: Michael Miller – Bonehead Sugar Skulls in Grey (quilting cotton)

Key Ingredients: 
Brother XR9500PRW Sewing Machine 
Brother 1034D Overlocker 
Schmetz Universal 70/30 Needles 
Dahle 36×48 Self-healing Cutting Mat 

Thanks for reading my thoughts on these patterns! The Sirocco Top and Ania Tunic patterns were both provided to me by Coffee + Thread Patterns in exchange for my thoughts compiled in a blog post during their Fall Blog Tour. The fabric is from my fabric stash, previously purchased from a buy/sell group on Facebook. 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

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