Maz's Vali Top

Maz's Vali Top

For my latest project I was lucky enough to use some of the Fabric Godmother, Ziggy viscose crepe fabric.  I’ve started thinking about making some clothes to take away on a much anticipated holiday to Disney in Florida.  I have been planning lots of outfits to make for my little one in the hope that she doesn’t insist on wearing a huge, polyester, princess costume in the Florida heat!  Disney have strict rules not allowing adults to wear costumes, and unlike my daughter I probably won’t be wearing a Disney Princess dress to do the food shop once our holiday is over.  This has led me to think about making some pieces inspired by Disney characters, that are perfectly ‘normal’ outside of the Disney bubble.  The print on this fabric caught my eye as it gives me Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother vibes.  I think paired with some Cinderella themed ears and an E-number laced Mickey Mouse snack, it will be perfect for Disney World.

I have chosen to make the Vali Top by Pattern Fantastique. Pattern Fantastique describe the Vali Dress and Top as a classic 70’s style glam smock dress and top.  I was really excited to start this project as the fabric is absolutely amazing and the pattern kept popping up on Instagram receiving lots of praise in mini reviews.  I (wrongly) assumed this was going to be a quick and straightforward make, as I’ve made tops and dresses with similar yokes and closures.  I’ve loved nearly all the versions I’ve spotted on other people and I’m a huge fan of big floaty sleeves!

I was really shocked to find this pattern to be such a challenge! It doesn’t claim to be an easy make, but for a top that has no zips or buttons and an oversized fit, I assumed this would be a lot easier than a lot of things I’ve made.  I’m absolutely over the moon with the finished top and its exactly what I had envisioned, but the process to get there did take a bit of the shine away from the sewing process.  If I’m truly honest it wasn’t the most fun to make as the instructions were particularly frustrating and confusing.  It seemed like there were steps missing and the instructions flipped back and forth with diagrams that my husband described as looking like something from an anatomy text book. 


The pattern instructs you to use quite a complicated facing method, which in all fairness does leave you with some really pretty insides to your top or dress, but it is on the inside and this requires a LOT more effort.  It also relies on you being very accurate as the facing is stitched down through to the front, so all your stitching will be visible around the front edges and on the back.  If this wasn’t accurate, I think it would completely ruin the look of the top. 

I would not recommend this pattern to a beginner.  I think there are similar patterns about that would be a lot more straightforward and rewarding to sew.  I did a bit of investigating after completing this make, but I really wish I’d done this before, as I was left questioning myself throughout the make! It does appear that quite a few have actually found these instructions quite confusing which is reassuring for my ego but no help for you.  There are a couple of you tube videos providing sewalongs, and although I haven’t watched these, I think this could be a good route to avoiding the instructions!  I have also read another review that suggests making two of the front and back yokes and eliminating the facing.  I think I will definitely do this if I make the top again.

Although the top was not the most enjoyable to make, if I’m completely honest I would probably still want to buy the pattern and make it knowing this.  I love my Cinderella inspired top and its perfect for wearing now layered up with jeans, but will be lovely for a smarter top with shorts on holiday too.  I can’t recommend the Fabric Godmother viscose crepe enough, and this is probably a huge factor in pushing me on to the end of the project.  Ooh, how well does my Kylie and the Machine label match too?!

Inspired to make your own version? Here's what you will need:

Pattern : Vali Dress & Top by Pattern (PDF) by Pattern Fantastique, printed using the A0 pattern printing service

Fabric : Fabric Godmother Ziggy Viscose Crepe 

[Disclosure: Maz was provided with the materials for her project free of charge and received a gift voucher in recognition of the time spent on her project.]

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