Monday, June 4, 2012

Review Silhouette's Giorgio's Top

Silhouette's Giorgio's top.
This knit top is  based on a Giorgio Armani design. Sagers makes no excuses for copying rtw designs she likes.  It's a shoulder princess with dolman sleeves and a peplum hem.  It is offered in sizes 1-4 and 5w-8w.  The sizing is based on garment size not body size or rather you determine the size you cut by how much ease you like.  It also comes with separate pieces for B, C and D cup sizing.

Fabric used
This is a double layered nylon and lycra knit from Emmaonesock.  The texture is created by fusing section of the  layers and leaving other places unattached. This creates a jagged edge when cut, but it's better than the last one I used.  It also is not a hot weather friendly fabric because it's thick!  
What I Like 
I love the  peplum design, which  is very hot right now and I decided to make this my first Silhouette pattern. The dolman sleeves are cut nice and high and the angle of the sleeve keeps the excess fabric to a minimum, something that is very important if you have a large bust.  
With reservations.  I liked the style enough to work out my fitting issues and there were quite a few.  I am not a woman who can sew something right out of the envelope, but this had some surprises.  Whether they are consistent across the patterns I don't know.
What I didn't like
First of all I really don't get the sizing.  I've seen all her fitting webcasts and I still don't get it.  You are supposed to stretch knits around you to determine the ease.  I don't find this helpful.  Or you  measure the ease in similar garments in your closet.  Well what do you do if you one don't have anything similar or two, you've gained weight and you don't have anything that fits?!  She gives you bust and waist measurements for tops.  I don't really get why she doesn't give you a hip measurement as I think that that is much more useful than the waist, especially for a pear shaped woman.  I decided to cut the size 4 in the bust, and the D cup front.  I am a DD.  She also doesn't tell you how much bigger the cup size adds to the bust.  I figured that I wanted a negative ease of 4" and that the size 4 with the D cup front would give me that.  
I wrote Peggy and asked about my bigger hip and narrow shoulders and she said that the size 4 would work.  If you are a broad shouldered woman this would be perfect for you. I always have to narrow my shoulders.  On her webcasts she insists that her shoulders will fit you even in larger sizes.  The princess shoulder seam fell off my shoulders, and I had cut a size 3 in the shoulder.  Not only did the princess seam fall off my shoulder it fell off my bust by over an inch.  Yes, the seam should fall to the side of your bust point, but not that much!  All of the shaping was completely past my bust.  Not a good look.
The hip was too snug to give me that loose peplum fit.  I had added in case sas, but I did it at the side seams not at the princess seams where I really should have added it.  Good thing I made a muslin wasn't it?   Oh, it was also too long for me and I shortened the pattern by 2" not at the hem but below the waist.  
The front sleeve did not meet the length of the back sleeve by a good inch.  This happened in the muslin before I made a lot of changes so I don't think this was my fault.
I also didn't like that the neckline stayed the same and didn't lower with the sizes.  

What I changed
The first thing I did was to use the B cup and forget the D cup front.  I took  Shams method of determining the negative ease I wanted and I slit across the top to add what I needed to go over my bust. I added some ease to the side seam with a  curve to the side bust that I eased into the back.  I just stretched the back to fit. If you have a knit that doesn't have a lot of straight grain stretch you'll need to ease stitch the side bust.
I  cut the size 2 in the shoulders and then I moved the princess seam.  I added 5/8" to the side front and back and removed 5/8" from the center front panel.  Then I added to the hip at the front and back princess seams to give me enough ease to give me that lovely peplum.  The top on me was longer than on the model, who I assume is at least 5'8"  I am 5'5" and so I decided to remove 2" below the waist.  I also took in the right shoulder by 1/2" for my low shoulder and as you can see the shoulder fits nicely now.  I also lowered the underarm seam to keep the ease the same. Last, I lowered that neckline by a 1/2"

Would I sew this again?
Yes, I have already cut it out again in my yellow silk jersey. Because it's a little less stretchy I added some in case sas to the princess seams.  It was worth it to me to make the changes I needed to make this wearable.
Would I sew a Silhouette pattern again?  Yes, but only with a muslin. I still don't get her sizing and I haven't sewn a woven design yet.  If you have narrow shoulders you will definitely have to narrow them contrary to her assertion otherwise.  

See those blue cotton herringbone pants?  They looked great when I first put them on but this is after 2 days of wearing.  They are decidedly baggy.  Too baggy to suit me.  I took off the waistband in the back and raised the center back by 1" and the side seams by a 1/2" at each side seam.  I left them with enough ease to account for shrinking back when they are washed.  
I have the blue cardigan almost finished and my yellow top started.  Hopefully I'll have them finished shortly.


  1. This is a cute top on you Nancy...and you've hit the nail on the head about why I'm not in love with Silhouette patterns.

  2. Your top looks fabulous. Really. I like that pattern, but haven't ordered it yet. Knits are difficult, I think, to size regardless of the pattern, most of the time. I have a few of Silhouette patterns and am anxious to try something in a woven--maybe a blouse, to see how many alterations I'll have to do. Like you, I am not an "out of the box" pattern fit. I do enjoy Peggy's webcasts and videos, and when she shows how to alter something, it makes perfect sense. Until I do it!

  3. Not a Silhouette/Sagers fan, for the reasons you mention plus others of my own. But you ended up with a nice top. I'm just sorry it was a convoluted pattern sizing trip to get there. :-)

  4. That is cute on you, Nancy. And what a cute fabric - it does look like a stable knit. You made it work!

  5. (I should add, that I asked Peggy once about my G-cup size and her D-cup sizing and she said "it just works", which is a statement I always find suspect, especially when made by a small-busted designer.)

    1. It just works is what she says about her shoulders. It certainly doesn't if your shoulders are narrow!

  6. Your top looks great. What a journey to get there, though! I think the fit of your dolman sleeves is incredible, none of those big mock darts coming out of the underarm. Beautiful work, Nancy.

  7. Never heard of this brand of pattern, and based on your comments probably don't want to. But I do like the finished product very much.

  8. I have watched some of Peggy's videos and haven't been really inpired to buy any patterns. She makes it look so easy but I know better - fitting ain't easy! But you have come up with a cute top in the end.

  9. Thanks for this thorough review! I think the end result was definitely worth it.

  10. Wonderful top on you. Love the fabric you used.

  11. Wow, that sounds like a lot of work. But the end result is great--the textured fabric is too cool.

  12. At least you got a good result for your efforts. This looks especially nice with the textured fabric that you used.