Pattern Review – Chirripo Top by Itch to Stitch

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For the last two weeks, COVID-19 was bringing me down big time. Two months of sheltering in place were getting on my nerves, and mask making was burning me out (I made around 200 masks for our local hospitals). Reading the depressing news only made things worse. I needed to do some selfish sewing to pull myself out of the doldrums. Whatever I made had to be fun and cheerful, so I chose Itch-to-Stitch’s Chirripo top to distract me from these strange times.

In this post, I’ll review the good, the bad and the ugly of making this Chirripo top (spoiler alert – it’s pretty darn good).

The Pattern

The sweet-looking Chirripo top features a square neckline and short flutter sleeves that continue down the bodice. The gathers under the yoke create a relaxed, casual fit. I cut out size 4 with the A cup option. With most patterns, I usually raise the waist 1″, but this length was perfect as is.

My last make with ruffles was a disaster, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to make another ruffle top. After checking out every Chirripo top on Instagram, I was fairly confident mine would turn out just fine.

The Fabric

This blouse started out as a Forever 21 summer dress I snagged at the thrift store two years ago. I love the bright, vintage floral pattern (flowers make me happy) but hate the empire waist. Someone should outlaw this unflattering silhouette because it makes me look pregnant even at my thinnest.

The fabric is 100% rayon but feels like silk, which is surprising for a fast fashion garment. The light, drapey fabric makes it easy to wear but annoying to cut. Pinning and cutting the pieces was dicey because the material kept shifting under the scissors (a few came out distorted). I quickly switched to a rotary cutter, which solved my fabric shifting problem.

The Good

The Chirripo top has two new-to-me features I was curious to try: a square neckline and an underarm side panel. The square neckline was super easy to sew as it was mostly straight line sewing, and the facing neatly hid all the gathers of the bodice.

Here’s a closeup of the side panel that guides the ruffles away from the shoulders and into the side seams. This one was trickier to sew, but I managed to get through it with the easy-to-follow directions.

I did go rogue with the side seams. Instead of a regular seam, I used french seams because the fabric was so thin and silky. Note to self – always trim down the seam allowance of the first line of stitches in a french seam, or you’ll find your self trimming stray fibers sticking out of the second line of stitches. Lesson learned.

I finished the ruffles and hem with a rolled hem. If you are new to rolled hems and have a serger, you must checkout Kennis’ rolled hem tutorial. I’ve tried other techniques with awful results (don’t get me started on the rolled hem foot), but I always get consistently beautiful finishes with Kennis’ method. I refuse to sew rolled hems any other way.

The Bad and the Ugly

Nothing to report here.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

The only thing I would change about this pattern is the armhole. I’d drop it 1″ lower the next time I make this top. Don’t get me wrong – the fit is perfect, which is why I love Itch-to-Stitch patterns. I just prefer deeper armholes. An unfortunate side effect of weight training is thicker arms and pecks, and ALL my tops feel too tight in the armholes.

Final Thoughts

The Chirrpiro pattern is a fun, feminine, easy-to-sew garment for the advanced beginner. It took me 4 days of random sewing to whip it up, but I probably could have finished it in 2 days if I put my mind to it. I recommend sewing Chirrpiro with a light, flowy fabric to highlight the cute gathers at the yoke. I expect this make to be my go-to top this summer.

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