Pattern Review – Cielo by Closet Case Patterns

What comes first, the pattern or the fabric? For most of my makes, the pattern inspires me first, and then I find a fabric to compliment it. For this project, it was the other way around – the material drove my pattern choice. I bought a modern print that was crying out for an edgy pattern, and that’s how I found my way to Cielo by Closet Case Pattern.

In this post, I’ll review the good, the bad, and the ugly of this pattern. Spoiler alert: I love this top, but the husband hates it.

The Fabric

I bought the fabric from intending to make pj bottoms with my free pajama pants pattern, but when I saw it in real life, I quickly changed my mind. The modern organic print was better suited for a boxy, sculptural silhouette. lists this as quilting fabric, but it has a lightness and crispness that feels like shirting material.

The Pattern

I love boxy tops . . . on other people. I’m a petite gal, and these tops make me look like a hanger, so I avoid them. But now that I had this fabric, I started a long search for a loose-fitting top with a bit of drama. What kind of drama? Like porn, I couldn’t define it, but I would know it when I saw it. After six months, I found Cielo by Closet Case Patterns on Instagram. It was the perfect boxy cut with lantern sleeves, and everyone looked great in it. I chose view B with poufy sleeves and cut out size six based on my measurements.

Cielo comes with 2 tops and 2 dresses. Sizes range from 0 to 20 with B, C and D cup options. All views have slightly dropped shoulders, angled shoulder yoke and roomy fit. I cut out size 6 based on my measurements.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I never make a toile because I’m too impatient, but I made an exception because I wanted a perfect top. I’m glad I went through this hassle because this top was HUGE! I knew this pattern had generous ease, but it was overboard.

So I made a second toile and selected size 0 based on the finished measurements instead of my body measurements (34″ bust, 30″ waist, 36″ hips). It was almost perfect, a smidge snug at the hips. I wasn’t in the mood to make a third toile, so I added half an inch to the pattern at the hips and moved on to my final fabric.

Cielo has two options for finishing the collar – bias binding or facing. Bias binding bugs me (too much fiddling), so I chose the easier facing option.

Almost everyone on extended the bodice 2″, so I did the same. The hem hits me perfectly at the hipbone, but if I raise my arms, you get a peek of my midriff.

Let’s take a closer look at the sleeve, shall we? The top half is gathered at the cap and flairs out below the elbow. The chunky cuff brings in the volume, creating a lantern shape. My fabric has a slight stiffness to it that makes a pleasing pouf in the sleeves. If I used a flowy fabric, the sleeve would drape closer to my arm.

I have mixed feelings about the back shoulder yoke. I’m assuming it’s intended to provide shaping near the shoulders, but I don’t notice any difference. I’m not loving the way it creates a weird jog in the print pattern. That said, I’ve seen stunning examples with contrasting fabric at the shoulders, creating a fresh, unexpected detail at the back.

The instructions are easy to follow, but some reviewers complained about the absence of page numbers on the pdf pattern and how it forced them to print all pages for all views when they only wanted to make one garment. Some indie pattern designers include a page guide for printing specific combinations of views and sizes that would have been handy here.

Cielo is easy to sew for an advanced beginner. I was happy to see the sleeves put together with a flat technique, which is so much easier than the traditional set-in sleeve method. After two toiles, I quickly got the hang of the construction and didn’t need the instructions for the final garment.

When I finished the top, I eagerly modeled it for the husband, expecting him to love it as much as I did. He made a funny face and asked me why I keep making baggy, shapeless clothes a Buddhist monk would wear. My previous projects were loose and unstructured, a look he clearly detests. He prefers a tailored fit with a defined waist. Way to bring me down, honey. He’ll have to get used to it as I expect this top to be in heavy rotation this summer.

Final Thoughts

Cielo is worth a sew if you like a loose, boxy shape with exaggerated sleeves. Double-check the finished size against your body size for the best fit. Be sure to extend the bodice if you want to avoid the crop top look.

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