Kew/Hannah Top

Kew/Hannah Top

Part of me felt compelled to start this post justifying my recent sewing hiatus. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say my motivation to sew has come in peaks and troughs over the past year. While lockdown has granted many of us extra time in the day to sew, I think I put a bit of pressure on myself to optimise these new-found hours and lately I just hadn’t been feeling it. The good news is that while I waited for my ‘sewjo’ to return I gave my space a fresh lick of paint, tidied up my haberdashery stash and did a lot of baking (I recently learnt how to make baguettes and can’t stop!)

Choosing the patterns

So what do you do when the patterns you’d previously been swooning over don’t have the same appeal? For me, the answer was to pick out my favourite features from patterns I already owned – and love – and merge them together. As I wear trousers more than dresses I wanted something I could pair with high-waisted jeans. Now, since my sewjo has been MIA recently, I did wing this make slightly, and the top isn’t without its faults (buttonholes I’m looking at you) but it felt good to just be sewing something again and I think all in all, it turned out pretty much how I’d hoped. When it came to choosing patterns, I reached for my trusty Nina Lee Kew pattern, I’d made variations of this before and love the shape and details of the bodice. For the sleeves, I opted for the By Hand London Hannah pattern – the bishop sleeve design is so up my street.


While usually I buy fabric with a pattern in mind, I spotted this cotton fabric on Minerva and decided to pick up 1.5 metres in the hope it would come in handy for a floaty top and give me some impetus to get making. Its fluidity is a great match for this make and the fabric is really lightweight and soft.

Assembling the top

To make the top, I’d used the bodice from the Nina Lee Kew pattern, version one. I didn’t make any changes to the bodice except to add two inches to the length so it’s just long enough to tuck into high-waisted jeans. I think my measurements may have been slightly off somewhere as the top is quite roomy and gapes at the back but I think teaming it with a cami top underneath will help.

The By Hand London Hannah pattern is perfect if you love big, billowy sleeves – which I absolutely do. I love the gathered tie at the cuff of the sleeve and the generous length. I definitely winged this a bit as I simply sewed some gathering stitches at the top of the sleeve to fit it to the bodice but it seemed to work.

I feel like this make has given me that little sewing boost that I needed, the longer evenings definitely help, too. I would say that if you don’t feel in the mood to sew right now, that’s okay, don’t put pressure on yourself. I took a little break from social media and even fabric browsing (gasp!) and feel much more positive returning to it now that my sewjo is slowly making a reappearance. Plus, there are so many gorgeous, floral fabrics around at the moment that I can already feel ideas brimming for my spring/summer makes.

Do you have any tips for kickstarting your sewjo?

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