Style Tweak…SOI Ella Top

SOI Ella top

Thank goodness I had already taken photos for this post last week, because a bit of family stress has taken up my time this week, with a lot to sort out for my parents. Anyway, here I am to tell you the story of a top that I loved, then I didn’t, then I did…and now….well, let’s just say I may still have a bit of work to do.

Maybe I should start at the beginning? Ok, so I got the PDF of the Sew Over It Ella top a few weeks back and was really keen to make it up in some lovely teal green jersey that I had (a viscose blend from Clothspot). The pattern is actually designed for wovens, so I was already going against what was meant to be, but that wasn’t the main factor in my chopping and changing.

SOI Ella top

SOI Ella top

The sizing of the pattern was pretty good for the width of body and sleeves. As I’m a size(or two) bigger on my waist compared to hips and bust, I just omitted the back darts which gave me the extra that I needed. I lengthened the sleeves, which was just a personal choice and I added a little to the overall body length…about an inch. It all stitched up beautifully on the overlocker using four threads. Being a knit, I needed to stabilise the front fold-back facing, so I did it in the same way as I did on the cardigan in this post here.

The finished top looked great and got some admiration on Instagram too…buuut…the crux came when I wore it for a while. I just wasn’t happy with the length sitting right at my waist, right above the point where my stomach curved out and if I moved it seemed even shorter. I just didn’t feel that the length was flattering on me and it felt gappy at the back when I leaned over. I had to find a solution or have the top hanging in my wardrobe unworn. So, an urgent search of my fabrics drawers started and thankfully I found a large-ish remnant of the same jersey, woohoo! Mini fist pump!

SOI Ella top

SOI Ella top. Waist tie detail

I decided to do a deeper band all around the bottom and to make a buttonhole on the side for one of the ties to thread through to hold things in place better. The added band of double layered fabric just closes the gap twixt top and bottoms and seems more flattering over my tummy area. Sadly, I didn’t have enough length for it to be cut all in one though, so there’s a join at the back somewhere. I also had to do a bit of strange chopping and stitching across the pleat detail at the lower edge so it turned out to not be my neatest work, but at least it salvaged the top and it looks pretty good if I do say so myself 🙂

SOI Ella top


SOI Ella top

However….You remember I said, “…..well, let’s just say I may still have a bit of work to do”? The thing is, I wore the top all day long two days ago and discovered that the length of the sloped fronts now seems to be too long because I got some sagging of the fronts when sitting down and I think it shifts a little with wear. I think the reason is that each front goes in between my boobs so actually needs to be shorter than the area that actually goes over them. I need to unpick a few inches of the band at each end and take some length off the top then re-attach it. Perhaps then I’ll get a top that fits right eventually!! Dogged determination will get me through 🙂


Well, after altering this SOI Ella top and recently wrestling with the fit of some new twill trousers, I feel the need for a very simple project now. Something plain and with only few pattern pieces…hmmm.

‘Till next time!

Pin for later!

SOI Ella top



  1. August 25, 2017 / 10:44 am

    The design changes were spot on, I love the look of this…way more flattering than the original pattern. Itt’s exhausting though faffing isn’t it – something nice and mindless to get you through the next few weeks sounds like a good idea. Hugs xx

    • Diane G
      August 25, 2017 / 10:54 am

      Aww, thanks Sarah. It probably won’t take long at all to do that one last change and then I’ll love wearing it. x

  2. August 25, 2017 / 11:58 am

    I really like how you’ve turned this into a wrap cardigan! Definitely worth the faffing, though such a shame there is more tweaking needed! I would have wanted to make this in a knit too (I know, who’d have guessed?!) and I think it looks as if the knit fabric was meant to be! So although it may not pass the "wear all day" test, it certainly looks great in these pics 👍

    • Diane G
      August 25, 2017 / 12:38 pm

      Hehe, I’m coming around to your way of thinking Helen and wanting knit everything! Thanks for the kind words. I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of this top.

  3. Beck
    August 25, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    It looks lovely from my perspective! I often find that something I don’t warm to at first because I had to mess around with it too much, eventually becomes a favourite… Good luck with everything at the moment. Make sure to remember to look after yourself too …

    • Diane G
      August 25, 2017 / 12:40 pm

      Thank you so much Beck! I think you’re right. I’ve had similar things like this happen before and ended up loving the garment and wearing it to death.

  4. August 25, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    I’ve done that with a couple of Sew Over It patterns (made them in a knit instead) and been really happy with the results. Not too many pattern companies can I do that with either – I think her easing allowance isn’t as great as some other companies? I love your top though! Seeing the small pic I wondered what pattern you used, it’s so nice. I think as a pattern it would be very popular!

    • Diane G
      August 25, 2017 / 5:53 pm

      Thanks so much Kathleen! Yes, you could well be right about the ease allowance. I’m glad you like the style of my top with the band on…I should sell it as a pattern, hehe 🙂

  5. suzy
    August 26, 2017 / 11:28 am

    I love what yourve done with this Diane and thanks for explaining it all so beautifully. Suzyb xx

    • Diane G
      August 26, 2017 / 12:17 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment Suzy xx

  6. August 29, 2017 / 5:26 am

    Well, you persevered and you won … you got a lovely top! I always have to make changes with wrap tops. They never seem right in the beginning. Nice work on your changes!

    • Diane G
      August 29, 2017 / 8:11 am

      Thanks Linda! It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that needs to fiddle weith this style to make it work

  7. September 1, 2017 / 2:36 am

    What a gorgeous top! looks absolute fab with your jeans and the colour is amazing on you. I love the tie front 🙂

    • Diane G
      September 1, 2017 / 7:25 am

      You’re too kind. Thank you Carolyn! I adore these teal green shades. I’m glad you like it too x

  8. Jane Henshaw
    September 8, 2017 / 6:18 am

    Gorgeous! It looks so polished and pretty.

    • Diane G
      September 8, 2017 / 7:48 am

      Thanks, that’s so kind of you to say Jane x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *