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Truly a Classic -- The Winter Wear Designs Classic Shell

Don't you just love the feeling you get when you finish sewing something, and it's absolutely love? That's exactly how I felt when I finished my new Classic Shell by Winter Wear Designs

This really is an amazing pattern!

As a part of the Winter Wear Designs Bring on the Blouse Blog Tour, I'm going to share with you a little about this blouse and why I love this pattern (and reasons you might need to own it, if you don't already)!

A Little About This Pattern

The Classic Shell is a woven pattern packed full of options. It includes bust darts for a beautiful, flattering shape, four sleeve lengths (long, short, 3/4 length, or tulip sleeves), cutting options for both a top and a tunic, options to finish the neckline with a facing or with bias tape, and an optional keyhole in the back.

All of this for the always amazing price of $5.00! That's a STEAL if you ask me! You probably spent more than that on Starbucks, and it didn't make you look this good! πŸ˜‰

I was very impressed when I first opened and began reading through my PDF. Suzanne thought of EVERYTHING when she put this pattern together. Within the first few pages of the pattern, you will find a printing guide, which I so appreciate! This allows you to choose which options you want to sew and print only those pages that apply. This pattern also includes layers, for those of you wondering!

The Fit

The next thing I noticed when reading through the pattern was that she included fitting suggestions. She suggests making a muslin, gives instructions on how to choose your size, and even gives instructions for a few possible pattern adjustments that you may need. I honestly don't think I've ever seen that in a PDF pattern before! Very nice!

My bust and waist measurement both fell into the size small. My hips would have been a medium, based on her size chart. In the instructions, she says that bust and waist measurements are the most important. I chose to make a straight size small since I was using the top length. Had I sewn tunic length, I probably would have graded it out to a medium at the hips to keep the intended fit.

I would say the top is semi-fitted at the bust and waist and then flares out a bit at the hips.

The Instructions

I found the instructions to be clear and concise. Both photos and line drawings were used throughout the instructions for better explanation. She mentions on the materials list that, if you choose the bias bound version, she recommends that you make your own bias tape. I would have never expected to find instructions for how to make your own bias tape, but they are included!

Seam allowances are 3/8", and the pattern has instructions for optional french seams, if you would prefer. This will give you a beautifully finished top, inside and out! I chose to use my 3/8" seam allowance attaching the sleeves and serge the raw edges, just because curves can be tricky. Then I finished the sides of my top with french seams.

My Top and How I Feel About It:

I love the pattern! I'm very excited that I tried it out! I used the tulip sleeve option for my top. I love the tulip sleeves! I also chose the keyhole back option this time, and I used a facing rather than the bias tape. I am very pleased with the fit. It feels so good to put something on fresh off of the sewing machine! Such a sense of accomplishment!

Tulip Sleeve Option
Keyhole Back with Button

I've primarily made things for myself using knit fabrics in the past, but I'm starting to branch out to wovens and REALLY loving them! I'll definitely use this pattern again! I can't wait to try it with regular short sleeves! I'm pretty sure I'll have a couple more of these hanging in my closet before summer vacation!

(Im)patiently Waiting...

Impatiently waiting for WARMER WEATHER! I can't wait to wear it out! This will probably be put on my weekly rotation (especially until I can get a couple more made). I can see this paired with pants for every day or a pretty skirt for church. It can definitely be dressed up or down, depending on the fabric used and how it's styled. I'm anxious for more time to make another. It's quickly become a favorite for me! It truly is a classic! You can wear it anywhere. And a classic like this just doesn't go out of style!

Some Common Questions I See...

Let me see if I can answer a couple of common questions I see in Facebook Sewing Groups:

I love it, but do I need a serger? Nope! You can pretty much make anything without a serger if you want to! True, a serger does speed you up, but you can totally finish edges on your sewing machine! And, as I mentioned before, you can also use french seams. So, a serger is definitely not necessary!

and one I see A LOT...

Are the sleeves cut on the fold? The traditional sleeves (cap, short, 3/4, and long) and the armscye are asymmetrical. The tulip sleeve piece is symmetrical, however. But obviously, it works! πŸ™‚ I had success!

Let's Recap:
  • flattering shape with bust darts
  • options for top or tunic length
  • options for cap, short, 3/4, long, or tulip sleeves
  • asymmetrical armscye
  • keyhole back or plain back
  • facing or bias tape neckline finishing
  • optional french seams 
  • Amazing ALWAYS price of $5.00!

Now, be sure to check out the other blogs that are a part of the Winter Wear Designs Bring on the Blouse Blog Tour! You'll see some amazing ladies that made either the Classic Shell, like me, or the beautiful Omega Top (which happens to be on sale this week).

If you sew one, be sure to share it on the Winter Wear Designs Fun Facebook Group!

Check out each stop on the tour:

3/2 Lisa Dawson at Winter Wear Designs

Thank you SO much for reading my post!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram if you don't already! I'd love to see what YOU make!

**I have used affiliate links in this post**


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