Makes: an almost perfect peasant top

Ola muchachos!

I know what you’re asking yourself – when did it get all 1970s up in here? Well, I’m afraid I don’t quite know when, why, or how. But it’s happening people.

Kate & Rose roza top sewn up and on the blog. Read the full review over on Randomly HappyKate & Rose roza top sewn up and on the blog. Read the full review over on Randomly Happy Kate & Rose roza top sewn up and on the blog. Read the full review over on Randomly Happy

Really, it’s all part of my grand summer sewing plans. I knew I wanted a sweetly embroidered peasant blouse to soften up my usual choices and add a bit more variety to my little handmade wardrobe.

I found the pattern while surfing through Indiesew a little while ago and it immediately caught my eye. Imagine embroidery. Light blue jeans. Birkenstocks. A flowery field. Pimms.

There you go. Now can you see the appeal? ๐Ÿ™‚

The pattern & The Plan

The pattern is the Roza blouse from Kate & Rose.ย It featuresย raglan sleeves gatheredย into sleeve bands and a paneled front.

You can choose from different sleeve lengths, different hem lines, and two different options for the front panel. I went with the simple single front panel option with short sleeves.

My plan was to sew this up in a simple drapey fabric (this is a cheap and easy viscose I bought in Walthamstow) and then go to town with embroidery. Something worthy of my newest Instagram obsession.

Or, you know, something simpleย and pretty at least. Let’s not get cocky kid.

Kate & Rose roza top sewn up and on the blog. Read the full review over on Randomly HappyKate & Rose roza top sewn up and on the blog. Read the full review over on Randomly Happy Kate & Rose roza top sewn up and on the blog. Read the full review over on Randomly Happy

How It all went

I sewed the pattern straight up without any modifications or changes, going with a small based on my measurements (there’s no finished measures table sadly).

And here’s the kicker – I love it, but I’m not in love with it. Bah!

It’s a real serious bummer, because I love so many elements of this. The raglan sleeves and sleeve bands are literally perfection. The hem line is spot on, and it’s a relatively easy sew. But there’s just something odd going on with the neckline – it’s insanely baggy.

Like for a giant.

I thought it might just be in my head, so I wore it for an afternoon around the house. And, nope – not in my head. This top legitimately risks indecent exposure if I’m not careful. Sub ideal.

(FYI my top tip for new sews – wear them around the house for a few hours first before taking them into the wild. You want wardrobe malfunctions to happen on your home turf. In secret. With alternatives nearby.)


Now maybe you guys can help save this debacle because I have no idea how to salvage this. Do I make an extra small and hope for the best? Or do I hack the pattern to alter the angles of the neckline? Maybeย I raise the neckline? Or doย I do all of the above?

I can’t quite let go the idea of a sweet embroidered peasant blouse, and this seems like the best pattern to try it with. Or maybe I’m wrong? Is there a great blouse pattern out there that’s passed me by?

And of course, once the blouse is perfected there’s the whole issue of how to actually not cack up the embroidery (patience is not my strong point). But we’ll get to that another time.

Kate & Rose roza top sewn up and on the blog. Read the full review over on Randomly Happy Kate & Rose roza top sewn up and on the blog. Read the full review over on Randomly Happy

Phew – so many things to sort. I feel like I should be paying you all for counseling.

Well, not aboutย the 70s thing. No, that’s staying put ๐Ÿ˜‰

So if you have any ideas for how to fix this, or any cracking alternative pattern ideas, well, I’m all ears!

I only ever share products and people I think youโ€™ll like as much as I do (because sharing is caring). The pattern for this make was kindly provided by Indiesew (theyโ€™re nice like that). All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

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  • I love the look of your top but get that you’re not comfy. Would some elastic around the neckline help pull it in perhaps.

  • I agree with Jennie, try some shirring elastic to bring it in around the neck, it’s simple to do & fits with the 70’s vibe. I took a look at the pattern on Indie Sew & the 1 reviewer there said the same thing, it came out ginormous.
    I think it’s bad form not giving finished measurements or even a line drawing for patterns especially at that price. I made your off the shoulder dress this weekend & it fitted perfectly, so thsnks for that – just need some warm weather now to wear it! Good luck with the alterations.

    • Thanks Sam. I agree – finished measurements is where it’s at! So happy you sewed up the ots dress. I want to see pics!!!

    • Good thought – I wouldn’t be surprised if I stretched out the neckline. I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used bias binding to finish a neckline.

  • Love the idea of embroidery on this top, maybe up through the that centre panel, have you got about removing a strip or wedge when cutting the middle panel on the fold or I would probably take a little off the front edges of the side panels and add a bit to the top of the middle to make it match. Looks lovely sewn up in a light fabric and those sleeves are sweet

    • Thanks Lynsey – definitely embroidery up the centre panel! I agree – I was honking of adjusting the side panels. But so tricky to get right!

  • I’ve made this top a couple of times and haven’t had the gaping issue, so I think it’s probably a fit issue rather than a pattern issue. Maybe you should try taking a little width from the centre front panel and pinch out a wedge from the front side panels. It looks like it fits you really well everywhere else so I don’t think sizing down is the answer. Goodluck, I’m looking forward to seeing your embroidered version!

    • Oh Cate – you’ve swooped in there and made me rethink this. I should really try and save this. It such a great pattern – especially the sleeves!

  • I had the same issues that you had. I tried modifying the neckline so I used the smaller size around the neckline but in the end I just felt it didn’t work for me and I didn’t feel comfortable with it. If I knew more about drafting I would redraft that whole neckline higher as I do like the design of the pattern. Good luck and I’d love to know how it works out for you.

  • This has been said a billion times, but elastic would suit the style of shirt perfectly. I would tuck the neckline to be as tight as you want it, then measure this new circumference of the neckline, then cut a piece of elastic that size and stretch it around the neck!

    • Thanks Rachel. I’ve fished the top out of the donate pile and am going to try and save it with elastic – I like your idea of gathering, though I think I may need to gather the whole neckline – this baby is baggy!

  • I like the idea that other commenters mentioned of using elastic to gather the neckline. I was thinking of just gathering the center panel. You could quickly run a line of basting stitches and pull it into gathers to see if you like the look. Then if you do, you could make the gathers permanent by just sewing across the gathered area with a straight stitch. Or you could use shirring elastic thread to gather it, or you could use a little piece of elastic on the inside, stretched as you sew. Or you could sneak the elastic up inside your bias tape finish. Let us know what you decide to do!

  • I agree with Cate—also, to make this one usable, you could take a small dart at the top of each shoulder if you have enough underarm room. That would help raise the front to give more modesty. The bust line looks just right.. On future makes, I would raise the front panel an inch or so and take a small dart in the seam joining the front and the front panel.

  • I notice that you wore the top ‘off-the-shoulder’ in one of your pictures. In that case I wonder if elastication of the neckline (or part of it) would be better than fixed gathers?

  • I have made this one a couple times, did you stay stitch the neckline pieces before sewing? On one of my versions I did (fits great), and on the other I didn’t, and it’s huge and gapey like this. But the neckline is pretty large in general. I thought about cutting a piece to sew into the neckline that is an inch or two wide (almost like a wide bias binding), and doing some decorative stitches or embroidery around it so it looks intentional, just haven’t figured out how to easily fit it into the neckline. I also like the elastic idea, maybe just on the raglan sleeves and back?

  • This would be a perfect opportunity for some smocking on that center panel. It would be great with the embroidery you like!

  • The pattern appears to fit you perfectly across the bust, and in the shoulders, so I don’t think that going down a size would be helpful. But, in several of the photos, especially the side views, you can see that the fabric appears to be folding or bunching over the bust. I would check the shoulder to bust apex measurement on the pattern and compare it to your own measurement. I suspect that the pattern measurement is at least an inch longer than yours. It’s that extra fabric that makes the neck gape. I hate unpicking neck binding, but if that doesn’t bother you, you could remove the binding and the sleeves, and recut the upper bodice and sleeve using your altered pattern pieces (i.e., with the excess folded out of both), then sew them back up. I’m not sure that I’ve made myself clear, but this is a fairly common pattern alteration for petite sizing, so you should be able to find a nice illustrated tutorial. Alternatively, since you plan to embroider your top, you could try incorporating some pintucks or smocking to take up some of the excess fabric and save the pattern alterations for next version. It’s certainly a flattering style on you.

  • Hi, I also loved the boho feel of this top but had so many issues with this sew that are similar to you. Now I am NOT petite but busty at 102cm and am 175cm tall and sewed the XL. I added about 4 inches to the length all round and it was still too short – I made the high /low hem. The bust fit perfectly but the opening went down to the band on my bra ! The top gaped dramatically and there was voluminous fabric around the midrif. I took in the side seams added darts at the back neckline and put in gathers at the top of sleeve caps ( bias bound the whole neck) and this “pulled ” the top up to make it more decent. I honestly don’t love the Roza design but made it in an Amy Butler voile which is butter soft and flowy – highly recommend the fabric. I made the 3/4 gathered sleeve (raglan) which is the best part of the pattern IMO.

  • Thanks Lynsey – definitely embroidery up the centre panel! I agree – I was honking of adjusting the side panels. But so tricky to get right!

  • I’ve stumbled upon someone else who is having an experience with this pattern similar to my own. I became obsessed with the Roza several months ago and have made 4 versions since that time. The first worked out almost entirely because I had no idea what I was doing, ignored most of the instructions, and got lucky. The second worked out – but was OH so boring – because I eliminated the center panel and did a center seam, instead. I made the third one out of Swedish tracing paper because I wanted to try a smaller size without committing any of my fabric – the neckline was spot on, as was the length, but it was much too small around the bust (and I’m not a big lady). For my most recent make I tried grading from a medium at the neckline to an extra large at the hem (I like the volume). This did not work at all. I think my next attempt will be in tracing paper and will see me cutting out an extra large that I then pin to the sizing I need. From there, I’ll redraw/recut the pattern and hopefully have a “tried and true”. I love this design too much to give up on it.

  • This pattern is on my wish list, along with the time to make all the beautiful things! Had a quick peek at the pattern description on indie sew and it mentions the front panel inset is gathered?