The Avid Seamstress – Drop Sleeve Top – review

Have you seen the Drop Sleeve Top from The Avid Seamstress? I’m sure you’re familiar with Lisa and her lovely patterns. The Drop Sleeve Top (DST) is a free pattern she offers to subscribers. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen me working on this pattern recently.

Whilst I love the Newlook top that I made last year, I wanted a simple top with slightly more elevated details. The DST has that.

Version 1

This version, in a beautiful drapey viscose, originally from Guthrie and Ghani, most recently from deep stash, is made exactly as the instructions.

I first wore it on a hot day during our recent trip to Harp Cottage, and it’s like secret pyjamas! So cool and floaty. Very comfortable to wear.

Like the Newlook top, this has a drop shoulder, which could be sewn without the sleeve if you wanted a similar look. But the half sleeve adds a new dimension to the proportions and a bit of coverage for those of us who, for whatever reason, would like it.

There’s a keyhole back opening, but you could get away without it if you wanted. There’s plenty of room in mine for me to put it on and off without using the button. Definitely give it a try.

The facing on this is tacked invisibly in place and I think that works perfectly for the drape.

With a Blackwood cardigan, skinnies and kicks, this is the perfect every day outfit for me. This feels like me!

And also giving me a kick up the rear to make some really, really dark blue denim jeans that fit better than RTW!

Version 2

The second version is a slightly crisper lightweight cotton. Not quite a lawn, but close, from John Lewis, sometime in the last 12 months. Also rescued from stash!

The only difference in construction was that I topstitched the facing.

This really shows how fabric choice affects the end result.


The only alteration I made was a full bust adjustment. Lisa drafts for a B cup (I checked, she responded super fast!) and I haven’t been that since I was 13!

For the next version I think I’ll take the tiniest of wedges out of the front neckline just so it lies a bit flatter in a crisper fabric. I’ll also shift the shoulder forwards a smidge. These really are showing up as standard alterations I need to make, even with an FBA.

I think the crisper fabric would benefit for an inch or so more length, too.

What I thought of the pattern

Although this is a simple pattern, it’s nicely drafted, which bodes well for the other patterns in her range. It prints out and tapes together easily with no shenanigans.

The instructions are clear and Lisa uses lots of photos.

It really ticks all the boxes.

A beginner really could make this top, but it’s also a great basic for a more accomplished seamstress. And it offers lots of opportunity to mix it up.


This pattern has lots of potential. I’d like to play around with the sleeve a bit. Perhaps a bit floatier, or some pleats. Maybe a frill.

You could also crop the length a bit and add a frill there too!

And I’m thinking of adding some length and a wee bit of flare for a summer perfect sack dress. Probably with pockets.

The jury is in!

As you may have already guessed I really like this pattern. There are a lot of boxy tops/dress patterns on the market at the moment, and, they are mostly a variation on a theme. And they can be quite pricey! I like the lines on this one and I like how I look and feel in it.

I’d highly recommend it.

8 Responses to The Avid Seamstress – Drop Sleeve Top – review

  1. K-Line says:

    Evie – I don’t know what’s prettier – you in the top, or that garden!!!

    • Evie says:

      Oh, definitely the garden! It was so beautiful. And very, very peaceful, with the breeze in the leaves and birdsong!

  2. Helen Snell says:

    Looks amazing and really interesting as you say how the different fabric affects the end result. My favourite is the viscose and with the cardigan – perfect! I love it when you find a pattern that ticks all the boxes and you can go ahead and make more of the same in different prints and colours.

    • Evie says:

      My favourite is the viscose and it’s just lovely with the cardigan. I love the drape of both, which is possibly a lesson for future fabric purchases!;-)

  3. Jane says:

    That’s really lovely Evie and may be just the pattern I need to get me back to my sewing machine, thanks! x

    • Evie says:

      I hope it does. You always make the most lovely things. Hope all is well with you and yours! x

  4. Tialys says:

    The whole outfit looks great on you. Which jeans pattern will you go for?

    • Evie says:

      Thank you! I have the Ginger pattern all cut out. I think I’m going to do the high waist but with the slim leg rather than the really skinny one to balance my figure a bit.