Party In the Back: Hot Patterns 1170 Fast & Fabulous Blouse-Back T

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48 hours before we left town for a long weekend in Charlotte, NC I decided I needed a new shirt. Well, I’ve been needing summer tops and I decided to sew ALL THE SHIRTS before I left town. I picked the HP Blouse-Back T because it promised to be both Fast and Fabulous and available for a PDF download. Plus, I saw Lori’s version for her daughter and was all over it.

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Pattern: I usually hate PDF paper taping. I’m all about the copy shop pattern copy. But, this was not bad! I taped while talking to Trena on the phone on Tuesday night. Cut and sewed on Wednesday night. And made a second version in red and white (not photographed) on Thursday night. I timed it the second night and it was less than 90 minutes from cut to hem.

Fabric: Hoarded lightweight stripes from PR Weekend in Montreal five years ago (can’t wait to go back to Montreal in a month ) and solid navy cotton from FabricMart. It was destined to be something else, but when I saw them together I was like, ‘duh’.

Since Lori let me know her daughter was 5 ft 9, I knew I’d want to shorten the back a bit (I’m barely 5 ft 6). Now, seeing photos, I might add the length back for skinny jeans.

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Please note in the blue and white stripe version I did the shortening all wrong. I shortened the back at the waist line rather than at the hem. Which means it was too short at the sides so I had to improvise a bit and blend the hem lines on the front and back. And the center front has a curved rather than straight hem because of my changes.

Other Deets:

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I measure into a 14 but sew a 12 in HP knits going by my underbust measurement (34 inches). I contemplated using stripes at the front and totally copying the fashion drawing. But, I was worried about the stripes not being level if I didn’t make a good FBA. I don’t normally need an FBA in HP. But, this time I chose to do a dartless FBA (using the method in ‘The Perfect Fit’ from the Singer Sewing Reference Library) because of fears of it riding up in the front with stripes. I added one inch in length and 1/2 inch in width.

I went with a dartless FBA because the shirt has an easy vibe to it. If I sized down one more, I might make a FBA with darts. But, I’m honestly really pleased with how this came out.

I also narrowed the width of the neckband by two inches.

And chickened out and put the stripes in the back anyway. Partly because the solid navy is heavier than the stripe fabric and the flowiest fabric should be in the back so that it hangs correctly.

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I really really love this little top. Let me know if you think my FBA worked. Or if you think I need more anything before attempting some stripes at the front 🙂 I plan to make a few more this summer for sure.


  1. I really love this; the stripes in the back, and that loosey goosey laid back feel of the cut. And it’s good to know that HP patterns don’t generally need an FBA (given that you’re about the same size as me, in that department 😉 ). I’ve not tried their patterns, but I’ll be adding them to my to-try list now.

  2. I think it’s wonderful. A neat twist on the typical Parisian striped T. I’d try one a little longer all round but definitely sides, so sides and front are even. It might be fun color blocked too. It looks super on you. If I saw you walking down the street I’d ask you where you got it!! I’m ready to make one seeing yours.

  3. I love this on you too! It looks perfect to me. You may want to try a chiffon or georgette back which would make it look really cute.

  4. I haven’t really liked this top… until now! I love the “party in the back” stripes. They add a surprise touch.

  5. I think it fits you perfect! I think you hit it dead on with the dart less FBA. I can’t wait to do this one. Love yours with the the stripes in the back!

  6. Love, love, love this! Much more interesting than the usual plain-stripes top, nice loose feel, but great fit on you. Enjoy 🙂

  7. If doing solids in the front again, I would give the darted FBA a try. While this is better than many t-shirt patterns, since it has the shorter front, any additional length in the front will have more of the “tent” factor going from the bust view at the side. That would also pull the stripes in line under the arms and keep them at the back, rather than pulling to the front. It looks comfy and summery, just right for summer casual wear. I’ll join the group in giving this one a try this summer.

    • From what I understand, it’s drafted so that the back/ blouse does shows at the front. The other version I did does have a straight front but I did a bad neckline job (so everything is bunchy). I’ll have to redo the neckline and see what it does. But, yes, I’ve got a little fabric tent going for sure!

      On Tue, May 26, 2015 at 2:21 PM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  8. I’ve been eyeing this pattern for a while, but never pulled the trigger. Now that I see yours (and your inspiration), I’m not sure what has been holding me back. 😉 It looks fantastic!

  9. I was just thinking about PR weekend today. If you have time for a coffee or some fabric shopping (and remember me of course) it would be fun to meet up 🙂

  10. This top looks terrific on you and I think the FBA is just right. The front does not appear to be riding up (from the side view) and there are no drag lines in the front. The real key is how comfortable it feels on — it looks terrific.

  11. Good to see it modeled, Renee. I think you hit the FBA target; while you are wearing the top, the way the side seam hangs is c/w the pattern as drafted.
    How do the sleeves feel? I see a little extra fabric in the armpit that I can’t tell if it wants to be a dart or if it’s bunched from the sleeve fitting snugly. >> I would only address that if you plan to do stripes in the front. Overall, the top is really cute, and that does not seem to affect wear and cute/fun factor. I am purposefully looking for any potential stripe/FBA issues, since you asked. (You asked, right?) Love your other one too. You gotta do a chiffon in the back tee too.

    • You caught me! The sleeves are tight. I need to make a bicep adjustment in HP (now) and I didn’t. On May 26, 2015 11:50 PM, “Miss Celie's Pants” wrote:


  12. I love this. I have had no luck with Hot Patterns lately (Wait until I post the dress that I made!!) Your top looks great. I have one cut out and ready to go, but I think I’m going to really have to tweak the neckline to make it work.

  13. Cute, cute, cute and besides the tight-ish arm bands and flare-away front, it just looks so modern and ready for summer. I’d also think about adding a bust dart like justabitofpeace added. Otherwise, crank out a few more of these before the weather gets really hot! Great job!

    • Thanks! I did add a dart last night in my new FBA. But (ARGGGHH) forgot to add length at center front. Which I realized well after I cut my pieces from limited yardage. Sigh. I also graded out at the hips a bit more (my knit was catching on my butt) and did widen the arm. My biceps were always muscular, but with weight gain, I have to accept (and remember) to increase my bicep every time. I’m using a chiffon in the back this time and am curious to see what that does with the flare forward.

      On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 7:21 AM, Miss Celie's Pants wrote:


  14. I think it’s really cute! I’ve been eyeballing this pattern for this summer, because it’s cute and flowy and probably would hide a multitude of sins on my ever-expanding butt (I blame it on school, mmm-hmm, yup). Having seen yours now in addition to Lori’s, I think I might have to suck it up and give it a try.

  15. I have not paid much attention to Hot Patterns before but you are changing my mind. This top looks fab! I love the solid front and stripes in back.

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