Fitting Resources for Woven Tops & Hoya Top Review!

Woven tops are satisfying to make, but can present fitting challenges. Katie share some of her favorite fitting resources for woven tops.

Hey there everyone!  Wow, the last few weeks have really thrown a sucker punch at us!  Mac spent a week single-momming it up, and then has been traveling for work.  I spent the last couple of weeks getting really overwhelmed with life and activities, and then going on an extended weekend trip to top it off!  Luckily the end of the school year and some slower months are in sight.

We are generally tackling woven tops over here and in the Sew Altered Style Society Facebook group, so I wanted to round up some good fitting resources as we dive into this (perhaps new?) realm.

    Bust Alterations

    I did a post a while back on how to tell from measurements whether you might need a bust adjustment.  Sometimes the need for an adjustment may be obvious and sometimes it’s not.  You can find that post here: How to know if you need an FBA.

    The “pivot and slide” method for bust adjustments is really popular for knit patterns, but since a woven top is more likely to have a bust dart for shaping, I think that a more traditional “slash and spread” method is more effective.  If you’re using a dartless pattern, pivot and slide can still work for smaller adjustments (no more than 1″ added to each side).  If you need a larger FBA, you’re better off using the slash and spread method and simply adding a bust dart.

    This post from Megan Nielsen is a good illustration of the slash and spread method for both FBAs and SBA: How to do full and small bust adjustments.

    Sleeve & Shoulder Alterations

    Bust adjustments are relatively simple compared to sleeve and shoulder alterations.  A good fitting book is a must for any seamstress, and even more so if you need significant sleeve or shoulder alterations.

    If you have narrow or wide shoulders compared to your upper bust, you may need to adjust the shoulders of your pattern. Here is a good how to from Itch to Stitch: Narrow and Wide Shoulder Adjustments (aff).

    And another good post from Colette covering wide and narrow adjustments, square and sloping shoulders, broad back adjustments, gaping armholes and gaping necklines: Shoulder Adjustments

    And a post from the Curvy Sewing Collective on a high, round back adjustment: How to do a high round back adjustment.

      A nice-fitting sleeve is a must!

      Blending Sizes

      Since wovens don’t stretch the way knits do, if your hips fall into a different size than your bust, you may need to blend sizes to make your top fit correcting.

      This is an oldie-but-goodie post from Oliver + S to walk you through blending sizes:  Blending Between Sizes.

      Pattern Review


      And now for a little more about the top in my photos!  When I was on my sewing weekend, one of the several items I completed was the Hoya Blouse from Deer & Doe Patterns.  This pattern has been on my to-make list for quite a while now, so it was nice to check it off the list!

        Katie in her linen Hoya Blouse

        I wanted a white linen blouse for the summer, and I wanted something fairly simple.  This top checked all my boxes, and it went together really fast to boot!  I always get a great fit from Deer & Doe straight out of the envelope.  True to form, I made no alterations to this pattern.

          White Hoya Blouse paired with Katie’s chambray Lander Pants

          I can’t say I’m done with light colored linen this summer.  I already have a hankering for a sleeveless button up!

          Pattern Description

          The Hoya is a mock-wrap woven blouse with lapels and a fully-lined front. Version A (the one I made) has short sleeves, version B has ¾ sleeves and sleeve tabs.

            My Body Measurements

            My current measurements are 36-28-39.  And since I’ve been lifting weights for the last 6 months or so, my upper bust measurement has increased from 33″ to 35″  That means I went from a C cup to an A cup!

            Pattern Sizing

            The sizing is spot on.  I made a 40 since it is a looser fit.  Based on my new upper bust measurement, I should technically make a 42 and do a small bust adjustment, but my 40 fits me just fine.

            Pattern Alterations or Design Changes

            None at all.


            I had no problems with the instructions.  The front construction wasn’t exactly intuitive to me, so I followed those instructions pretty closely.  The pattern is well marked, and the illustrations were quite helpful.

            Pattern Highlights:

            I love how this blouse has a simple shape with a few thoughtful details.  The mock wrap and lapels make it different than most other indie patterns, and a great throwback to late 70s/early 80s styles.  It’s really versatile and can easily dress up or down.

              Constructive Criticism

              I would have liked a little extra room in the hips.  It fits me pretty well, but an extra inch would make it skim over my hips a little better.


              I picked up this white handkerchief linen from Michael Levine’s online store, but it appears to be sold out :/  The beauty of the Hoya is that it will work with just about any woven fabric.  Something drapey like rayon or silk will give a flowier look, but it also looks great in something more crisp like linen or shirting.

              Final Thoughts

                I’m really happy with this top and I love adding more woven tops to my closet!  Despite my love for t-shirts, if my wardrobe is too knit-heavy, I end up with the feeling of a full closet but nothing to wear.  Wovens really are my jam!

                – Katie

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