I ordered the February issue of Fibre Mood magazine in March. I picked out some potential patterns to consider, including the Babette pants, Debra dress, Alix skirt, and Suri top. But I didn’t get around to making anything until the end of May when I saw Hillary Goodwin (@entropyalwayswins) posting on Instagram about sewing her precious Marimekko stash as her Me Made May project. She made some really gorgeous dresses, tops, and skirts, which inspired me.
My Melooni fabric
I knew I still had one piece of Marimekko fabric that I got on sale at Crate & Barrel years ago, back when the store carried Marimmekko fabrics. So I took it out, unfolded it and realized the fabric would be perfect for the Suri top!
You can really see the fabric design in this photo (plus my new haircut! First cut in 15 months!).
The Suri top pattern is just one piece that you cut on the fold plus a neck facing and a pattern piece for the shoulder detail. I envisioned the neck opening right in the middle of the Melooni oval design and then the rest of the fabric design would be on the front and sleeves.
My Melooni colorway was bright orange in the center, followed by hot pink and then fuschia. The “oval” is surrounded by bright red instead of white. And where each color meets in my Melooni, there is a ring of red that’s about an inch (1.5 cm) wide. You can sort of see it in my photo. All these hot colors are hard to capture in a photograph but hopefully, you get the idea.
If you do a search for Melooni, you’ll see that it comes in various colorways — though the availability of the colorways vary. Here’s one version, which is a bit easier to see the design, which goes across the 58″ wide fabric. (You can get a Marimekko Melooni dress for $485.)
The Suri top pattern
Here’s a page from Fibre Mood that shows the top sewn up and a line drawing. There is a lot of ease in this pattern, which doesn’t have any darts. It goes from size XS to XXXL, bust 76 cm to 146 cm, 30 inches to 57.5 inches. My bust is about 39 inches, 99 cm. I have a small bust, A cup.
I decided I didn’t want to cut my pattern on the fold so I could see exactly where I placed the pattern. So I traced it twice and taped it together to make one huge pattern piece, which you can see here. Sorry the piece is so large, I couldn’t get it all in the photo. (Note: You have to add seam allowances to Fibre Mood patterns. Pay close attention to the diagrams, which note the seam allowances. The side seams have 1 cm seam allowances but the sleeve and bottom hems are wider, 3 cm and 4 cm, respectively.)
The neck opening has a facing and there are two small ovals of fabric that you fold in half and place one on each side of the neck opening. I used my fabric scraps to cut my ovals.
The neckline is a little tricky where the opening gets more narrow. Below is the facing. Be sure to trim close to the seamline at the narrow ends near the shoulder and press, press, press to get it to lie flat!
Here’s what it looks like on the right side before you attach the shoulder pieces.
Here’s what the neckline looks like in the finished garment.
Suri top sleeve details
This is a simple pattern, but a bit unwieldy to work with because the pattern piece is rather large when you don’t cut it on the fold. The pattern mostly fit on my fabric but each sleeve went all the way to the selvage! I was determined to use every bit of the fabric!
I liked the idea of having the fabric info on the selvage but I didn’t want white on the inside of the sleeve, which could get dirty. So I cut a facing piece from the leftover red part of the fabric. As I sewed, I stitched just missing the white edge of the selvage.
If you haven’t had much experience sewing curves, you may not know to cut notches in the curve at the armpit, cutting out little triangles. The instructions don’t mention that. Cut notches or you won’t have a nice curve there. (For more on clipping and notching curves, read this 2013 post from Megan Nielson’s blog.)
The instructions call for adding 4 cm to the bottom hem but I only added 3 cm because that was all the fabric I had on one side! I liked the length of the top before hemming and I didn’t want it to be any shorter. So I finished the bottom hem with red bias tape from my stash.
The instructions have you top stitch the neckline but I opted to hand stitch the facing in place as well as the hems. It took longer but I like the way it looks. I didn’t want any top stitching to detract from beauty of the fabric.
Suri top likes and dislikes
I like the shape of the top and it’s cropped length. It will go well with high-waisted skirts and pants. The medium-weight cotton Marimekko fabric makes the shape stand out. You can have fun with big prints and color block it or make it in a solid fabric.
The front neckline of the Suri top would feel more comfortable if it curved down more. It made me realize why other boat necks tops I’ve made have a deeper curve in the front than the back. This top is essentially the same in the front and the back. If I make it again, I will adjust the neckline and the facing.
The Suri top deserved a 1960s hat to go with the 1960s fabric design. I recently got this vintage McCall’s pattern 8254 from the Lacis Museum and retail store in Berkeley. I made version D (polka dot hat) using a red wool felt I got from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics.
This post is getting long so I’ll do a separate post on the hat later! Meanwhile, here are a few more photos of my top — worn with a denim skirt cut on the bias. The pattern is the Tedra skirt from the sewing book Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style (affiliate link here). The skirt has patch pockets, which you can see in this photo. (The only other pattern I’ve made from this book is the Pilvi Coat, which I’ve made multiple times, including one in ponte, canvas print, and blue upholstery fabric.)
And here’s a back view of the Suri top.
Thanks for reading to the end! Have you made anything from a Fibre Mood pattern? Please share what you’ve made and what you think of the pattern.