Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy First Birthday, Cation Designs!

DIY felt birthday cake pincushion cover

It's been a year since I first started blogging here at Cation Designs about my various projects, mostly sewing-related, with some random crafts, geekery, and scattered thoughts here and there. It all began with Me Made June 2011 (thank you, Zoe, for the impetus!), and ever since then I've been hooked on blogging! I love the experience of recording what I've been creating, and you all are such an encouraging and inspiring community. I'm so grateful to you all for making my first year of blogging so much more exciting and wonderful than I could ever have dreamed. So in true geeky hobbit spirit, Cation Designs is celebrating its first birthday by giving you some mathom: my very first printable sewing pattern!

Raglan Sleeve Swing Top Pattern
Raglan Sleeve Swing Top Instructions

Now, mind, I've never tried anything like this before, so apologies beforehand if this doesn't work, or it's not in your size (I don't know how to grade patterns just yet, but this top is pretty forgiving), or you actually try making it from some treasured fabric and end up hating the finished garment. Disclaimers over with, here's what it looks like:

Free raglan sleeve swing top printable pattern
With a belt:
Free raglan sleeve swing top printable pattern belted

And as a special bonus...
Free raglan sleeve swing top printable pattern downton abbey blouse
Does that look familiar?
Downton Abbey's Sybil and Edith Crawley in the same blouse
That's right! It works pretty well as a modern reproduction of Sybil and Edith's blouse in Downton Abbey! [Update: For those who wanted to know more about my scalloped skirt that goes with the blouse, check out my write-up of it here.]

Here are the "official" specs:
Description: Loose, pull-over swing top with wide neck and wide raglan sleeves
Recommended Fabric: 1.5 yards of 54-60”/2 yards of 45” lightweight, drapey fabrics, such as rayon, silk crepe, georgette, or chiffon. I made mine with a soft and buttery dark blue floral print rayon.
Finished Measurements: Bust 36.5”, Hips 44”, Neckline 32"
It should fit BurdaStyle Sizes 34-38, Big 4 Pattern Companies Sizes 8-12, RTW Clothing Sizes 2-6

I originally made this because I adore the wide-necked top look, but could never find the perfect balance between wide-enough-for-the-ballerina-look and not-falling-off-my-shoulders in RTW blouses. That said, I adjusted the width of the neckline for my own super-wide shoulders, so you may need to adjust it to fit your own shoulders (or just use it as an off-the-shoulder top). I also wanted it to have a loose, comfy feel while still looking somewhat put together, kind of like those oversized dolman sleeve tops that are so popular now (Anthro versions, some other versions).

It's a really simple top to make, not having any buttons or zippers or even fiddly hooks and eyes to sew, nor sleeves to set in (but it's still very easy to move around in, even without gussets or anything like that); the trickiest part is probably the self-fabric bias tape, but even that is easier than it sounds. Seriously, I only started making self-fabric bias tape this month, and I've been wondering why I was so afraid of it for so long.

Anyway, if you do sew this up, please let me know/send pictures! I'd love to know if this even works for other people. And again, thank you to all of you for following me in my creative endeavors. I'm still slightly shocked (and think I always will be) that strangers would want to read my ramblings. And in case swing tops or novice patterns aren't your thing, stick around, because I'm going to give away some more mathom (in a more tangible sense) on Monday!

As for Walnut's cake, well, it's actually a lie. I made it from felt and pipe cleaners as a dust cover for my magnetic pincushion.

Cats don't know what to do with birthday cake.


  1. Congratulations on the accomplishment. Not many people make it one year! Although I'm a newbie to your blog, I've really enjoyed reading and seeing your various projects. Keep up the good work!

  2. I just pinned and tweeted it. Love it! Yay, you!

  3. How did you know that I been looking for the right raglan sleeve shirt pattern!?!
    Happy Birthday to your blog, and thank you for the design! I've enjoyed that you share your thoughts on costumes and regular apparel. :)

    Here's to year 2!

  4. Happy birthday! That's a beautiful pattern!

  5. SO CUTE! Do you think it would be easy to size up for those of us with, um, ample chest areas? I love this, Cindy, thank you for your endless generosity.

    Walnut seems quite perturbed by this treat he cannot eat, I must say.

    Happy one year-blogaversery!

  6. Happy blog birthday! I love Walnut's confused expression in those photos, he's kind of like, "But...but?"

  7. oh. my. GAH. happy birthday to US! i just picked up some yardage at levine's on a whim, i now know its destiny.

    (walnut + cake = perfection.)

  8. IT'S SO CUTE! Especially with the Edwardian skirt. Great idea... and just the right size ;).

    Now if only I had some drapy fabric...

    1. Oh, yes, and happy birthday and all that stuff. ;)

  9. That shirt looks amazing with your skirt! I may have to steal that look *shifty eyes*... Also, the last picture of Walnut is so cute! He's so adorable!! Happy blog birthday :)

  10. Happy first blog-birthday! :-)

  11. Walnut is much better behaved than my dogs, they would have the "cake" torn to shreds in seconds. They feel any item in the house is theirs to destroy. As it happens, they are right.

    Happy blog birthday!

    PS-Your top and your skirt are perfect together.

  12. Happy blogging birthday! I love your blog and I understand it being a little weird to think that strangers want to read what you write because I feel the same way about mine. =)

    I love your blouse - especially with your skirt! It's retro without being too costumey.

    And your pin-magnet cover is awesome! (I have the same dark blue magnet and a light blue one myself.) I might just have to make myself one of those cake-covers, hehe.

  13. Yay, love the color on this! Downloading now thought it may take a while to get to it.

  14. Happy Blog Birthday. Your blog is wonderful and it is such a joy to read. I have tried out your maxi dress, but then winter came so I'll wait with the hemming until spring. I have saved a copy of the top and hope to try it in spring as well.

    Thank you for being such a great source of inspiration :-)

  15. Happy birthday!!!!! And thanks for sharing this great pattern, I love it. I download my copy so I´m going to sew a version.
    Really cute, thank you.

  16. Yay! I love a party with cats- they bring a special air of protocol to an event. I love your Downton homage-it's too lovely!

  17. Happy 1st Birthday Cation Designs!!!! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading ur blog - one of eye first few blogs I started obsessively following when I joins blog world in October last year. Thank u for sharing everything! Love ur work Cindy!!!! Keep it up!
    Love Nee!

  18. Your top is very cute. Thank you so much for sharing.

  19. Wow, happy blogabirthary! Thanks for the cool top and for all your ramblings, they're the most entertainiformitive ramblings around! (okay, I'm some kind of word coinasaurus right now.) Also, I think that Walnut is just angry that the adorable fake cake is preventing him from getting to those tasty and fun pins!

  20. Happy birthday Cation Designs!

  21. Congrats! So glad I found you via Oona.

  22. What a pretty top,who wouldn't love it!Thanks for sharing!

  23. Happy Birthday, Cation Designs! Your blog has provided me with fantastic reading material and beautiful pictures this past year! I love your work and I love how your creations have become more and more you as the months have passed. I also really appreciate the honesty and humor that is always present in each blog post. You're refreshing!

  24. Happy birthday!! You've done so well with the blog, you should be very proud! Gorgeous top! XxxX

  25. Happy Birthday to your blog! I have just found it today, and love it. You are a woman after my own heart -- Crafty Chemistry teacher! (Though I also teach Biology and AP Biology.) I will be following from now on.

  26. Happy blogoversary, and thank you very much for sharing your pattern. I've been reading (and enjoying so very much) you blog from across the Atlantic for a couple of months. I never commented, but now is the time. I love reading you, it's funny, inspiring, motivationnal, and what not. Please keep on!

  27. Happy blog birthday! May your next year bring even more happiness and success your way!

  28. Happy BLOGIVERSARY!!!! YAY! I just love reading your blog and am so glad you decided to do it! I cannot wait to meet up!!!

  29. Hello! I read about your blog on Craft Gossip and I really like your website. The blouse is adorable, but it's the skirt you're wearing that has my attention. Is it from a pattern? It really sets the blouse off very nicely. Well done. As for the blouse, I'm certainly going to give it a go. Just yesterday I read a tutorial on the rounded collar for a blouse that I'm wanting to try and I see that it will go very nicely with your pattern.

    I'd love to know the name of the pattern for your skirt. Happy birthday and congratulations on your blog success.



  30. Happy First Birthday! I can't wait wait to give that blouse a try. It looks beautiful.
    Love the cake too. So cute.

  31. HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY!!!! Your shirt is GORGEOUS!! i absolutely love it with everything you've paired it with. That print is just fabulous - I think I may need one of my own in my closet! Thank you thank you for sharing this with us :)

  32. happy anniversary, cindy! i definitely feel that you add a wonderful voice to the blogosphere and like we are friends that just haven't met yet. keep up the wonderful work and keep sharing it with us, your adoring fans.

  33. What a pretty top,who wouldn't love it!

  34. Hello from Paris ! i'm happy to find endly the top i dreamed to sew !!! thank you very much! it will be my first "raglansleeves top" !! i look forward to sharing the picture of my top with you .
    Have nice summer.Best regards

  35. Ooh, lovely! Thank you so much for this. Found you via Pinterest. I've been looking for a raglan-sleeved top pattern for ages. Now to find some lovely fabric...
    thanks again


  36. Thank you so much for sharing your pattern! I have been looking for this style for a couple of weeks with no luck. It's a beautiful blouse and I hope I can do it some justice (I'm a little bit newby). I plan to try it out as my next project - just got the kitties lined up and taped together. Thank you again!

  37. Thank you so much for this pattern! I've been looking for a pattern like this for a while, and yesterday I tried it out on a 2 euro piece of fabric, see the result here I adjusted the neckline by adding ruffles, using another blouse as an example. I'm quite happy with the result and will definitly try it on a more expensive silk fabric..! I just discovered your blog and I LOVE your DIY antropologie projects... will start working on the Dulcie dress soon :)

  38. Just found you blouse today. It's perfect and so versatile. I'm quite new to sewing, hope I do it justice. Happy belated anniversary!

  39. I love the kitty & have three of my own that just love to lie on my sewing when they want my attention!
    Also a big fan of Downton Abbey so thank you so much for your pattern


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