T-shirt of the Month: Cation Dolman Top

Ah, another month gone, another (very slightly) late T-shirt of the Month post. Sigh. One of these months I’ll get it together. Maybe. Hey, I never have a problem actually sewing the shirt during actual month, I’m just a terribly slow poster. Honestly! And actually, deciding on this month’s shirt was a no-brainer for me as soon as Cindy at Cation Designs released a free pdf pattern for a dolman sleeve top. So cute! So easy! Only one pattern piece! And wouldn’t you know, conveniently sitting atop my mountainous stash pile was a slightly oddly-shaped yardish piece of mystery knit from the Crazy Fabric Store that I had grabbed without having the faintest idea what I was going to use it for. Well, some printing and cutting and a couple of podcasts later, I had a new top:

Seriously, this was the easiest top ever. No sleeves to set in! No double needle hems needed! I fit the front and back pieces easily onto my funky knit, and I cut the sleeve and hem bands from a big piece of black rayon knit that’s been waiting patiently for at least a year to be made into another boothigan (that’s a cardigan that I wear in the booth at work – black so when audience folks look up at the funny little window in the back of the theatre all they see is a floating head! Bwahahaha! No, really, I have to wear black in the booth). The neckband I cut out of the main fabric, ’cause I thought a black neckband might be overkill and not work as well with the lovely boatneck shape.

The pattern is very well done, and also it has to have the best markers for lining up the pages that I’ve ever seen. And check out who’s hanging out in the test square! (Seriously – go open the pattern pdf, it’s adorable.) I cut a size small on top and a medium below the arms and it fits well. I did cut the arm bands one inch longer than called for and still found them a little snug, but that’s probably because my black fabric wasn’t super stretchy. So go, get the pattern and make the easiest top you’ve made all year!

The only problem here is that I don’t like these pants with it – the white background of the knit is actually kind of an off-white, so it doesn’t quite go with the cool gray pants… but I don’t have any other pants that are even close to making sense with it. Which brings me to: I’m making pants this year! No, seriously, I’m sick of spending hours in fitting rooms cursing at my giant athletic thighs and my no-waist and the fact that clearly no other women are shaped like me so how can I possibly expect the clothing industry to sell pants that fit me! So making pants it is. I’m starting with cheater (elastic waist) pants, so look for those soon, as well as a one year blogiversary giveaway! (Yeah, guess what else passed while I wasn’t tending to the blog…) And in honor of Labor Day, I return to work on Tuesday (sadly ending my glorious summer break), but I vow to plow ahead with my big sewing plans regardless of how little time I might have… that usually works out well, right? Totally.


  1. Cute top! Good luck with your pants sewing! Have you picked a pattern to start from?

    • aleah said:

      I’m starting with the Tori pant pattern from Style Arc (free with my pattern order a while ago), but I’m also hoping to make some Thurlow trousers this fall – I have some denim and some brown cord for them, but I have to muslin first!

  2. Lovely top! Love the fabric! might give that a try myself!

  3. Very nice! Your description also makes me think I should try this…thanks for detailing your process and results! Can’t wait to see your pants results too!

  4. Myra said:

    Really cute top! I like the way you did the contrasting sleeves and waist bands. I’m going to give it a try too, I like anything easy and quick! Thanks for the tip and good luck with your pants sewing!

  5. Adrienne said:

    Hi – thanks for your comment on my simplicity dress…I had looked at your pattern review before I sewed it and it inspired me to get going on it! I love the color you chose for it. This dolman sleeve top looks great on you, too. I am definitely going to check out the pattern.

  6. Becky said:

    I don’t know of any woman who can find a pair of pants that fit, so you are not alone. It seems the RTW industry has tried to come up with an amalgam of all the attributes of a woman’s lower body in one pattern. Thus, it truly fits no one! Pants are the hardest thing to make, so my best wishes, and I can hardly wait to see what you come up with. Great top.

  7. i’m so excited about this top! thanks for posting about it – i can’t wait to try it. if only i could find a fun knit print like yours – it looks great on you 🙂

  8. Ashlee said:

    This top would look really fab with a bright pair of trousers! cobalt blue? burgundy? pink? it’s so modern! well done 🙂

  9. Oh wow, you actually made it up!! I’m so glad it worked for you; your version looks fantastic. Thanks for the feedback about the cuff size, I’ll have to look into that again. And hey, I need to work on making pants too, so maybe a faux sewalong is in order!

    • aleah said:

      Hmmm, if by “faux sewalong” (fauxalong?) you mean “detailed post about the terrible pants errors I’ve made”, then yes, I think that can be accomodated… I definitely don’t feel qualified to lead anyone else in pantsmaking, but who knows? We’ll see how my muslin-shorts turn out…

      • Yes, that is exactly what I mean! I don’t feel qualified at all either.

  10. Gloria said:

    I just checked your top after seeing another made with the Cation pattern and seeing your post on her website. Stunning! For sure I will be trying this.
    I have to say I laughed out loud when I read your comment on RTW pants. I have come out of a store dressing room to tell the clerk I doubt I’m even human. No pants seem to fit!!! I am a 50 year old once-gymnast now competitive volleyball player and yes, I have athletic thighs and butt, which unfortunately correspond in location to give me the widest measurement well below my hips, and not side to side, but back to front. Add a small waist and long torso and I’m sure you can sympathize with me. I will keep an eye out for your pants! As an aside I’ve had good luck with Lee Rider jeans, only ones long enough in the crotch length to be comfortable, big enough on the legs to hang nicely and small enough on the waist/low waist to not fit a football in the back. You’ve gotten me motivated! All the best,

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