Flower Patchwork Top

One of my goals for 2023 is to sew for 20 minutes most days. For the past few years, I’ve increasingly experienced mom guilt whenever I indulge in my hobby. However, I realize I need to be kinder to myself. Learning new sewing skills and experimenting with textiles are my favourite things to do. So I’ve been squeezing in 20 minutes in my day to do just that. I am not planning any wardrobe; I am simply savouring a short guilt-free sewing moment for myself. Here’s what I’ve been making for the past five weeks:

The Flower Patchwork Top by ROBERTS|WOOD is quite fascinating. While it is a simple boxy top, it is made of 71(!) patchwork pieces that create a complex 3d floral texture. The pattern has been designed to be able to mix and match leftovers and scraps. It especially looks striking when paired with sheer fabric. (check out ROBERTS|WOOD’s promo pics ).

I used red organza leftovers to make my version, which worked well. It is stiff enough for the petals, presses nicely and doesn’t fray excessively. In addition, I used a silk habotai that I dyed several years ago with Spectra bleeding tissue. I had high hopes for this combo, thinking the dyed habotai would complement the red colour and balance the sheerness of the organza. Sadly, I’m disappointed with the result. The habotai is messy and too supple. It also didn’t press well (pressing all the petals is essential before sewing all the patches together, as it helps form the neat corners of the textile). So I regret not opting for 100% organza.

However, I would not call it a #sewingfail since I really enjoyed my 20 minutes of sewing/cutting/pressing everyday. It was also super interesting to get a glimpse into our ROBERTS|WOOD garment construction method. The journey often matters more than the destination, right?

I made no fit modifications to this size 6-8. While the length works for me (I’m 5’1″), I think this would be more of a crop top for someone taller. I used bias tape to finish the neckline and hemline and a decorative stitch for the sleeve hems. I also added extra stitches to the corners of each patchwork for reinforcement. I like the exposed raw edges of the petals on the right side, but I might topstitch the habotai pieces to minimize future fraying.