Lakeisha Top

When I saw the new Ellie & Mac Lakeisha Cottage Dress pattern released a few months ago, I knew my 17-year-old daughter would love it. The pattern includes multiple sleeve and skirt options, as well as instructions for making a peplum top or crop top. It also includes instructions for a variety of modifications.

My daughter asked for a longer version of the crop top with bishop sleeves and selected a maroon midweight soft polyester rib knit from my stash. I followed the suggestions from pattern tester Lindsey and added five-inches to the bottom and curved out the side seam about 1 inch to turn it into a top that could be tucked in. I hemmed the bottom rather than adding the elastic. I used 1/4-inch elastic rather than 3/8-inch elastic around the neck, because that’s what I had. Otherwise I followed the pattern as written. The instructions for choosing a size were good, and the bra-cup sizing for the upper bodice front worked well.

My first attempt at sewing the upper bodice to the bottom bodice and clear elastic with my serger was a complete disaster, and rather than unpick the seams from those two small pieces, I cut them out again and started over. Getting the gathered top bodice, elastic and bottom bodice aligned under the serger needles was tricky but I succeeded the second time. I think it would probably have been easier with a smooth (not ribbed) fabric. After I figured that out, the rest of the top construction was fairly straight forward. I sewed most of the seams on my serger and used my sewing machine to sew the basting stitches for gathering, the elastic casing, the bottom hem, and the sleeve cuffs. I was going to use the serger for the cuffs but they are quite narrow and there wasn’t enough room to maneuver so I used my sewing machine.

My daughter is very happy with her Lakeisha top! She especially likes the big bishop sleeves, which work really well in the rib knit.