Busty Pattern Review | Designer Stitch Kate Vintage Crop Top

I’ve long loved Designer Stitch, and it had been far too long (years!) since I’d made one of their patterns. Honestly? There’s so much to love. From their fairly inclusive size range to their built-in cup options, Designer Stitch really caters a wide range of sewists.

Today, I want to talk about the Kate Vintage Tea Dress, or – in my case – the Kate Vintage Tea Crop Top. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve owned this pattern since 2018, but only recently got around to sewing it up.

Fun fact: I was scared of taping my patterns until recently, so many of my PDF patterns would collect virtual dust as they sat in my email inbox.

The Kate is designed to be a vintage-inspired dress with a box pleated or flared skirt, but the pattern also includes instructions to make the bodice into a boxy or fitted crop top. Also included are skirt-only instructions.

If you’re itching for a versatile pattern, this is it.

Line drawings of the Kate Vintage Tea Dress pattern, including a 3/4 circle dress with knee or tea lengths, a box gathered dress with knee or tea lengths, a crop top, and circle and box gathered skirts with

When I was looking for a low-yardage pattern to use my Ruth Bader Ginsburg glasses cotton from Joann Fabrics, I immediately thought of this pattern that I’d been hoarding for so long.

This pattern features B-DD cup options at every size, waists 23.5-43.5″.

Since it had been a while since I had made a designer stitch pattern, I made this based on my measurements.

The size chart put me between a size 2 and 3 based on my upper bust measure. Now, most designers will tell you that, when your measurement is between sizes, to choose the smaller size. But, in my experience, I tend to have a better experience if I choose the bigger size when my upper bust is involved. So I chose a size 3.

I also chose a DD cup, the suggested size for my 4.5″ difference between my upper and full bust.

A person leans against a tree while wearing a pink crop top, and denim shorts.

For the crop top, the pattern instructions give the option of making a boxy crop top by omitting the waist darts, or a more fitted crop by including the waist darts, I chose to include them. That said, my waist falls into Designer Stitch’s size 4, so I needed to grade in order to keep the darts. Instead of grading at the side seam, I chose to make the darts a bit smaller.

Gosh, I love how this top feels! It makes me feel cheeky and ready for summer!

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the fit, though it’s not perfect. As the pictures show, the top is a bit snug in the bust and upper bust, and I have some extra fabric in the back. For next time, I plan to make a size 4D or 4DD to give that extra room I need. I may also need to take a swayback adjustment, though that is not an adjustment I usually need in my garments.

The pattern instructions very clearly lead the sewist through the steps. In fact, while Designer Stitch rates the Kate a 3/5 on difficulty (and that may be accurate for the full dress), I’d say this crop top is perfect for a beginner. Not as a first project, perhaps, but for a third or fourth.

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