My Sew Sew Life-Polka Dot Rachel Comey Top

I finally finished a new sewing project which was the top from Vogue Pattern 1618. This top had been on my to-make list for over two years. Finally, in January, I put it on my #MAKENINE22 (see the last photo) chart to make sure I got it done. This pattern was published in 2019 and is already out of print. However, as usual, it can be readily found on eBay.

Because of the details involved, I am rating this pattern for advanced sewists. I also noticed that there was only one review of this pattern on Pattern Review and now am wondering if it just wasn’t a very popular design. I’m a fan of Rachel Comey’s work and thought this top would be something that I would really enjoy wearing.

The garment description on the back of the pattern envelope says, “Very loose-fitting, pullover tunic has a front slit with binding, neck binding, and the ends, self-lined front, and back yokes, sleeveband with continuous lap and button and loop closure, shaped hem, and French seams. There are elements of this style that say Boho to me. Does anyone else get that feeling or is it just me?

There is also a pair of cropped pants that is included in the pattern. However, I only made the top and am only reviewing it.

The Fabric

The pattern calls for Gauze, Challis, or Crepe de Chine. I am guessing that my fabric is a Rayon Challis. I picked up this piece in 2016 when the storied fabric store Kaplans in Kansas City closed its doors.

The garment sample from Vogue is in all white which is beautiful. For some reason, my green and black polka dot fabric kept popping into my mind whenever I thought about this pattern. Also, because of the black polka dots, I wanted black for the ties and sleeve flounces. I didn’t have enough of the polka dot for the flounces and I just hoped it would all work.

It took me some time to find the right black rayon but I finally found what I wanted this winter At Mood Fabrics; Boise Black Lightweight Sustainable Rayon Challis. The black challis has an exceptionally soft hand and a very fluid drape. It’s made with ECOVERO, a sustainable viscose, which boasts the lowest environmental impact by using strictly sustainable sources.

This is a lot of width to this top. The fabric had to be very drapey for it to hang right. I think a very fine cotton would work too, such as some of the Liberty of Londons that I’ve seen.
Changes That I Made
It was a bit windy!

There were a few changes I made. The first main change I did was to raise the neckline by about five inches. There is no way that I could or would wear a neckline that was as low as the pattern called for. It was a very easy fix with a ruler and pencil on the tissue pattern.

The next change was something that I often do and that was to all two inches to the front and then draft in 2″ darts so the front would hang correctly in comparison to the back.

The third change was the addition of a black bias piping to the front. Looking at the line drawing above, you will notice that the front is in two pieces. I decided to add more detail to that seam with the black piping and liked the effect. It gives the top just something a little extra. Technique-wise, I just made the piping, turned and then pressed it and hand sewed it on the seam.

Another reason that I did this was that the pattern layout has the top bodice front cut cross-grain. My fabric has a stitched texture and as I was sewing the two front pieces together, it seemed to be that the top piece was reflecting light differently than the rest of the top. That is when I made a decision to add some black piping along the seam (there’s piping everywhere else) to delineate between the two pieces.

More Detail Photos

This pattern is full of special little details. One that you might not notice on the full shots is the visible gather threads on the front. Below is also a close-up of the bias ties. Having a LOOP TURNER is very important for this project; almost indispensable in my book. I don’t use mine very often but when you need it, you need it!

Detail of decorative gathers and ties and a closer look at the fabric-it has a subtle exture to it.
Narrow sleeve cuff with a loop button closure.

The interior is finished off with French seams and I also bound the armholes with black bias from the black rayon fabric. Anymore, I just don’t like raw woven fabric seams showing. With knits, I don’t worry and just serge the seams.

Finishing it Up

The first time I wore this top, I added my black skinny jeans, black chiffon scarf, and my black Demillier Marrakesh bag; the perfect attire for going to our little wine bar. Like the photo on the pattern, I have a pair of black cropped pants and want to try those next with some flats.


As I mentioned at the very beginning of my post, I put this top on my MakeNine2022 grid. The Make Nine is an Instagram-based challenge that seemed pretty easy to me. I thought it would be really good for things that I have been meaning to make for a while but had procrastinated on. So far it has worked. I’ve finished a pair of socks, a knitted top, and this Rachel Comey design. I am filling my chart in with real photos of finished projects and just a line drawing for those yet to do.

I’m not finishing my projects in any particular order. I have #5 cut out and will make it next.

That’s it for this sewing round and I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the details of this top.

Take care and see you next Monday when I publish what I decided to do my this current round of Style Imitating Art.

8 thoughts on “My Sew Sew Life-Polka Dot Rachel Comey Top

  1. What a gorgeous top, Terri! I’m curious about the smocking effect. Did you just run several basting type stitches close together? If so, I’m even more impressed by your sewing ability! I really think it was fortunate you didn’t have enough of the green fabric as the black adds such a chic flair to the entire top. I love the way you’ve styled it, too! Perfection!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Marsh-I just ran three rows of gathering threads on my machine so it was pretty easy. Adding the black did make it a bit different. I like it-you know this pattern didn’t stay around very long and there was only one other review about it on Pattern Review so I’m thinking folks just couldn’t see the possibilities, I guess. I’m happy I finally got it done and have a new top to wear.


    1. You agree with me! Good…I don’t think my material is Boho, rather classic but I’m thinking it might be fun to have this top out of a William Morris type print and make it 100% Boho, of course, after I sew another million top patterns I have LOL.


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