A honest opinion?

Alright folks, I need an honest opinion here. I’ve been sewing up the Hummingbird green top and, well, it just ain’t workin’ for me.




Now, I know this doesn’t look all that good on me. But what I can’t pinpoint is the exact reason why. Is it the use of two colours? Is the peplum not quite in the right place? Is the neckline wrong for me? Is it too tight/loose/something else? Are peplums just not my thing? Is it all of the above?


I’d really love to get your thoughts on this. Can this top be salvaged? Should it be, or should I cut it up and make a couple of pairs of baby trousers with it instead? Should I bother trying this top pattern again, or is it just not right for me? Please, tell me what you think! Don’t pull any punches either – brutal honesty appreciated. πŸ™‚


49 responses to “A honest opinion?

  1. maybe the top isn’t long enough… it might look better of the peplum sat lower…??
    I like the colours…

  2. Hiya! I think the base colour does not suit you, which is not helping. I think the neckline needs to be higher or lower, it’s a bit nothing at the moment. And I think the two tone thing is not right as it cuts you off at the waist. I’d love to see a full HB in the red with a deeper/wider neckline. πŸ™‚

    • I think you’re right – heck knows what I was thinking, making a pale pink top! I know pastels don’t suit me. Oops. And yeah, I totally agree with the neckline and the two-tone thing, now that you’ve pointed it out. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  3. I agree, what I donΒ΄t like is the colour and the fabric,,,I donΒ΄t like the flairs, they are not hanging properly, and thatΒ΄s for the characteristics of the knit. Also, I would lenghten the bodice a little bit and cut the peplum shorter, I mean itΒ΄s almost like a short skirt. Nude colour is difficult to manage.

    • Thanks Cristina! I think I’ll try it again in a darker fabric (heck knows what I was thinking using a pale fabric – they never look good on me!) and a tshirting rather than a merino knit, and see how it goes….

  4. First, I think the colored trim is a beautiful detail and the red is a great color. I think the nude color is not working well with your skin tone. Also there seems to be something off in the peplum which is pulling the waistline downwards across your CF. Are both fabrics the same weight? Your peplum might be too heavy? Maybe try a heavier fabric for the bodice? Or try a sheer and only line the bodice and sleeves? oh la la!
    I like her cloverleaf peplum and the length is nice but you could try a regular peplum just to see if that’s what’s throwing off your “like meter.” Oh and I vote for shorter sleeves =D I am a total sucker for shorter almost cap sleeves or 3/4 length sleeves. I don’t know why those are my favs, they just are! I definitely think this pattern has potential for you. In my book, when in doubt grab a purple fabric and make it! That way I see it in my favorite color and really know if I like it or not. Maybe with red trim? sassy! Good Luck! sewingforme.wordpress.com

    • Haha good idea! I have some purple tshirting floating around, I may just grab it and cut out another version (with shorter sleeves) and try making it up again. I’m thinking part of the problem with the peplum is that the top may not be quite fitted enough around my waist, so it’s pullling/hanging down in places…. I’ll try changing that too, see if it helps how it hangs. Thanks for your feedback! πŸ™‚

      • Hurray! Purple lovers unite! I wonder if you could interface the waist seam too? I just saw the technique for interfacing strips on knit necklines in the Feb 2013 Burda Mag for the asymmetrical dress. I haven’t tried it but it might work. Did your issue have that?

    • Heh that’s a great idea, the one about colour. For me it’s blue. If I didn’t like it then, I’d know I’ll never like it. I’m totally going to remember this suggestion in the future.

      • Blues a nice color too. I always seem to have solid purples and blacks lying around. Last time I found dark purple stretch cotton sateen I bought 5 yards. Love it! Maybe I should just always start with that, but I like to use cheap “what was I thinking” fabrics first just in case.

  5. p.s. I nominated you for a blog award because of your awesomeness! Check it out: http://sewingforme.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/for-me-how-awesome/

  6. The proportions are wrong, the sleeves need to come up at least an inch maybe even 2, and then the peplum needs to drop so it sits lower maybe by an inch. If you also shorten the peplum it will help make it look more sporty and less dragging.
    It is a good start but it just needs a bit of rearranging to actually work for you?

    • Thanks! Yeah, I think you’re right, especially with those sleeves – that length just isn’t working at all. Oh well, I’m off to try it all again with a few changes! πŸ™‚

  7. It looks to me like it could be lengthened a bit. The peplum looks like it’s sitting a little to high. I love how you did contrasting colors but the nude does seem to wash you out a bit. The red would be a really good color on you! Don’t give up on it, it’s a great top and you can make it work!!

    • Thanks Shanni! Yeah, that pale colour really doesn’t suit me. *sigh* I’m going to go try it in a darker colour with a few changes, and see how it goes. Thanks for your feedback! πŸ™‚

  8. Blurgh! Sorry you’ve had such a disappointing make!
    I think it is the colour. The beige is not your friend and is too blurgh next to the richness of the wine colour. The wine sits back making the beige bulge out at the mirror making your lovely figure look like cake mixture.
    The drastic change in tone cuts you in half so sharply at the waist, and shortens your upper half.
    I do think the peplum would look great on you if it flared out a bit, maybe in a stiffer fabric – try on a peplum top made from woven fabric next time you’re in a clothing shop just to make sure you like the style on your figure.
    If you really want to salvage this top, I’d make it more fitted – like swimsuit fitted and shorten the sleeves.

    • Haha, cake mixture! Awesome!! (Would you believe that prompted me to go and make a batch of biscuits? Mmm…. cookie dough….) πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for the feedback, I completely agree with you! And am going to try making this up in a nice purple instead, no colour blocking, with shorter sleeves and more fitted around the waist. Fingers crossed I can make this pattern work!

  9. Hmmm, I think that it needs to be more fitted through the midsection. The peplum effect is lost when the whole top is sort of relaxed and slouchy. I think that for a peplum to work, the waist really needs to be nipped in so you get that exaggerated hourglass effect. I also like when peplums drop from your true waist– that’s really flattering! I made a peplum top that was too loose once, and it made me feel really droopy and rectangular. I also agree with Mrs. C that the two-tone look makes your eye stop at the midsection and breaks up the torso. Don’t give up! I really think you could rock a peplum, and it wouldn’t take many changes to make this work for you!

    • Thanks lovely lady! This is great, having all this feedback – you guys rock so much. πŸ˜€

      And yeah, I agree with you – it’s not fitted enough, and it’s not quite hitting at my true waist. Gonna go cut out another one (*not* in two-tone!) this afternoon and try again!

  10. I think it should be more fitted. Now the tops doesn’t do antything for you but making you appear bigger. Also the basic colour isn’t your colour. I think you should may try and make it in one colour untill it is a perfect fit. And then experiment with different colours.

    • I completely agree – I feel like it makes me look about 3 sizes bigger! :-/ Thanks for your feedback – I’m going to try making it up again (in just one colour, and *not* a pale colour this time!) and make it more fitted, fingers crossed it works out! πŸ™‚

  11. I think the main problem is the color blocking, I like where you were going with it but peplums probably are suited best in a uniform print. The top and neckline look nice though! Comfy knits don’t go out of style in my book πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ Yeah, that colour blocking just isn’t working, is it? Oh well, the idea was fun anyway…. *sigh* I’m trying it again in a solid colour, will see how that works.

  12. I concur that the beige is not doing you any favors. I feel differently about the proportions of the peplum: I think that the color contrast line needs to be higher up, at your natural waist. I think it would look better if you shortened the bodice/torso above the peplum.

    • Thanks for your thoughts. πŸ™‚ And yes, you’re right – that pale colour looks terrible on me! (Heck knows what I was thinking, choosing that for a top!) I’m now making another version, and have raised the waistline up by about 1.5 inches, which seems to be working a lot better….

  13. Is the waist seam actually hitting at the narrowest part of your torso? It looks like it might want to be a bit higher, and the peplum a little longer. But it’s hard to tell with the color. Dark colors recede and light colors come forward, so this kind of color blocking is making your waist look bigger while making your lower half just disappear. I’d try those changes in a solid fabric and see what happens.

    I had really similar problems when fitting my Tiramisu, I think in large part to the new shape of my stomach due to baby-having. My below-natural-waist torso is thicker which means that things that hit too low are much more dramatically unflattering than ever before. On that I wound up narrowing the waistband so that the narrowest bit hit at a more flattering spot. Not sure if you’re running into the same thing, but I know our kids are about the same age so figured it was worth mentioning. (Ironically, I’ve since lost more weight and now have problems with the waist sliding up over my bust…adjustments are needed.) I’m planning to post lots about fitting patterns like this when I finally get my hummingbird started and can mess with the fit on it.

    Also maybe shorter sleeves? Or 3/4 length? The horizontal line at the bottom of the sleeves is another visual break that disrupts the line, and messing with it might change the impression you get from the shirt.

    • Hmmm, that’s a really good point about the post-baby size. You’re right, I’m a lot thicker there these days as well (and still getting my head around how differently everything fits now!), and I’m also finding things tend to sit a bit higher because of it…..

      I’m in the middle of making up the Hummingbird top in a plain colour to get rid of the colour blocking visual issue, and have raised the waistline by about 1.5 inches, which seems to be working better…. Looking forward to hearing how the Hummingbird works for you! πŸ™‚

  14. I agree that the beige isn’t working as I’m drawn to your waist and the neck line. The wine colour is great though. I think it needs more shape in the middle and it would look much better.

    • Thanks Claire! πŸ™‚ I wish I had more of that wine colour…. Oh well, next time I see any in that shade for sale I’ll be snapping some up. πŸ˜‰

  15. I love your courage in putting something out there that isn’t working πŸ™‚ sounds like everyone already has awesome ideas so I can’t add much! It’s already been said! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Jo! πŸ™‚ I must say, this has been a great learning experience, getting feedback from everyone! I highly recommend it, haha! πŸ˜‰

  16. I too think if it was made in one colour, not beige, and the neckline was maybe scooped it would look a lot better. Don’t give up Kat, I think maybe pants for little one out of this fabric & go for something bright for you

    • Thanks Di! πŸ™‚ Yeah, I think this pale colour is going to get turned into baby trousers or singlets very soon…. Pastels really aren’t my thing, no matter how pretty they look on other people…. *sigh*

  17. You guys are all absolutely AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for your feedback!! Thanks to you, the problems are now pin pointed. And I’m gonna give this pattern another go, in a mid-heavy weight purple tshirting. πŸ˜€ Thank you so much!! (Seriously. You all ROCK.)

  18. I’m glad you’re trying it with heavier fabric. I tried doing a t-shirt remake using very a very flimsy t-shirt, into a peplum top like this a while back and it came out looking about as inspiring as yours does on you. It was in a colour that looks fab on me, so it wasn’t that. In the end I came to the conclusion the fabric was just too light to work with the weight of the peplum, and consequentially sagged and hugged me in all the wrong places and in the wrong ways.

    I hope the next version turns out better!

    • Hmmm, good point about the fabric weight! I’d never thought before about how a peplum would need a bit of weight in order to hang right….

  19. Hmm, it looks to me like you have too much fabric in the top part, and it is bunching up over the peplum. Maybe it is both too long and too wide in the top (beige coloured) section?

  20. I just made two of these and my first version looked almost the same in the back. It was fixed by doing a 1″ sway back adjustment to get rid of the back wrinkles plus if you look at your shoulder seam it’s sitting way back so I would do a forward shoulder adjustment to get that seam in the right place. I just did a post all about Hummingbird fitting issues for smaller shapes on my blog. Even though I had other issues it might help as I have a number of before/after photos.

    • Would you know, I’d never even heard of a forward shoulder adjustment before you mentioned it?! I’ll be looking into that – I think that’s a fitting issue I have quite a lot! Thanks for the awesome tips and advice!! πŸ™‚

  21. I hope you can make this pattern work after all this good advice!
    I’m wondering now if, with the right colors and shape, it would be possible to make a great two tone peplum top, or if it’s a design that just doesn’t really lend itself to that.

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚

      I’m thinking a two-tone one may work, as long as the colours aren’t too dissimilar in shade. I.e. both dark, or both light, or both bright. I’m also wondering whether one with a plain section and a patterned section would work. Things to experiment with in the future I think, once I get this fitting right in a plain colour….! πŸ˜‰

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  23. I think it’s the peplum not starting at your natural waist. Plus, I tend to think peplums need a bit of body and this is so drapy! I know from my scrolling backwards that you’ve since made a new one so I’ll find it then what you changed!

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