Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lynn Mizono Top

I've had this Lynn Mizono's pattern in my to-do pile for over two years. It kept working it's way down the pile.  I cut it out over a year ago but never found the right fabric.


 I first saw Helen Papke make it in various gray fabrics; silk, cashmere, safety pins(!) as a jacket.  I'm sorry to say I can't find the photo but if I do I'll post it.  Magical garment!  Here's a photo of the unsinkable Helen at one DOL.  She made the shirt draped over her chair.  The buttons are felted lips.

I've considered several ways to make it but, as per my usual method, I chose a fabric for the first go 'round that I wouldn't mind messing up.  I can't remember where I bought it, I'm sure it was online because I remember when it arrived I said to myself, "Well THIS isn't what I thought it was going to be!"  But it's turned out to be a really nice fabric and easy to work with.

It's a lightweight synthetic black and white stripe with a semi-permanent wrinkle.  When I say semi I mean when you wash it the wrinkles stay; when you iron it the thing goes flat.  A problem if you don't know in advance.  But, it worked well for the facing pieces, made them lay flat, I liked that.

I made the longer version, using the selvage for the collar and vintage 30's buttons.  I narrowed the sleeved.  I don't like bell shaped sleeves, they get in my way.   I love this pattern.  It's well written and worked the first time.  You know that doesn't happen often!

I'm going to make this in several types of fabric.  I have an old kimono that I'm thinking of taking apart and remaking with this pattern.The longer version is supposed to be made with shirting fabrics but I think, with the addition of pockets, it will make a great leight weight jacket to go over my long and drapy tops.

Helen made the shorter version for her jacket.  It was fairly structured because of the weight of the fabrics which was very pleasing.  She embellished it with several hundred safety pins, big wow! Dang I wish I could find that photo!

Here's the link to the pattern.  Give it a try.


  1. Oh my gosh, I LOVE the version you made! That's completely fabulous and so very individual. Just what I like. (What a great fabric! Sounds like a once in a lifetime find)
    I must admit that when I saw the two pics at the top I thought: 'yeah right, that looks gorgeous - on stick thin people, not on normal women'. But I reckon I have to eat my words because yours looks great, and it looks like an average sized person would look good in it too.
    I don't suppose there's a chance of seeing you in it?
    I really, really love this. Thank you!

  2. I really like your "trial" top. This will be fantastic made up as a lightweight jacket!

  3. So very chic! I think it must look terrific on you. Isn't Helen the best inspiration ever?

  4. Great top, very artsy. And you don't have to worry about it wrinkling!

  5. Love your fabric choice for this, and the extra length is great. I might have to give it a go...Anna

  6. Thank you to all who commented. I forgot to say that this pattern runs large! I used the small size and I'm a 12 in RTW. Giselle asked if I will ever model my garments. I Just don't feel comfortable doing that. I don't have many body issues, what you see is what you get. I'm 64 and proud of it! But I see your point about being able to view it on an actual person! I'll give it some thought.

  7. Gayle, that is just WOW! I bet you got that fabric from Marcy Tilton. Every once in awhile she gets those "Babette" type of fabrics in. In fact, I just bought a piece in a very dark violet. Now I know what to do with it. : )

  8. Yep, Janis, I think you're right. It must have been Marcy. I trust her judgement with fabrics. Even if you can't really know exactly what the fabric will be like you can always use them for something with great success.

  9. Hi Gayle - though I don't know much about this type of sewing I'd say your results look great. Congratulations on a really great blog - I love the way you talk us through your choices and show the results - very inspirational for anyone doing something creative. Well done.

    Joe from

  10. parroting everyone else - fantabulous, that perfect 'basic, 1001 uses and anything but boring' type of garment we all strive for and which is a lot harder to make than it looks!! and thank you for getting me to take a second look at this pattern, i will buy it now as it should work well for a couple of wardrobe workhorses i need o find TNT's for.

    and, i found Helen in her jacket:

    scroll down, then click on the picture for a bigger view. KNOCK OUT! have a great day, steph

  11. Your version of this has been tickling my brain since you posted. Normally, I'd stay away from this type of shape but the softness makes it seem approachable. I even ordered the pattern. Thanks.


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