Pattern Review, Two-Piece Set

Two-Piece Setacular Part 2: The Vanamo Top

Welcome again to my Two-Piece Setacular!  Today I have part 2, my Vanamo top.

Named Vanamo Top sewn by Katie @
The Vanamo Top — a great little crop.

So as I mentioned on Tuesday, this is the top from the Named Vanamo Two-Piece Cocktail dress, which was released with their SS 2014 collection.

My tentative plan is to use Vanamo for my dress for my brother’s wedding in September, so I decided to take this opportunity to muslin the top for that dress.

I cut a straight 38 based on my measurements with no alterations.  However, I knew that I wanted a fully-lined top rather than a faced one.  So rather than cutting the facings, I just cut an extra set of bodice pieces in my lining fabric, and used Rae’s method to clean-finish the neck and sleeves.

Named Vanamo Top sewn by Katie @
Vanamo Crop Top.

The pattern calls for a full separating back zipper, and I decided to make it exposed in a contrast color.  I just ironed under each side, wedged the zipper in between my main and lining fabric and then topstitched it down.  There’s probably a more professional way to do this, but it worked for me!

Named Vanamo Top sewn by Katie @
Back exposed zipper.
Named Vanamo Top sewn by Katie @
And the lining.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with this top and it was a good muslin for my sister-of-the-groom dress.  However, the top is a little big across the shoulders and the back neckline.  You can kind of see in these pictures how it gapes weird at the base of my neck.  I’m not entirely sure how to fix this — maybe darts?  What would you suggest?

Named Vanamo Top sewn by Katie @
Funny gaping at the neck.


Named Vanamo Top sewn by Katie @
The whole ensemble.

Pattern: Top from the Vanamo Two-Piece Cocktail Dress by Named Patterns

Size: 38.

Fabric: Premier Prints home dec fabric lined with lawn from Girl Charlee.

Modifications: As drafted, the pattern is unlined with neck and arm facings.  I omitted the facings and cut second bodice pieces from my lining fabric for a fully-lined top.

Fit: Okay.  The top fits well at the waist and around the bust, but it’s a little big at the shoulders and neckline.  I’m not entirely sure how to fix this so I need to research a bit.

Pattern Format: PDF pattern.  I actually like the way Named does their PDFs, though I’m sure some hate it.  Their PDF patterns are in the European format, which means all of the pattern pieces overlap each other.  This uses waaaay less paper but it also means that you have to trace your pieces.  SInce I’d rather trace than tape, I’m okay with this trade-off.


  • Easy construction and it would be even faster with facings rather than a full lining.
  • Perfect length to pair with a pair of high-waisted shorts or skirt.
  • Fits true to size across the bust and waist.


  • I got some gaping at the back neck and shoulders.  I cut the size that my measurements put me in and my shoulders aren’t particularly narrow, so I suspect this is a drafting thing.
  • This top is kind of a pain in the rear to get on with the full back zip.  I have double-jointed shoulders (crazy, I know), which means I can contort my arms in all kinds of weird ways.  I am able to get myself into this top unassisted, but I suspect that 90% of people out there would need help.

Overall Grade: B+.  This pattern is well done and very much on-trend.  However, the whole two-piece thing is very trendy, as is the crop top thing.  But even when the two-piece trend is over, these pieces will still be very functional as separates.

9 thoughts on “Two-Piece Setacular Part 2: The Vanamo Top

  1. Very cute! Are you choosing the pattern based on your upper bust measurement? If not, you might try that and then do a full bust adjustment. I find that when I use the full bust measurement to pick a size, my garment ends up too big around the shoulders/neck.

    1. Thanks! You know, while I was breastfeeding I routinely chose my size based on my upper bust measurement and then did an FBA, but since I’m done BFing I chose this one based on my full bust. That may have been a mistake. But the bust area fits perfectly — oh well, I might just have to tweak.

  2. To me it kind of looks like it needs alterations for high shoulders (I can’t remember the technical name). The angle of the shoulder seam is too sloped and should be a shallower angle. The the neckline and armscyces would move down. It doesn’t mean your braid shouldered just that your shoulders are higher than average. Or the pattern is messed up. Its weird that there aren’t any fitting issues in the front though!
    Anyway, it looks gorgeous! I love the polka dot print!

    1. I thought it was a little strange too that the base of the neck was the only place I had an issue. I’ll have to research this alteration a bit. Thanks!

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