Pattern Review

More pattern testing: The KBSD Cut Out Active Top

Would you ever have thought you’d get two activewear posts in a row on this blog?  I sure didn’t.  But that’s the way it’s worked out this month!

Anywhoo, I was a tester for the new KBSD top (affiliate link) that is releasing today — the Cut Out Active Top (affiliate link):

Creative Counselor: KBSD Cross Over Top

Now the source of the name may not be immediately apparent from this photo, but just wait until I turn around.  All business in front, but it’s a party in back!

Creative Counselor: KBSD Cross Over Top

In all seriousness, this is a fun little top for a run or the gym.  I really like the fit in the front — it’s actually one of the best-fitting tanks I’ve ever made in that regard.  I might even use it as the base for a summer tank pattern.

Creative Counselor: KBSD Cross Over Top

I really like the back detail on this pattern, and it’s not even particularly difficult to sew, but man, those keyholes can be a b&$%@ to fit!  This pattern went through a lot of changes in the testing phase, and they were almost all aimed at getting those back keyholes to fit properly and lay flat on the most people as possible.

Creative Counselor: KBSD Cross Over Top

And even with all that, if you’re hoarding some highly-prized fabric and plan to use it for this top, I would HIGHLY encourage you to make a muslin first.  No designer can make a pattern that will fit every body perfectly, so most people will need some kind of alterations to get the pattern to fit just right, especially those keyholes.

Creative Counselor: KBSD Cross Over Top

I would also highly encourage you to follow the pattern instructions.  Now, if you’ve read this blog much at all, you know that I’m not a big one on following pattern instructions.  However, Stephanie drafted the instructions to include steps for testing and perfecting the fit of those back keyholes during construction.  Definitely advisable to get the best outcome possible!

Creative Counselor: KBSD Cross Over Top

And it’s been over 6 weeks since I did a proper pattern review, so here you go!

Pattern: Cut Out Active Top (affiliate link) by Koerbs Brothers Stitch Designs

Cost: $8.00 (25% off through 1/24/16.  If you order on Etsy, the code is strong25)

Size: M.

Fabric:  This is made from an amazing supplex fabric that I got from the now-defunct Sew Kinetic.  It’s really soft, and was so easy to work with and to wear.

Difficulty:  Intermediate.  This top isn’t that complicated to make (though some experience working with lingerie or swimwear elastic would be helpful), but getting the back keyholes to lay flat can be tricky.

Techniques Required:  Sewing with knits, attaching elastic, fitting alterations for the back, setting in sleeves (optional).

Similar Patterns: Greenstyle Jillian Tank, Five out of Four Agility Tank, Papercut Patterns Pneuma Tank.

Modifiations:  None.

Fit:  Stephanie did a lot of work on the fit of this pattern so it would work for a wide variety of bodies.  Her work paid off, and the instructions direct you on how to check the fit during construction.

Pattern Format: PDF.  The file wasn’t too overwhelming, so I didn’t mind working with it, even though I did end up printing and taping it several times (the downside of being a tester)


  • Fun detail on an otherwise basic top.
  • Great fitting neckline.
  • Construction is pretty quick once you get the fit right.
  • Great for showing of a cute sports bra or awesome back muscles.


  • The back keyholes, the main feature of this top, are also the trickiest.  They’re great once you get them to fit right, but be prepared to fiddle.  Not the fault of the pattern, just the nature of a design like this.

Overall Grade:  B.  Good pattern with fun details and easy construction.  Can’t ask for much more.

*I didn’t fork over any money for this pattern since I was a tester.  But don’t think I didn’t pay for it in time and test garments!  

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