Pattern Review

Made: Kaleidoscope Top

As soon as I saw my friend Mac’s amazing Kaleidoscope Top, I went straight over to the Shwin website and bought the pattern for a simple work top.

Creative Counselor: Kaleidoscope Top


And I’m really glad that I did!  This top is a quick and simple sew and is definitely a step up from a simple t-shirt.  The flutter sleeves really make it more dressy and perfect for an office environment.

The princess seams are also great for color blocking.  I decided to keep it simple and just used a basic black for the side pieces, but a stripe would be really fun too.

Creative Counselor: Kaleidoscope Top

The pattern only has four pattern pieces so it goes together in nothing flat.  The sleeves are incorporated in the side pieces, which eliminates one of my all-time least favorite sewing tasks — setting in sleeves.

I really only have two gripes about this matter, and they’re pretty minor.  The first is the neck binding.  I found it to be a little narrower than I would have liked.  I managed to get it to cover the seam allowance and it looks pretty good, but I kind of had to finagle it.  My second gripe is the sizing. My measurements should have put me pretty solidly in a M, but I’m pretty sure this pattern runs a little big.  I have. a lot of room in this M and could easily have sized down.

Creative Counselor: Kaleidoscope Top

But those gripes are very easily fixed!  Next time I will just add an extra 1/2″ to the neck binding, and take out a bit of excess at the princess seams.  Voila!  That should make it a great office staple!

Creative Counselor: Kaleidoscope Top

Pattern: Kaleidoscope Top from Shwin Designs

Price: $12.00 USD

Size: M

Difficulty: Advanced beginner

Techniques Required: Sewing with knits, attaching a knit binding, knit fitting, hemming a curved hem.


  • 2 lengths (shirt and maxi dress)
  • flutter sleeves

Supplies Needed:

  • Lightweight knit fabric
  • Matching thread

Similar Patterns:  

Fabric: Black Vanessa double-brushed poly from So Sew English (floral), black double-brushed poly from So Sew English for the sleeves..

Fit: Pretty good.  I could stand to go down a size, but otherwise the fit is good.

Modifications: None.

Pattern format: PDF.  This file is relatively large, but it really wasn’t bad to cut and paste only the top rather than the maxi dress.


  • This pattern is easy to put together.  The flutter sleeves are built into the princess seams, which means that there are no sleeves to set in.
  • The side pieces lend themselves well to color blocking or print matching.
  • The neckline is very attractive.


  • The pattern seems to run a tad big.  The M should have fit pretty closely, but I think I could easily have sized down.
  • The neckline binding is a tad narrow.  It would be easier to sewn down if it had an extra 1/4″ of width.

Overall Grade: B+.  I really like this pattern.  It’s quick and easy to make and wear.  The seaming makes it great for color blocking or print mixing, but it would also work really nicely in a solid.

2 thoughts on “Made: Kaleidoscope Top

  1. Hi there! My first time commenting, and unfortunately it’s to say that I can’t see the photos. (Just the dreaded boxed question mark.) Might be something on my side, but I can see Mac’s photos fine.

    Love your blog otherwise, especially the posts where you showed how to change a basic tee pattern into many different looks – very helpful! Thank you!

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