Reviewed: Ella Top by Liola Patterns

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So, it’s only fitting that almost 1 year to the day, I have sewn up and photographed one of my latest makes – The Ella Top by Liola Patterns.  I had been searching for a nice woven tank for quite some time, and the minimal design details drew me in.  I had a hard time getting a sense for the adjustments I would need to make given the size range and my limited experience sewing woven garments, and ultimately set this pattern aside.  I am glad I pushed through and made it, and think it is a lovely pattern if you have realistic expectations for intended fit of the garment.

Pattern Description & Suggested Fabrics:

The Ella Top is a simple loose fitting top that is sure to be a staple in every summer wardrobe. The loose fit is easy and elegant while the bust darts ensure for a flattering look.  The simple construction includes bust darts, back yoke with optional flat piping trim, back pleat, neck and armhole binding, and French seams. With such a vast choice of fabric options this top can be made up in silks for a dressy look or in soft cottons for a more casual look.

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This pattern is only suitable for lightweight woven fabrics such as: cotton, silk, crepe, chiffon, rayon etc.

Tip: you could use a contrasting fabric for the binding and back yoke trim.

Pattern Sizing:


Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

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Most certainly!

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Sure were – I didn’t even realize I would be sewing french seams (shows you that I hadn’t re-read the pattern description OR the instruction before diving in).  Everything came together easily and was very straightforward.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I really liked that this was my first sewing pattern that included french seams in the construction (YAY for new techniques).  I also liked that it was very quick, and offered some color blocking/back contrast options.

I am on the fence about the shape of the back yoke (I prefer to not have to wear my convertible bra with the bra straps crossed), the loose fit (I prefer far less ease in my tanks/shells), and how low the front is drafted.

Fabric Used:

A rayon challis remnant from Joann’s (purchased last year)

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

I did not cut bias strips from my fabric and instead used rayon knit strips to do the bindings.  Despite how lightweight the strips are, I still think the knit is a little heavier than the challis and wish I had had enough challis to cut bias strips from that instead.

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I sewed up a size XS blended to a small below the armscye.  I also did my standard adjustments (took 2″ out of the top – 1/2″ at the armscye and 1.5″ at the waist).  Lastly, I did a 0.75″ (1.5″ total for the bodice) FBA – which I am certain makes the loose tank, well, looser.  I attempted to reduce the ease in the pattern (maybe 1-1.5″ on each side) – but it makes my french seams less attractive…  Thinking I should have done this wearable muslin without the french seams to confirm the fit…  Don’t be me! 🙈


Ultimately, it looks like I need to address my sway back fabric pooling, and take out about another 0.5″ out of the bodice (to get the bust darts into alignment).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I don’t know – I really think it’s adorable, but I dislike having to convert my convertible bra.  I will have to think on this one.  I do think it’s adorable for what its worth.


If you are looking for a casual, loosely fitted tank/shell for easy spring/summer wear – look no further!  But I would caution those who would like a more fitted look to have realistic expectations and to muslin first.

I will say – I love that I can style it with a vest, tucked in, or worn out – each perfect for a different situation!  Which do you like best?

4 thoughts

  1. Mac, I don’t know how you could have been on the fence with these zebras though! So cute! Love the fabric.<3
    I actually didn't notice the racerback style or I should say how deep the cut was until you mentioned having to cross your bra. LOL. I also don't like the exposed bra strap look so I probably would just modify the pattern for the back to ensure it covered the bra straps. Especially if I liked the other features of the top.


  2. That fabric is so cute on you!

    As far as your swayback, you probably do need some sort of adjustment, but I also suspect that some of your issues there were caused by removing so much width combined with that center back pleat. I would muslin with the pleat removed before you do your swayback adjustment to see if that helps with some of the wrinkles first 🙂


  3. Hi Mac, you always look gorgeous in what ever you make, love the fabric…I think the tank looks great on you…;o} I’m looking at the Molly Cardigan by Liola Designs, have you made this…?? Would you recommend her patterns over all…thanks sew much. ;o}


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