{Made} Shwin Kaleidoscope Top

FB - Shwin Kaleidoscope Top with Knitpop and So Sew English Fabric-1499

I have a love affair with stripes…  Big ones, little ones, variable sized ones, multicolored ones and apparently ones with flowers now (I’m beginning to sound like Bubba Gump – a wonderful film reference for all you Forrest Gump fans)!  I have yet to meet a stripe that doesn’t catch my eye (if you’ve seen pictures of my family’s Christmas Jammies – you would be a believer).  Well, this is one of those cases where I made a top that couldn’t be more me…  A stripe, with another type of stripe, with flowers on top — oh yeah!

FB - Shwin Kaleidoscope Top with Knitpop and So Sew English Fabric-1476

I’m not sure when Shwin Designs released the Kaleidoscope Top and Dress – but I’m so sad I may have missed some sort of introductory sale!  I had this vision in my head of combining two fabrics from two different shops, into a lovely easy to wear top.  Pairing the main large stripe with the floral (it’s called Harper and can be found on the So Sew English site linked here) and the 1/2″ stripes I bought from Knitpop ages ago (and already used for a sleeveless top here) worked out perfectly.  I mean – when you find yourself with at least 20+ yards (total estimation, but assuming I’m right?) of stripes throughout your fabric stash – you definitely #stripeallthethings!

Pattern Details


According to the pattern listing here:

The Kaleidoscope pattern has a unique flutter sleeve, which allows for some fun pattern mixing with the color block style. In a top or maxi dress style. The maxi dress has elastic at the waist to ensure a nice fit, and optional in seam pockets.

Both are designed for knits and are so comfortable to wear.

This is hands down the SIMPLEST top I have done in a LOONNNGG time!  I fit squarely into a size small for bust and hips and fall into a medium for the waist, but I could see this top had plenty of ease, so I just sewed a straight small with adjustments for my short torso…  I did select an XS neckline and I believe that was the right decision.

Year of the sleeve? Indeed…

The sleeve and side panels are an all-in-one piece.  This means you only cut out 4 main pieces and a neckband – I mean come on, could it get ANY EASIER???  I almost decided to put a band on the bottom because… Well,… Lazy seamstress here It would make for another amazing color blocking opportunity – but I wanted to make sure I highlighted both fabrics and did them justice – without having too many elements compete.

I don’t know if you can see it, but the drape on the flutter sleeve is perfect!  In the DBP fabric, it moves in the breeze as I walk – without being too large or overwhelming.  It’s a very subtle detail that doesn’t overwhelm the whole shirt with heavy sleeves – and from certain angles you don’t even notice the flutter.  I left the sleeve hem raw, but don’t anticipate any issues given that the fabric is pretty stable.  BONUS that it makes a quick shirt EVEN FASTER!

I found the perfect footwear to offset my gladiator sandals that I have worn in almost every single photo for the last several months!  What do you all think of the Keds?  I haven’t had a pair of these since high school!  They feel like the perfect – casual but not bulky/busy running shoe for the summer.

Running into a little neckline snafu

The one detail where I didn’t follow the pattern was the neck binding – I am so impatient and sewed the binding inside rather than outside  Of course I totally mean to have a clean finished neckline with a hidden binding – it’s a design detail!  I think it works right now given I didn’t need an exposed binding neckline with more stripes – it would have been too much!

All in – definitely worth the $12 I paid for it!  I can easily see at least 1-2 more of these in solid colors so they work a bit better into my wardrobe.  What colors would you give a try?  I am thinking a lovely white stretch crepe knit version and possibly a nice green?

Have you checked out the Kaleidoscope Top yet?  Or perhaps you are using other patterns to show off your design ninja skills – mixing and matching all the stripes, florals and other prints?  Share what you are up to in the comments!

3 thoughts

  1. Love the combination of fabrics and the neckline is perfect – I think more stripes would have been too busy. Your top looks so comfy and you look great wearing it.


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