I don’t often click buy immediately when I see a pattern release, but when StyleArc announced this “Elita designer top” pattern, I had to buy it immediately! Though I’m not entirely sure what makes it designer? I’m especially glad that they released it simultaneously as a printed pattern or a pdf, because I vastly prefer the latter, and it meant I didn’t have to wait for it to ship from Australia before I could get started.
The pattern is essentially a cross-over wrap top, with a shawl collar that extends in front and joins itself to create a really long loop, which the pattern calls a “trunk”. This nomenclature amused me way more than it should! Anyway, you’re supposed to double the loop back over your head to get a sort of double-cowl effect.
I love this design – the first time I wore it I had two friends pleading with me to make versions for themselves! My only gripe on the download is that StyleArc don’t print their symmetrical pieces on the fold, so the entire Back piece had to the pieced together here, when it could’ve saved a significant amount of paper to just have half the piece. It’s also kinda annoying to only have one size per pdf, even though you get three sizes (as separate pdfs) when you order. I’m generally only one size, but this could be a bummer if you usually mix sizes. Their paper patterns are the same, though, so it’s not like the pdfs are any worse.
I had to shorten the “trunk” by 8cm to fit it all into the 2m of mustard yellow wool/viscose jersey I’d bought from Guthrie & Ghani (now sold out in this colourway). Some other reviewers found that the trunk creates a weird, triangular fold at the neck and recomended changing the angle of the trunk piece, but I cut mine as is and I don’t have that fold – perhaps because mine were shortened to begin with? In any case, there’s still plenty of length left to create a nice cowl shape, so I would recommend it if you’re a tad short on fabric, too.
The only other change I made was to cut four ties instead of two so I could include an inner closure to the wrap. The tie makes a little bump so I’d recommend actually using a snap here instead, but it really works to keep it from gaping open at the front like I’d seen in other versions.
This pattern calls for a lot of raw edges (with instructions on when to finish them if you’d rather), and I resisted the urge to do the sewist’s thing of finishing off every single edge, and embraced the rawness. I’m glad I did, as I really like the look and it works well with the texture of this knit.
In future, the only thing I’d change is the sleeves – they’re a bit too wide and slightly short for my liking. If they were narrower & longer (more like my Surf to Summit sleeves, actually) then it’d feel a bit more cosy.
It goes without saying, but I’d totally make this again. It feels really stylish on, really brightens up my wardrobe, and is a great layering piece for transitional spring or fall weather.