handmade wardrobe · sewing

Darling Ranges Button-up in Black Linen

 I’m back today with a summer top! I made this Darling Ranges Button-up two summers ago in a beautiful black linen from Blackbird Fabrics. In theory, this was supposed to be a classic button-up that could be worn on its own during summer. While I like the top, it’s not exactly what I was hoping for. As a result, it has not gotten as much wear as some of my other tops, like my Ashton Top.

darling ranges top | so rachel sews...

The Pattern: Darling Ranges from Megan Nielsen

The Darling Ranges pattern is described as an “Easily adaptable modern shirt dress. Pattern features deep v-neck, button front, high waistline, multiple sleeve lengths, large pockets and ties at the back to allow it to be worn in a fitted or loose style.” I obviously made the shirt view, which features no darts and sews up quickly.

Note the “deep v-neck” – that is not an exaggeration! I read on the Megan Nielsen blog that the v-neck was perhaps too deep for some and to consider raising it. Usually, I don’t make adjustments on the first iteration of a pattern, but I decided to follow this advice here. For this one, I raised it 1-1/8″ and I’m very glad I did. In the photos, I am wearing a lace camisole underneath. That really helps to show just how low-cut it is on me. 

darling ranges top | so rachel sews...

The Fabric: Lightweight Washed Linen

I got this fabric, a lightweight washed linen, from Blackbird Fabrics. I don’t see it on their site anymore, but they do have a variety of linens to choose from! It’s a lovely fabric, and I thought it would suit the Darling Ranges pattern nicely. I have their washed linen (slightly heavier weight) in teal that was also supposed to become a Darling Ranges.

darling ranges top | so rachel sews...

The Top

Based on my measurements (HB34″/B37″/W29″/H42″), I chose size 10. I made view B – the dartless blouse. As I mentioned above, I raised the neckline by 1-1/8″ according to the instructions on the Megan Nielsen blog. Honestly, that was not even close to enough for me. I like a bit more coverage from my blouses, and this is still way too low. I’m not sure if I am just a bit bustier than the models so it’s more obvious. I easily could have raised it 2″+ without going too high.

darling ranges top | so rachel sews...

The shirt sewed up pretty quickly, and I think it turned out nicely. The problem is, I was hoping for an airy summer top, but it really requires a camisole under it, which removes a lot of the airiness. I just don’t ever reach for it, which is a bummer. It has been done for over a year and I have never worn it out. It may be donated.

I will note that I very much appreciate the sleeve diameter. My arms are apparently on the larger side and I often find woven sleeves uncomfortable. These are large enough and long enough that I can move around comfortably!

darling ranges top back view | so rachel sews...

Final Thoughts

I’d love to love this top. I just don’t. Between the loose fit (that makes it impossible to bend over without showing everything off) and the super low neckline, I just don’t wear it.

I hate knocking this pattern so much. It doesn’t look that low on the models to me. I won’t make it again as designed, but I may consider rounding the neckline and trying it out that way. I can raise it even more and get a different look out of it. I’ll keep you posted if I try it out! 

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