Pattern Testing: Striped Swallow Designs - Women's Desert Breeze

Hello from Sunny Washington! (Said no one ever.) Don't let these pictures fool you, I was freezing my butt off.

I'm bringing you something fun and new today, another bohemian beauty design from Mandalynn of Striped Swallow Designs. She recently came out with a girl's version of the Desert Breeze and I snatched it up right away for my nonexistent babies nieces. I absolutely adore the style of this top, it's going to be perfect for "Summer." (If that's a thing that happens here.) 

The Women's Desert Breeze includes several options.

-Flutter sleeves with cutout 
-Straight sleeves with cutout
-Flutter sleeves with cut out and elastic instead of binding
-Gathered waist dress
-Loose swing dress
-Loose swing top

-Fitted top (This will be an add on in the near future. A little birdie told me that it will be *free* to members of the Striped Swallow Designs Sewing Group! So join early and get first access to the add on slim fit top.)

I chose the slim fit with flutter sleeves and binding around the sleeves. Based off of full and upper bust measurements I sewed an XS and it fits like a glove. Full disclosure ... I feel like an angel. 
The construction of the Desert Breeze is ... a breeze. Everything comes together like a dream and it's relatively quick, too.

If you haven't used a Striped Swallow Design pattern before, you're in for a treat. Her patterns are laid out in a super pleasing manor and she thinks of the little things. (like putting the S/A on each page - so if you forget, which you know you probably will, you don't have to flip through 20 pages to find it.) She walks you through each step with detailed photos and at the end, you probably can't believe you finished with such an ace looking product. 
The binding instructions are great, too! Just look at how pretty my binding turned out in the picture above. I impressed myself. ;)
AND! The pattern pieces are layered so I was able to print just my size. #thankyoulawd

*Side note, I used a straight stitch for the binding and it turned out great! If anyone is like me, you might try to decide on stretch or straight stitch... we'll fret no more, straight works fine for this top on the binding.*

I did lengthen the Desert Breeze by 2". There are no lengthen and shorten lines, but it's pretty easy to do yourself. I just found the thinnest point on the front and back and cut and added 2" in between the pieces. If you are around my height 5'6", I would suggest adding a little length unless you are comfortable in shorter tops. Additionally, I haven't hemmed the sleeves or the bottom, so it's a little longer than it will be once I hem them!

The knit is a basic rayon spandex blend from Joann's. It's very drapey and buttery soft. I've always been a cotton lycra fan, but man, rayon has been winning me over lately. It cascades in a way that the cotton doesn't. I'm thankful that I couldn't find a print that I liked. I need to sew in more solids, this top feels so elegant in a cream. 

Thanks to my awesome fiance for the pictures (and necklace). I feel very delicate. :)

The Women's Desert Breeze is releasing today 03/28/2016! You can find it at Women's Desert Breeze and Bundle and you can get it on sale with code "BREEZE" for 25% off (it's on the entire store, too!) I promise that it will be a Summer staple :D 

Pattern Women's Desert Breeze $12
Fabric rayon spandex from Joann's $16 for 2 yards (with leftovers)
Notions thread $0.50

Total estimated cost $28.50

However I did receive the pattern free of charge in exchange for testing my size and I didn't use 2 yards of fabric. I probably have 3/4 yard left over.


  1. You look amazing and so does the top! The slim fit was a great idea and I'm glad there is going to be pieces for that! I confess, I used a straight stitch on my binding too. :P