Sonia Estep, The Fitting Experiment

Brooklyn and Bahama

Brooklyn – Sonia Estep Designs
Bahama Bottoms – Sonia Estep Designs

Yay! We are back with another Fitting Experiment and this time we are featuring two patterns: Brooklyn and Bahama, both from Sonia Estep Designs.

We also have some news, but I’ll tell you about it later on the post.
First let’s just dive into the patterns!

My measurements at the time of this experiment were:
Height: 5’10”
Bust: 36.5″
Waist: 29.5″
Hip: 46.5″


This button-up top pattern comes with multiple options and can cover a lot of your wardrobe needs. It features:

  • 3 sleeve options: Tank, Short and Long;
  • Straight or Curved hem;
  • Knotted or regular;
  • choice of turnover hem or a facing finish.

It also has a large array of possibilities when it comes to fabric choices as it only needs 20% of stretch horizontally and 10% vertically. So it can be a lightweith breazy tank for summer or a nice and cozy cardi for fall.

I went for the summer tank version, knotted and with the facing finish.

Before I start on my steps and opinions I just want to address that bandage on my arm. 😉
I took a tumble a few days ago and got a nasty scrape on the inner side of my left arm. Long story short, it got infected and my arm was a bit out of commission for a couple of days. The wound is in an awkward place where it’s difficult to find a position where it isn’t touching something, plus the fact that I’m left handed didn’t help matters much. lol

It’s healing well and it’s not that big of a deal, but it does explain some decisions made by yours truly.

Like this floating button way up high on the placket. LOL

I was in pain and not paying too much attention where I placed the buttonholes, but let’s just call it a decorative detail done on purpose, shall we?

Also, I chose a fabric (mystery poly knit) with virtually no vertical stretch and that affected the armscye a bit. So don’t be like me, and make sure you keep in mind the 10% stretch needed. 😉 #learnfromliviasmistakes

I made a size 6 and graded it to a size 14.

I really love this pattern but, personally, found the length of the top a bit on the long side. Even though I love the style on others, I find that hip-length tops and shirts are not very flattering on me and prefer my tops to hit me at high-hip.

Luckily that’s an easy fix!
I simply removed about 3″of the length right on the shorten/lengthen line.

That’s the reason why I graded the top to a size 14 even though my hip measurement put me in between a 16/18. My high-hip is 39″ and I could’ve gone down more but I like the loose fit of it.

I really love this top! It’s such a cute style and it matches with pretty much any bottom I own.

And talking about bottoms….


I’ve already blogged about this pattern and professed my love for it, and that statement remains true.

This time around I opted to make the pant length using a viscose crepe and the result was my dream summer pants.

It’s light and breezy and perfect for those warm days when I don’t feel like blinding people with the glare from my pasty legs. 😛

The only issue I have with wearing these kinds of lightweight materials is that it does nothing to contain the jiggle… But oh well, I guess I just have to accept it and be comfy and jiggly! haha

Now, what size and adjustments did I make?
As I mentioned in the first experiment blog, I usually need a round pubis adjustment, and the way I “solve” this is by combining it with the grading and use the scoop curve of the waist size and crotch length of the hip size.

It’s a formula that works well for me.

Because of the way this pattern is nested and the fact that it has an elasticated waist I decided to only grade at the center seams and use my hip size for the side seams.

I cut the center seams at the size 6 line and extended the crotch length to the size 16 end. The side seams I cut on size 16 all the way through. My fabric was thin and it wasn’t a problem to have a little extra gathered at the waist.

Fabric is important on this one.
It really needs something lightweight and preferably with a nice drape to it. Especially if you need to grade like me, a heavier or stiff fabric all gathered up around the waist would be uncomfortable and not really flattering.

My first Bahama Bottoms was a shorts length (3.5″ inseam) and I used double gauze for it. Worked great as well.

The fabric is super light but it doesn’t drape like the viscose crepe and you can see on the photo below that it does create a little bit more of a volume around the waist.

I love both pieces but it’s just something to keep in mind when choosing your fabric. 😉

Overall I’m super happy with both patterns and will definitely add them to my “Make More Of”pattern pile. 😀

Oh, the only thing I’ll change next time is the back pockets. I didn’t add them to the short but did it on the pants, just the regular pocket without the flap.
It’s a good size pocket, the only thing I’ll change is the placement. They’re a bit too far apart from center to my personal taste. I feel that wide set back pockets make my bum look wider… haha

I was a bit of a dodo and forgot to take back shots, (my arm was throbbing and I kinda rushed through it 🙁 ), but you can kinda see it on the shot above.

Now for the news I’d mentioned…
We now have a FB Group! Woot!
We’ve had a few requests to have a place where all the Experiments and info could be found in one place and we totally agree that it was a great idea.

Come and join us at the FRIENDS OF THE FITTING EXPERIMENT group and share with us your tips, tricks and/or questions about getting the best fit out of your sewing patterns.

It’s all new and we’re taking baby steps with it, but we have big and awesome plans, so please bear with us until we have it all figured out. <3

Pattern links:

Thank you to Sonia Estep Designs for sponsoring The Fitting Experiment creators with patterns. Please check out others’ makes:


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