Pair of Vintage Sew and Sews: Peter Pan Bolero and The Gable Top (project 5)

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It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog piece; I’m just trying to remember how I do it! Ok , well let’s just dive straight it – for our November project, Lisa and I actually decided to do two projects in one because we loved the idea of both these chosen patterns and thought they would look perfect as a little vintage twinset.


Lisa and I knew we wanted to use a ponte roma for this set of projects. This knit fabric is so cosy for this time of year, very easy to wear and layer up and is a really easy fabric to work this. We deliberated over which colours to choose for quite a while and eventually decided on the cream for Lisa and the Seafoam for me. This turquoisey colour is not one I wear a lot but I loved how vibrant it was without it being a summery colour and I thought actually with some silvery accessories it could look very icy and wintery. We were kindly gifted the fabric by Stylish Fabrics ( Perhaps I’m still living in the past but I was so surprised and thrilled by how quickly the fabric arrived with us in the UK from Stylish Fabrics in America!

The Peter Pan Bolero

The first pattern we decided to make was the Peter Pan Bolero which is exclusively available as part of the Charm Patterns Patreon. The Peter Pan bolero is such a cute little piece – long sleeves, rounded front edges and of course, a peter pan collar which you can decorate with beads, crystals, faux fur or anything else you can imagine!

The bolero has got a pair of darts in the lower back piece but otherwise it is cut to shape. I followed the sizing but for some reason mine did end up slightly larger than I intended although at least it will fit nicely over other long sleeved and layered up tops now.

For the collar I decided to embellish it with sparkly little beads in clear, silver, lilac and pearl. Before sewing became my main jam I was a keen jewellery maker and I still have a lot of beads left so was able to find some to perfectly match this project. I stitched them on by hand, after the bolero was completed which was a lovely relaxing and therapeutic task.

The fastening on the bolero gives a choice of snap/popper with decorative button, or a neck tie. I opted for the popper and button option. Although the button was the tiniest part of this project I absolutely loved making it. I had a self covering button (22mm) which was the perfect size so I covered this in the same fabric  as the main bolero and then covering nearly the whole surface I stitched on more of the same beads I had used on the collar. These little details take the standard to the next level and I absolutely love it.

The Gable Top

The Gable Top pattern by Jennifer Lauren Handmade (I got my copy from The Foldline) is a pattern that Lisa has made a few times already and I’ve been lusting over since I first saw it popping up on my fellow sewists accounts online. I love the vintage feel it has (or that might just be my interpretation of it as it’s just a classic style), and the simple shape it has which makes it perfect for matching with fancy skirts but also jeans and ‘dress down’ wear. You don’t get so many styles that look perfectly in keeping for both situations.

The construction really couldn’t be simpler either; just the front back and arm pieces. With the neck you can choose how high/low you have it, I adjusted the neck slit slightly so it was just at the base of my neck rather than going up my neck. I didn’t lower the back neckline at all because we’re going into winter here in the UK now and, you know, draughts!

Lisa added the most wonderful bleeding heart embellishment to her top and I considered doing something similar but in the end decided against it as I love wearing my brooches so didn’t want to restrict myself with this top.


These were two really fun, creative projects and I’m so happy with how they both turned out, especially as the colour fabric I used is not one I wear very often so I feel like I’ve added something new interesting into my wardrobe rather than more of the same (apparently it is possible to have too many red Christmas cardys, who would have thought!). The gorgeous beaded embellishment on the bolero was my favourite part of the make and I love how quick it was to make the Gable top, which also doesn’t need very much fabric meaning it’s 100% going to be a pattern I used again and again!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!


2 thoughts on “Pair of Vintage Sew and Sews: Peter Pan Bolero and The Gable Top (project 5)

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