When I first looked through FS patterns, I didn’t notice the RIVA collection. Looking at it closely, this pattern bundle not only contains the perfect wardrobe staples with timeless designs but also featured outstanding detail. Funny story, I never had a classic white shirt – please don’t blame me – but in all honestly, I used to find them pretty boring.
However, it seems that tastes change over time because I have recently caught myself searching for a white shirt. When I saw the back of the RIVA shirt I knew I found the one. They say: ‘A wise man changes his mind sometimes, a fool never.’
I choose to make the RIVA shirt in BLEACHED FS Signature Finish Midweight Linen, then decided to give the Riva pant a go and used the FS GINGER Midweight Linen.
It says on the Riva booklet that this pattern collection is chic and comfortable and I honestly could not agree more. The shirt might look classic in front but wait until you see the back: its deep back pleat does not go unnoticed! The fit is quite oversized which makes it more casual and wearable for everyday. The Riva pant is a beautiful high-waist trouser with a double front pleating and slant pockets. The back is – again – no less interesting with its double welt pockets (there is also a hidden button and a tiny loop inside) and a V slit at the centre back waistband. Actually, this is the kind of pant I have always wanted but never found in my size in French stores. Both designs also come with a short version and a sleeveless shirt version for warmer weather.
Let’s talk a bit more about fitting now! The RIVA Collection is available from size 2 up to size 24 (B51 W46 1/4 H55). At the moment my measurements put me on different sizes (B s.22 W s.20 H s.18) and so normally I have to grade between sizes. However, before grading, I always look at the finished garment measurements to get an idea of the ease. This is a real timesaver because for oversized looks I often skip grading and make one straight size. This is exactly what happened with the Riva shirt and I decided to make a straight size 18. About the pant, I first made a muslin in size 20 but decided to size down for a more fitted look around my hip area. I did not alternate much for the pattern pieces, I simply made length adjustments because I’m short (160cm / 5’3): I shortened the sleeves (by 4cm / 1,57 inch), the rise (by 4cm / 1,57 inch) and the leg (by 5cm / 2 inch).
I am truly happy with how both shirt and pant turned out! I think both fit very (very) well, especially the Riva pant, without any major adjustment! I mean, fitting pants can really drive someone crazy (Am-I the only one?) but the Riva pant fitting is just chef’s kisses for my body shape. Next time I will only do a couple of adjustments: I will shorten the shirt back curved hem (which I really love but like to try something new) and I will add 1 or 2 cm to the pant waist.
I sewed these garments with great pleasure, fabrics-store patterns have very detailed step-by-step sewing instructions that help you overcome any tricky construction problems. Shirt and pant patterns indeed are not the easiest ones, there are often difficult details that can be scary – I have to be honest I got a bit scared when I first glanced at the instructions booklet!
Yet I sewed my first sleeve plackets and welt pockets and it was a total success, without checking any video tutorials! I was also quite impressed by the shirt construction, I found it pretty quick and surprisingly easy. For instance, I honestly don’t remember having sewn a collar so easily and neatly (there is a bias binding finish inside) and I think I made this shirt over the course of 2 or 3 evenings.
I found the instructions booklet very useful with lots of pictures, body and finished garment measurements, a fabric yardage guide and of course well explained illustrated sewing steps. Another benefit is that the pattern is color printed which is very handy to trace/ cut and made my eyes suffer less.
In conclusion, I think the RIVA collection keeps its promise in offering a timeless silhouette for years to come. I hope you will try to sew these versatile patterns to go to a chic event or on a day-to-day basis. I personally look forward to experimenting with both new pant and shirt to add new staples to my handmade wardrobe. I am extremely happy to have found the high waist pant of my dream and I am very thankful to FS for letting me review this collection.