Finally I sewed something for myself: an Esme top, designed by Meg of Sew Liberated. I chose the pattern because it seemed pretty forgiving in terms of fit of specific sizing, and so a good project for someone who hasn't done any fitted sewing for women. Esme, in fact, is a loose-fitting top with lovely details like the gathered sleeves, a neckline which is neither too high nor too low (I am very particular about necklines), and a graceful, deep buttoned yoke.
In fact, when I measured myself against the (American) chart, my bust, waist, high hip, and hip all matched different sizes, which immediately posed a problem as to what size to make (and maybe a question as to how I'm shaped, but I prefer to explain these discrepancies by saying my shape is European, not American!). I went for size 10, but I regretted it because this top is quite wide in the body, and doesn't have much shape to it except for the gatherings on the front. So next time I'll make a size 8 (yes, there are more Esmes in my future).
Not only is Esme an easy pattern to sew, but it also has the benefit of a detailed step-by-step online video tutorial (as do many Sew Liberated patterns), which one can access by entering the pass-code printed on the pattern. I'd never encountered that before, and even with my super slow Internet connection, it was nice to sew along with Meg herself!
And the fabric? Oh, I love it! With its burgundy background and large tobacco-brown and beige peonies, I suspect it may actually be a print intended for cushions or curtains, but ever since I got it on sale at PurlSoho, I've wanted to dress in it - and Esme, with its loose fit, is in fact the perfect garment for this fabric. (Ok, maybe I do look like a cushion ... can we call that a European thing, too?)