As some of you already know during The Big Simplicity Blog Meet (which I blogged about here) this year in Manchester, May Martin launched the Simplicity Sewing Challenge for 2016. If you fancy giving it a go, head over to their sewing challenge page for details and ask for your free pattern. You have time until 31 August 2016 to send in your entries.
I picked the adult patterns. Don’t have kids and not many around that I would sew for. Besides, you know me I am quite selfish when it comes to making stuff. As I could not decide which one to make, and while making a coat I decided I’ll start with the vintage top. That was also because of the heat wave that hit the North West at the end of May as well as fishing for one easy make.
Usually for Simplicity patterns, I make a size 12 and then do a FBA, due to my frame being much smaller. For this pattern I decided to cut a size 12, hoping that it will fit. But I have made some mistakes as well as this vintage make does not have so much ease. So I have had to make it twice. Bummer!
But this was not all bad, because I have decided to use scrap fabrics/fabrics already in my stash (left over lining for the coat I am making and some light black cotton). Good thing that I always trace my patterns and do my usual pattern changes on the traced pieces. For this top this included shortening the bodice between shoulder and bust by 3cm. So, now I ended up with two tops. Happy Days!
The first time I made it, I guided myself by the diagrams given with the instructions. So, I followed their construction order.
To get the gathers in I used a piece of parcel thread, I got from the post office and used a large zigzag. This is my preferred gathering technique as it is very fast and gives good results. There are plenty of videos showing the technique on the internet if you fancy using it as well. But, as I mentioned before, I made some mistakes. I only realised that I put the waist band upside down, after I added the peplum on my second top. Dah! Really!?! For someone who says she pays attention to details, that’s a big miss! The good news is that if I ever get pregnant during summer I can still wear this top for quite some time before it gets too small. Ha Ha! I also discovered that the top was a bit big on the side (more like gaping actually) and was flashing some side boob. UPS. I managed to fix that, with the help of some invisible hand stitching. The top fits me, although I have no back and the top is no longer reversible. Oh no! To make matters worse I did not notice at the time, that I’ve created some puckers when I added the peplum. Bummer! I do like the first top. So colourful, perfect for the summer. And It does fit OK, now that I removed the excess from the side. I am happy to report there is no side boob flashing.
However, I was determined to make a top that I s reversible. Therefore, I checked the measurements on the pattern envelope which shows that I actually needed size 14. So, here we go again: tracing and shortening the bodice. This second time I did not trace the pieces for the straps. I just used the ones from size 12 I already cut out. I managed to find some satin and cotton (that was printed with silver ) in my stash. The second version is a more elegant version (I am thinking evening wear more- possibly with a pencil skirt, or wide leg trousers) .
I was more careful this time when I added to peplum so that I did not create any puckers. I still had to add a dart in the top as it was a bit to large on the side.I’ve done an external dart on one side (As a design element). Then I blind stitched it in place by hand, so my top is truly reversible.
As my second version is more classy, I will probably wear it when I need to dress up, or could I get away with wearing it with jeans and go clubbing? Hm.. what do you think?