When Simplicity announced free patterns for people entering their Star Sewist competition I was there in a minute! I have been looking around for some woven tops for summer and this vintage reproduction pattern Simplicity 1364 was part of the challenge.
I really like the french dart feature, but I was surprised when I realised that the pattern features a zipper at the back. I didn’t love the idea of a zip on a top so I decided to change the pattern to feature a button band instead.For the fabric I wanted something that was inspired by the 60s but without looking too costume-y. When I think of the 60s, I think of amazing colours and prints and I found a few fabric inspirations online. At the Leeds meet-up I found this lovely cotton at B&M Fabrics. I am not absolutely certain of the content of the fabric, it is a very soft and lightweight cotton which may be mixed with another fibre. I love the mix of colours and I think the splashes of orange and the slightly paisley shapes of the print have a really 60s vibe.I started by cutting out a size 14, based on my measurements. The pattern includes 4 inches of ease at the bust and this made the 14 look really boxy on me and there was too much fabric at the bust. I tried again with a size 12 and this worked at the bust, but I needed to grade out to the size 14 at the waist and towards the hip. I still had some tightness around the armscye once the sleeve was on so I added a broad back adjustment. I folded out some of the fullness on the sleeve cap (I have a tiny pleat but the original sleeve head required more gathering to ease it in which looked a bit puffy). To make the button bands I simply added about an inch to the centre back pieces and interfaced each side to strengthen the fabric.
When I finally came to cut my fabric after working out all the changes I realised that it was very narrow – it was only about 90cm wide and this meant that I barely had space to fit all the pieces on! I had to cut the top slightly shorter giving a more cropped look and I couldn’t fit the full length sleeve. I also ditched the facings and replaced them with bias binding made out of the remnants of the fabric – I much prefer a bias finish to a facing so this wasn’t a great loss!
The actual sewing was really straightforward after I had adjusted the fit. I love the french darts – they give a subtle shape – they are almost impossible to see in this print but I really like the final effect.
After finishing the button band I realised that in fact I can get in and out of the top without undoing any of the buttons as the neckline is quite wide, so at least I don’t have to worry about how I will manage to reach them all!
I hand stitched the binding at the neckline and the hem and I am really pleased with the finished top.
I have plans for a cropped version to wear with my Chardon skirts and one or two sleeveless ones for whenever summer makes it this far north…
So who else has tried this pattern for the challenge? I have seen a few of the New Look 6145 dresses but only one or two versions of this top so far – there is still time to get your pattern and enter!