A bold title, non?! This top may not look super-exciting, but by making it, I have managed to make EXACTLY the garment I wanted in my wardrobe. So, some back story...
You know me, I usually prefer to make/wear vaguely retro style clothing, and I've been thinking about moving in a slightly different direction from my usual inspiration points. For a couple of years now I've been inspired by looser, boxier fitting tops from the 1960's, like the garment on the right of the pattern illustration pictured below, but haven't done anything about it. Until now, that is.
This style top looks excellent with skinny jeans and capri pants, and seeing as I already live in the former and would like to wear more of the latter, I knew this type of top would fit in with what I've already got going on.
I've had Simplicity 7023 (pictured below) lurking in my stash for yonks. In fact, I can't remember when or where I bought it, but I wouldn't be surprised if eBay was involved. The overblouse design has got the right silhouette for my needs: boxy but not baggy. Plus I love the bateau neckline and extended/dropped armhole seam.
I toyed with the idea of making a roll collar to create more of a look like this or this. But to make a garment with maximum usefulness, I knew it needed to fit easily under a cardigan, jacket or a coat so I went with the pattern's original neckline.
I made a few modifications to the original pattern. The major change I made was to eliminate the centre back seam and fastening. I measured the neck hole on the pattern first to make sure I wouldn't have any trouble in getting it on and off, then cut the back piece on the fold instead. I also made the hem a bit wider to accommodate my hippage, plus added side splits because I really like that detail on these kinds of tops. I altered the sleeves too, but I can't remember exactly in what way, perhaps making them a bit narrower and shorter at the hem? And of course I drafted some simple patch pockets that would allow me to alter the direction of the fabric for a bit of interest. One more thing I did that turned out to be completely pointless was to drop the bust darts by about 2 cm to reflect my shoulder-to-bust point measurement.
This navy and white stripy, synthetic double-knit-type-stuff has been burning a hole in my stash for a few years. I've had so many ideas for it that I was kind of paralysed by indecision and it languished in there unused. When I first acquired it (I got it second hand, it could well be from around the same time as the pattern!) I was erring towards making a dress, perhaps something fit and flare like this, or more of a shift dress shape like this. Then, I started imagining spring coats and jackets, perhaps along the lines of this. Eventually reality kicked in and I figured out that I probably didn't have sufficient quantity for any of those plans, and a top would be far more practical and useful for me anyhow.
The navy stripes in the fabric have a raised texture which made pattern-matching at the side seams a nightmare/impossible, so I brushed my shoulders off and moved on. The fabric doesn't fray so I stitched it using my regular sewing machine and left the edges raw. Not much else to report I don't think.
Umm, I've not exactly been subtle so far about my thoughts and feelings towards this top! I freaking love it and that's all I can say. As soon as it comes out of the wash it gets put on again. I'm not sure quite what I'm going to do during Me-Made-May, because I keep wearing it with the charity-shopped skinny jeans as seen in these pictures, and I'm not sure I'm going to get a chance to make some myself before then. Hmm... just one of the many challenges to figure out during May I guess!
So, what's the best garment you've made to date?