Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Simplicity 3964

I've been at a stand still on this one since Sunday, and its still not quite finished. It's pretty cute and different than any other version out there of this pattern! The sleeves/armholes are unfinished (more on that in a second) but here's the mostly finished top:

The fabric is a chambray rayon, and it is awesome! So light and drapey. Perfect for this little top (that started out with a LOT of volume, AND as a dress!!) I couldn't like the dress. I tried to like it! I got really close...but in the end I decided the very wrinkle prone fabric would make me self-conscious as a dress, so I whacked it off into a top.

I did put on the little flange-ish sleeves, but even with this very drapey rayon, I didn't care for them. Very Spock-like. So off they came as well. I'm going to use the chopped off skirt pieces to either make little capped sleeves (with a bit of puff maybe) or I'll make some more bias and I'll bind the armholes. It's pretty cute sleeveless!

Here's the shaped yoke, which is my favorite part:

I made a mistake in construction when I went to do the topstitching. I simply wasn't paying attention and I topstitched the INSIDE (lining portion) of the yokes! They ended up looking better than the "right side". Since I hadn't sewn side seams or sleeves or anything else yet...the inside is now the outside!! HA! Here's the topstitching around the cute yoke in detail (I couldn't get those sharp corners on the "right" side, so I plan to make this mistake the next time I make this top too.)

My other gripe about this one, and one that was almost a project-killer for me, was the voluminous skirt portion of the dress/top. I had always envisioned it with the belt, but even with tying the belt around me, it just looked sloppy. So...I stood in front of the mirror and played with belt placement until I liked it and marked a line with my washaway pen.

Then I ran a line of gathering stitches in the middle 2/3 of the front. The gathering extends from the center front to about the half point of the shoulder. I pulled up the gathering and tried it on again to make sure I could still get in and out of it (no problems there). Lastly, I topstitched my belt permanently in place over the gathering. The belt hangs free and ties in the back.

Topstitched belt:

Adding those gathers (in the rightplace) changed the entire look of this top from a frumpy, "I'm not sure I'll ever wear this dangit" item into an "I can't wait to put this on with my white jeans & gold gladiator sandals" item. (you know, once I finish the armholes/sleeves.)

The neckline is finished with a simple bias binding and ties in back:

I actually plan to make at least one more of these really soon, because I already have fabric picked out! I have some changes I'd like to make though, namely leaving off the gathering at the shaped yoke. I don't need that much volume, and I really want one of these without the attached belt. I also plan on making that topstitching mistake again, for perfectly pressed yoke corners & stitching! ;)

I feel like I've been away from the old blog a long time! I realize it's only been a few days, but it feels longer! I had a school workshop Monday and Tuesday this week so no sewing on those days. I've also suffered a migraine (since Sunday for Pete's sake) which simply will not completely go away. I've tried ice, heat, sleep, the usual drugs, caffeine, diet changes, etc... And still I sat here for most of the day today with an ice pack on my head.

I really want to get on to my next project, which is almost halfway completed. I can give you a's this BWOF top #111 from 4/2007:
As per the usual for BWOF, I never looked twice at this top in the issue because the fashion photo is so ridiculously unrevealing. This sucker is really cute though. I love the princess dart! I'm doing a short sleeve version, and even though the line drawing looks like your basic "white shirt"...of course I took a bit of a different route.

If you're good (and my head doesn't implode) I'll have something to show you tomorrow.


  1. I love the attached belt idea! I've made this pattern once before and I'm definitely going to give it another go now with the attached belt. Thanks for the inspiraton!

  2. I really like this one- And it looks great sleeveless! Can't wait to see it with the white jeans and gladiators!

  3. Can't wait to see you model the final version, love the color! Hope your head feels better, too!

  4. I think you've done a good job. We always point out our mistakes, but really only the sewer notices.

  5. I really love this top - the fabric and the ingenious belt idea are fab!
    (I think you transposed the numbers in the pattern - I went to find 3694 and couldn't get your top, but when I typed in 3964, there it was - I have these little dyslexic moments all the time too :) )

    Can't wait to see you rockin' this top!

  6. You've really made this top your very own design. It reminds me of some very cool tops that were in vogue in the early 70's and I soooo wanted one. You'll look great in it with your jeans and sandals ... wear it with pride!

  7. Anonymous7:06 AM

    I love all your summer tops. I have been wanting a chambray garment--good transition into fall fabric. Thanks for the inspiration! By the way-- how,who, or what did you use for your adorable blog set up! Very charming.

  8. Shannon I looked at that silly cover at least 3 times. HA! Thanks for letting me know, I'll fix it!

  9. Let's see it on you. Love the unusual seaming.

  10. Love that top - can't wait to see it finished. Can you give me lessons on being productive? g

  11. Great save! You did a good job on redesigning the dress into a top that you'll enjoy.

  12. Very cute top. I'm with the others: photo please!

  13. I love the style of this top, and of course the fabric color is awesome. The yoke is definitely pretty.

  14. The yoke and belt on that top are what make it so unique and fun. The fabric looks very cool and summery!

  15. Anonymous11:27 PM

    My son takes magnesium tablets he purchased at Walmart and his migraines have become fewer and less severe. Might be something you could look into. He got the idea from online reading about things to help migraines. I enjoy your blog and like the new Burda shirt.


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