Friday, August 08, 2014

Simplicity 3956

Simplicity 3956 View A

I am so pleased with this top - probably more pleased than any normal person should be.  That's because there's a backstory to this.

For whatever reason I happened to be at the fabric store with my mother probably 8 or 10 years ago.  This was in the middle of a very long sewing drought, and even back when I did sew I had much more ambition and enthusiasm than actual knowledge or talent.  I saw some denim coloured printed crinkled cotton that I fell in love with, and thought it would make a perfect S3956.  My measurements fell between two sizes so to be safe I went with the larger - an 18.  To put that into perspective, I have since learned that I wear a 14 in Big 4 patterns (I have a whole rant about Big 4 sizing but I'll save that for another time).  I can remember sewing this at my kitchen table, really challenged by this top and putting a lot of effort into it.  I vaguely remember having problems keeping the crinkle cotton from stretching out even with staystitching and fighting to make it match up with the lining.  When it was finally done I swam in it.  It was unwearable.  Needless to say I was SO disappointed and swore off sewing forever.  Or at least sewing clothes.

Simplicity 3956 View C
My mom took it home and took it in at the sides of the zippers for me, and tried to adjust the front so that it didn't gape so much, but it never looked right.  It looks much better on Gertrude here than it ever did on me.  And those sleeves!  The couple of times I tried to wear it around the house - just to justify the time and money invested in it - the sleeves were constantly in the way, hanging in my dinner or the dishwater or whatever.  But I just can't let things go.  I decided I would take it apart and remake it a size down.  Then when I pulled out the pattern pieces I realized I'd made it two sizes too big.  Well that explains a lot!

The (hard to see) tie
I had recently looked at the reviews for this top on Pattern Review and noticed a number of people made this up in a knit - and I really liked how that looked.  I happen to have a fair knit stash so I decided to make a new one rather than fight with the old one.  This really was an effort in faith because the instructions are MIA and I had to wing it.

The banded neckline doesn't gape at all
This time around I made View A.  The pattern is cut on the bias, but since I was using a knit I felt that wasn't necessary.  I cut the pattern pieces as if they were on-grain and I got this top out of a little more than a meter of fabric (the pattern calls for 1.9).  I eliminated the bodice lining and finished the neckline with self-banding.  By stretching the banding a bit when sewing it in place I have no gaping at the neckline even when bending over.  I found it a bit challenging attaching the skirt to the bodice because, including the ties, I was wrangling with 6 and 8 layers in some parts of the front of very slippery slinky knit fabric.  But in the end I got it all together and I am REALLY happy with the final result.  And the bonus?

I had enough fabric left over to get another New Look 6735!  Woohoo!  And I may still try and do a remake of the original version.  I am nothing if not stubborn.


MaryKPfist said...

They are both beautiful (love New Look 6735) but the flutter top is absolutely perfect. Hadn't read about using knit-- so might have to try that!

Mavis Minney said...

Both look beautiful.Always a bonus when you can get a second one that looks as good as the first.

Jacqui said...

Flutter top! That's the term I was trying to think of (I think I used "floaty sleeves" lol) in my Pattern Review description. Thank you both for the nice comments.