Once I finally got my new office space sorted out, it was time to use the machine and knock down some of the stash I moved.

I thought summer tops would be a good idea. I went out with my MIL and some of her friends for a woman’s day out, and gave in and bought an Amy Butler pattern, called sun surf halter. Now, I have a love/hate response to this pattern. First, it is very simple, and that appealed to me.. but being an experienced seamstress I hated to buy the pattern because really, it would have been sooo simple to figure out on my own. And the price is what I consider really steep for a pattern with only one view.. you have to use your imagination to come up with anything else. But it has been a long time since I bought a pattern and I gave in.

Front, unironed - sorry!

The pattern is well written and went together easily. But, the top is fiddly. To wear it, I am constantly adjusting the gathers at the top. When just so, it looks fine. But to be active in it, means it gets all wonky. Very off putting and tricky.

Part of the issue is the back. I had to make the elastic much small than called for to get the back to fit droops too much, gets pulled down easily, and then I have to fiddle. Even with the elastic considerably tightened.

Back view...the part I cannot keep in the right spot!

And then there is the issue of underwear. Really, at my age, having nursed three boys, I need more support than going without. I have read this of others who have made this top. The top is nicely lined, but I need something underneath.. so far, only thing in my present wardrobe is a soft bra tank, which looks okay if I can keep the back in the right place.

Now really, what I wanted from the start but did not find until after, was this: Amelia Tank. This really would have been better for me, and I think I will try something like that next, winging it. I have also had a look through my patterns, and found a pattern just like this basically.. so between the Amy Butler front piece, and the circa 1984 Simplicity pattern, I should be able to rig it up myself.

I had another set of material to make a second tank from, but because of the fitting difficulties, changed my mind. Again, going through my patterns, I found a 2005 New Look pattern I had, and chose to make view A.

(Side note: I first was interested in this pattern when I read this post here at Homespun Living. I have always admired her sewing and creative talents.. and had noted on the pattern the blog name for reference. It was fun scrolling through her old sewing posts to find the original! Very inspiring.)

Again, this went together very easily. There are several views on this pattern, so I will probably use it again. (and the pattern was a fraction of a cost of the Amy Butler pattern).

Well. When I was in college, my body fit the patterns I sewed quite easily. But today, not so much. And fitting is where I really need help. I made good measurements and sewed the size that corresponded.. but the pattern is still a bit too wide at the top.. maybe a few small tucks would help. I also agree with Homespun Living that this ends up being lower cut than the pattern photo leads you to believe. So again, I may end up wearing a tank. Or maybe a small bit of the contrast fabric could be sewn into the cleavage area..a ‘dicky’ of sorts.

Fitting and customizing my patterns is a skill I need to develop…I have so many vintage patterns, but do not have a 25 inch waist (really, my mom and grandma had 25 inch waists after having their children? ) So, trying to get back in the swing of sewing for myself without getting too discouraged…

So, what about you? Any recommendations? Suggestions? Fitting issues?


One thought on “Sewing….

  1. That is a very pretty top, even if it is fiddly. I always feel the same way about patterns, I have rarely used any other than my own in 17 years of sewing, but sometimes it seems like a nice idea to just follow someone else’s simple instructions and cutting lines, if only to not have to think much about sizing. These days though I sew much more clothing for my daughters than for myself so fitting is a lot easier.

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