I did it!!! My first Simplicitypattern! I saw this top when it came out on the simplicity website, stalking them as I usually do! Dreaming of sewing up a big 4 pattern when I so heavily depend on the amaaaaazing instructions of the indie patterns. I just was so intimated by the big 4 patterns and kept thinking that I could never sew them! Of course it was easy and really not a big deal! Haha silly me! However, I will pinpoint a few things that I have learned over the last few months that have prepared me for these type of patterns and a few tips that are not really included in the pattern! These tips may seem obvious to you guys, but they were not to me when I tried to face these patterns as a beginning sewer!
I will briefly discuss:
-General tips for construction of Big 4 patterns
-Pattern layout and Marking
-Styling your garment
But first, fabric choice! I was especially brave for this one using my coveted Atelier Brunette from Guthrie and Ghani! I mean, I haven’t even had any experience with simplicity and I decide to use my super expensive double gauze???!!! Thankfully, it worked out! I wanted something for this make that was nice and floaty looking but would still hold its shape. In order for the poof to happen, the fabric couldn’t really be a rayon or viscose that would collapse on itself. I mean, it could, but it would look very different. I even think this top would look amazing in a tiny florals cotton fabric such as Liberty of London or something similar! I think so many things would look fabulous! The sky is the limit. I do think that it looks great with a fabric with some body if you want the same look as the picture on the cover. Possibly a linen, double gauze, or cotton lawn.
Pattern Layout and Marking:
There wasn’t much to the layout of the fabric but the marking was a little more involved. There are darts which are not a challenge but the marks for the elastic on the sleeves are more complicated. You definitely need to use some tracing paper and a tracing wheel to mark the lines for the elastic across the sleeve of the top! There are three lines to mark the three lines of elastic. You CAN just mark these lines at the edges to mark there the lines meet the edge, however, the lines are curved a bit, so I went ahead and traced them onto the sleeve.
General tips for construction of Big 4 patterns
Finishing you seams:
I cannot say that I am an expert on the Big 4 patterns, because I haven’t sewn that many! I have made a Vogue pattern successfully, one McCall’s and one Simplicity!! I have noticed reading through their patterns, that you have to figure out how to finish your seams on your own. They will not really tell you to sew a seam and then finish it. Or to finish your seam before sewing. If you want to use your overlocker/serger before you assemble certain parts of the pattern, go ahead and do that.
Also, several steps will sometimes be in one paragraph so you might miss it what they are telling you! Sometimes it moves on to the next step and I wonder why it shows the shoulder seams are sewn when it didn’t tell me to sew them yet! Then, I look at the paragraph before and in the last sentence, there it is….”sew together shoulder seams.” Haha ok….this is easy for me now, but not when I first started.
Honestly, now that I have some experience it was such a joy to sew this, and I am so excited to expand into the world of BIG 4 patterns!!!
I really loved the way that the elastic was inserted into the sleeve. Everything is so clean and nice on the inside when you use the bias binding to hide the elastic. I used single fold bias binding. I don’t think the pattern specified what size but I used 1/2 inch single fold bias binding. You are using quarter inch elastic, so this helps you have enough room to pass the elastic.
I didn’t modify anything!! Made the pattern exactly as is!
The pattern fit was perfect! I went by my measurements at the chest and everything was perfect. I normally have to do a small bust adjustment, but since this top was more of a loose fitting top, I just went ahead and proceeded and I love how it turned out!
Styling your garment:
I was going for a little bit of a romantic/bohemian feel with this one. I really felt like I needed to roll in a field of flowers and sing song about peace right when I put it on! Haha! Seriously though, this top can have so many different looks depending on what fabric you choose for your make! I think that double gauze really lends itself well to this top, and I feel like this goes so well with a long flowing skirt but would also look fabulous with a pair of jeans! I think that it doesn’t have to be limited and can be worn under a pinafore, with a mini skirt, or anything you have in mind! Its amazing and everyone needs one!!!