Whenever someone say “let’s go”, the first thing I think is, “Do I have a new “me made” outfit to wear?”  That rush of adrenaline is intoxicating.  That’s why sewing for my vacations, gives me such a feeling of satisfaction and direction.  But when I don’t get the chance to wear my creations, it really disappoints.  This is one of those disappointments. 

I planned this super cute number to be worn with my husbands color-matched linen leisure set for our anniversary.  The wrap pants and kimono tie front top had been in my queue for years.  It is a Simplicity 4192 which includes your entire ensemble for a really nice beach getaway.  In my case, an anniversary dinner in the Caribbean.   (Didn’t Happen!!  Aaagh!!)  
So, this pretty fun getup will just sit in my closet until the time comes when an occasion warrants it.  But not just any humdrum occasion will do for this set. 
I love how you can just wrap the pants up and tie them in the front, almost like a wrap skirt, but these come up from the crotch and tie in the back first, then you tie them at the back waist and then bring the back around and tie it to the front.  I roll hemmed the entire sides and hem of the pants using the roll hem foot on my Bernina 640 machine.  That saved all the pressing and turning.
I cut a size 14 for both the top and the pants, although for pants I usually cut an 18.  I didn’t own the size 18, so I made alterations so they would wrap “totally” the way the pattern photos depicted with only a few inches of separation at the front.  
  • Raised the back rise by 1.5 inches,
  • Lowered the front by 1.5 inches
  • added 4inches total at the sides.  

The pants do not have a side seam, but it does have a dart.  So, that is where I added the 2 inches on each side of the back which wraps to the front.  I drew a line down from the waist to the hem and spread each side by 2inches.  I did not increase the front under wrap. 

 I could have gotten away with just a little more length, but since they are beach casual, I may end of wearing without shoes.

The fabric is a rayon, nylon burnout with a brushed finish.  It could get away as a gauze, but there aren’t any crinkles.  So, I’m not really sure if it could be called a gauze.  But I am sure, it is extremely soft.

 

For the top, I did my regular 1.5 inch FBA.  I rotated the resulting side dart into the gathers under the bust, but I didn’t like the amount of gathering which was created as a result.  So, before I gathered under the bust, I added two 1/2 inch darts to take up some of the access fabric.  It looks so much smoother to me that way, since I really don’t like gathers at the bust anyway.

On the back of the top, I did a sway back adjustment and instead of gathers, I just pleated the excess.

The pattern also included the shorts in the same style as the pants.  I think another day, I will also make those and the knit top.  But for now, I will just keep this one hanging in the closet on standby until which time that special occasion rolls around.

More vacation sewing to come…so stay tuned.

On another note, I will be posting my teaching schedule and contact information on a new page in my blog.  Sewing is my passion, and my mission is to share with as many people that I come in contact with, if only, to introduce them to a fun and fulfilling hobby.

IMG_1156

 Last year I took a trip to Antigua, Barbuda during their “Carnival” season.  Was I ever surprised at how much fun I would have.  I am such a prude when loud music and dancing is involved.  So, needless to say, before leaving for vacation I was all over the internet researching what to expect on this trip.  I was looking for dressing ideas, and what the meaning of “carnival” was all about.

Of course it is all fun watching the pin boards of all those cute ladies wearing those cute knit crop top that look like a second skin on them.  I wanted that too, but I wanted the fabrics to match.

I made the pants to wear during my first trip. However, the picture I had in my mind for the top never came to fruition, so I ended up just wearing a simple white tank.  When Simplicity came out with the pattern this month, I moved at breakneck speed to find this pattern. I had attempted other crop tops, but this one was the ONE!!!!

As for the fitting of the basic pattern straight out of the packet, I made View b up in a muslin size 16 to check the fit, and make sure I got a clear map of where I needed to go with the pattern alterations. All-in-all, though, I really can’t complain much about this one here, as it seams to have been quite generous.  So I just went ahead and marked my changes as needed to get the fit I was working towards.

  • Initially, I had already known that I planned to widen the lower band considerably.  I knew I wanted it to hit “that level” just above my navel.  So this was my first order of business, I widened the band by 2 inches.  
  • Next, of course was to add additional “top” coverage, thus, I did the simple pivot-slide method of adjusting the pattern to give more coverage over the top of 3/4 inch and a little at the bottom.  However, next time I won’t put the whole 3/4 inch on the lower half, it was not needed.  
  • I increased the coverage of the back piece by the same amount at the upper edge.  I wanted the coverage more substantial under my arms and around my back, to give it more of a crop top feel and not a “bra” feeling.  There was a slight curve in the pattern coming from the back to the front that I trimmed off in order to give the top a more gradual transition under the arms, otherwise the fabric was collapsing on itself there.  
  • In the center front, I took out a dart wedge at the lower and upper center front seams in order to cause the cups to curve in at the center.  
  • The pattern requires the center front seams be gathered to 3inches before sewing them together, yet because I was aiming for fuller coverage, I only gathered to 4 inches, considering I had already added an additional 1.5inches to the cup at the top and bottom.  
  • As for the straps, I added the length to them initially, but removed that same length when finalizing the fit.  Better to have too much than not enough, right? 

This is a really cool top!!! I have so many ideas for this here pattern.  What took simplicity so darn long to bring this one back!!!