I’m just going to admit up front that this fabric seems like something both my grandmothers would love. And I bought two yards of it. Twice. That’s right–I liked it so much, I went back and bought more. I’ve never bought fabric with roses on it. Or with red. Firsts all around! For a poly chiffon, though, this is really, really soft, light fabric. It drapes beautifully and it didn’t unravel terribly. And for whatever reason, I’m really into dark reds all of the sudden. I’ve never liked red in the past, but in the last six months I’ve become a convert. At least of shades between maroon and brick (somewhat limiting, yes).
Anyway, this is Simplicity 3956. I figure that if I’m now buying mature woman fabric, I should at least pair it with a younger style. And it’s a really cute top–the “skirt” is cut on the bias, so it drapes really nicely and hugs the figure rather than poofing out. I wasn’t crazy about the slanted front for version A, so I just used the other pattern pieces instead.
What is it with cross-over bodices? I just can’t figure them out. Either I’m cutting the wrong size (and I triple checked on this one) everytime I make one of these, or these patterns are just wacky. Using the center seam lines on this pattern will leave a huge amount of fabric flailing around on your bosom (heh–that’s what my grandmother used to call them ;). I always end up having to cross the pieces much father over, which throws everything else off. The other problem is the gathers. As they are drafted, they’ll end up somewhere near your armpit. Awkward. I moved them underneath the breast points and that solved that. It isn’t a perfect solution, but it does avoid that weird fabric bubbling that occurs, making everything look a bit deflated, if you know what I mean. I know nothing about pattern drafting, but I think this one must be based on a C cup–maybe that’s why everything is more spread out?
The other major change in this version was shortening the zipper. Hopefully my sister will still be able to get in and out of this shirt! I used a shorter zipper mainly because of the linings. I like to use the lining to conceal the zipper edges and that would have been impossible with the longer zipper because of the bodice crossover. This way, though, everything is nice and neat on the inside. I used french seams for most of the vertical seams and only serged the bodice seam and the armscye. I could have done a french seam along the bodice seam, but frankly that would have meant six layers of fabric along the front crossover. This chiffon is thin, but it still would have been bulky. The black lower layer, by the way is a “silkessence” from Joann’s. It has a slight sheen and crinkle to it, which plays off nicely against the matte of the chiffon.
My only other comment about the shirt is that the ties are not terribly long. I simply knotted them here–they don’t serve any purpose except decorative–so if you want a bow, then you should either attach the ties at the side seams or cut them considerably longer. I actually like the knot–it is simple and doesn’t distract from the rest of the shirt–but some people like bows.
Anyway, this was supposed to be a maternity shirt for my sister, but I think it is long past wearable for that purpose now. The bias cut means the shirt stretches nicely over a more swollen belly, but nine months pregnant might be pushing the limit. Oh well. She can wear it for a while after the baby is born and then drag it out of the closet as soon as a sibling makes his or her presence known.