Thursday, June 2, 2011
Simplicity 4076 has been a favorite on Pattern Review for *years.* Back at the beginning of the twist top craze I tried the Maggy London Butterick 4789 version of the twist top and it was a bust, with a huge wad of fabric below the twist. It wasn't just me, because shortly afterward I went to brunch with a friend who was wearing the Maggy London RTW version of the dress and it had the same wad. Though I've tried a couple twist variations since then, I never returned to the classic twist top.
When I was going through patterns for my bike trip, this one caught my eye. It was never available at my local Joann, and a kind sewist sent it to me (and I'm so sorry, I don't remember who).
One of the multitude of PR reviewers (and I wish I could remember who to give her credit) noted that the front neckline of her top was a little gapey, just like the model photo on the envelope. Looking at the envelope, sure enough that neckline is rather suspiciously gapey. It looks like it's held in place by double stick tape over her boobs.
Not having boobs on which to stick double stick tape, I shortened the neckline by nearly two inches between the bust and shoulder. I twin needled over clear elastic in finishing the front neckline to ensure extra snugness. The end result is marvelous! The neckline, while low cut, is snug but doesn't pull, and is form-fitting without any hint or danger of gaping.
I added an inch to the length of this top in cutting, just because I am aiming for super long tops. In the end, I wished I had added another inch. This top appears to be quite short as drafted.
I transferred the darts I had marked and drawn onto the pattern for Simplicity 2283, the yoked cowl top from a while back. The darts worked perfectly, though I had to make them even longer, almost to the neck, before I eliminated the puff at the top, and they extend into the hem allowance. I think I am eventually going to end up with a princess seam rather than back darts! I did darts here because I didn't want a CB seam, but I suppose one seam is better than two, so next time maybe I'll just do the CB seam.
I have not been doing the broad back adjustment on knits, because they stretch and are therefore not restrictive. But seeing the back view on the tops I made for this trip--the waffle weave wicking fabric from FFC does not have a ton of stretch--I see that I really need to bite the bullet and do this adjustment on anything fitted, stretch or woven.
The shoulders look funny on this top, but it's because my preferred bra is a racerback; bra straps just slide right off my sloping shoulders and the racerback solves that problem. The neckline is a squidge too wide to cover the straps at the shoulders, as they are placed narrower than a regular bra. So I sewed in bra strap keepers, which artificially narrows the neckline and causes the outer edges of the shoulders to flare out and up. For the trip, I was willing to have funny looking shoulders rather than an uncomfortable bra. In real life, maybe I'll wear the regular bra. We'll see.
I'm so glad I finally got around to this pattern. With this twist top, I understand the fuss. It is flattering and fun to wear. It seems inevitable that I would finally discover it during the twilight of the twist top, but who knows, maybe I'll make another one anyway.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.