Two things inspired me to make these 2 tops I'm posting today. One was the release of Colette Patterns new Laurel shift dress/top. The second was reading Faye's Sewing Adventures post about her 2013 Essential Top Sewalong.
I was originally going to purchase the Laurel pattern, but realised that it is pretty similar to the plainest version of New Look 6000, which I already own and know fits me well.
I decided to take this version, shorten it to "top" length and omit the front darts. I had some flowery poly/viscose in my stash, so decided to make a muslin, which is surprisingly wearable (I have it on now!).
The hem is a little uneven, as the fabric was shifting all over the place, but it actually forms a curved hem that looks OK. I used French seams throughout except for the armholes, where I used false French seams. The neck is finished with self made bias binding. I've made it slightly too long, so it does stand away from my shoulders slightly, but not enough to make me want to take it off and re-do it!
Once I knew my plan worked, I decided to make another using that gorgeous 70's floral print viscose I bought recently.
I made a few alterations on this one. I wanted it to be slightly A line, so I placed the pattern pieces slightly at an angle on the fold of fabric. The neckline edge I placed against the fold, and angled it so the hem edge was about 3/4 inch away from the fold. It's given just the right amount of flare.
Again I used French seams thoughout (even on the armholes this time, although I know you're not supposed to on curved seams). I think they work OK though as the fabric is so soft and fluid. I took much greater care pinning this one out as well, because it would be so obvious if the pattern wasn't placed evenly.
The neckline on this is faced. I don't really like using facings, as I find they have a tendency to flip out, and I did have to top stitch it down. I'm happy with the result though.
I can see me making more of these over the coming months. I've got that gorgeous beige and black silk I bought recently, that I think would look fantastic made up in this style, and I'd also like a couple of short sleeved ones incase we should ever get some warm weather!
But first, I have 3 bridesmaids dresses to alter!