A Summer Top for Fighting Fate (Or Embracing It. . . Whichever)

This top was almost not meant to be. Or maybe, it was ALWAYS meant to be. . .

Red Top 2


To begin with, I wanted a shift with 3/4 sleeves to wear with tights in the cooler weather. Well, that was just a bad idea. Tights and knits don’t work so well for me. So, when I had my Girl Charlee fabric fail #2, I had to ditch the sleeves and make a sleeveless shift for warmer weather which was a much better idea.

My goal was to take my highly modified Simplicity 1776 shift pattern and adjust it for knits thereby making two block patterns from one. Things. . . did not go well. It ended up too big and the side seams were mis-matched. The skirt looked bad, as though it were too full and also not full enough. Very odd.

Red Top 3

As it happened, a few Thursdays ago, I was heading out for some waffles and Bourne Supremacy with friends, and I simply couldn’t decide what I wanted to wear. I wanted something light and flowy and comfy. I had been working on my shift that afternoon, and suddenly, I got an idea.

The shift dress clearly wasn’t working for me. Perhaps this fabric was never meant to be a dress. So, I got out my shears and went to work. Literally ten minutes later, I was walking out the door in an unhemmed, unfinished but supremely adorable knit top. It was everything I wanted it to be. Except done.

Red Top 4

I later went back and bound the neckline and arms with a new-to-me technique that leaves the insides looking much cleaner. I sewed the binding to the inside and then flipped it out to the right side and top stitched it down enclosing the raw edges underneath.

Red Top Neck Binding

I actually received a compliment from a Jo-Ann’s employee when I was dashing in for some thread or a zipper or something the other day. She asked if I’d made the top. I said, “Yes.” And being a Jo-Ann’s employee, she thought to ask what pattern I’d used. I said, “We-ell. . . ” and by the time I’d finished explaining, she looked very sorry she’d asked. 🙂

Here’s a thing I will always tell: The Whole Story.

Red Top 1

So, in spite of all the troubles, I am stupidly happy with this top. If you would like to make something similar, I suggest using Deer and Doe’s Plantain tee sans sleeves with a slightly modified hem if you’re into the high/low thing (LIKE I CLEARLY AM!!). I won’t use my cobbled 1776 for knits pattern again as it was wrongity-wrong (And yet, SO RIGHT).

(Wait–could I use the Plantain to make a knit shift? That could be a thing, right???)

Here’s what I want to know: what is your favorite top/shirt/tee/blouse pattern for summer? Drop me a link to one you’ve made–I’m always up for inspiration!


7 thoughts on “A Summer Top for Fighting Fate (Or Embracing It. . . Whichever)

    • Is there a better combination than breakfast pastries and Jason Bourne? No–I think not.
      I miss you, too! How many days until February???

  1. Oh! Great save! This is such a pretty top now and exactly what I need right now. It looks perfect for breastfeeding and general summer wearing!

  2. Oooo! It just so happens that I finished TWO knit tops this week, one Monday and one Tuesday and both pieces of fabric are from Girl Charlee. Yes, I finally worked up the courage to order knits over the Internet and you are responsible. 🙂 Anyway, I hope to have a post up tomorrow. No promises but if I do I’ll comment again.

I'm done. Now, YOU can talk :)

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