I really wanted to title this “Summer Dress Covered in Tits,” but I wasn’t sure I wanted to deal with the traffic that would come with such wording. The fabric I used to make this dress is covered in bicycle wheels (or wagon wheels) and little birds that my husband deemed tits (Google search). He likes nature things like birds, bugs, and spiders, so I’m going to trust him on this. I just like the colours in the fabric.
For this fabric, I turned to my trusted Simplicity 2587. Have I mentioned that I like this pattern? It’s a simple, unlined top or dress with bias trim to finish the edges. The previous times I used this pattern, I made the sleeveless. I love these, but they don’t provide enough coverage to wear to work.
Since I live in Florida, there was no way I wanted to make a long-sleeved dress. I decided to make the sleeved version without the sleeves. I would just use bias strips to finish the edges of the arm holes.
The pattern comes with pieces that you use to cut the bias strips for the neck, arm, and waist. This lets you choose whatever fabric you would like to finish edges. Or you can use bias tape instead. This is the first time I cut my own strips from coordinating fabric. This little bit of extra time was well worth it.
I like this dress even more now that I’ve switched to the other top. It gives more coverage and the strap are wide enough to wear to work. I do put a tank on when wearing this to work. The only part I don’t like is the zipper. I have a hard time getting it all the way to the top in the back.
Nearly everyone who sews has a stash of fabric. Some are larger than others. Some have collections dating back decades. Some maybe only a few weeks (Yep, I think that counts!) Some, if they are lucky, have a stash that came from various locations and come with a bit of a story.
The white-flowered overlay on this top came from my stash. It comes with a bit of a story of which I only know a small part. This fabric was bought for me by my sister. She spent a short time in India on a missions trip. While on this trip, she managed to remember me and found this fabric. I was so excited to have her home and that she brought me something, that I never thought to ask about where she bought it. Did she barter for it? Was it in an open market? Was there a huge fabric store? It’s been a dozen years or so now, I doubt she even remembers the particular details. I do hope she remembers the fabric when she sees me wearing the top.
I used Simplicity 2587. (This pattern is currently out of print, but I saw a couple on Etsy.) This isn’t my first time using this pattern. It’s quickly becoming a go to summer top pattern. It is an unlined top, so with the right fabric choice, it is nice and cool. The one major adjustment I’ve made is in the placement of the bodice front. I only gather a little in the front and allow the front triangles to overlap rather than rest side-by-side. This adds a little more coverage.
To add the overlay, I treated the solid pink like an underlining. An underlining is a second layer of fabric that is attached to the outside fabric, then they are sewn as if there were only one layer. The only place this created an issue was the midriff band where there ended up being 6 layers of fabric.
I have already worn this top several times. I am hoping with washing and wearing, the fabric relaxes a bit. It feels a little stiff sometimes.
I love strappy summer tops that are light and airy. The kind that flow with the breeze. They don’t restrict movement or feel binding. In fact, they really don’t feel there at all, but you know they are because people aren’t staring at you any more than usual. This top has the potential to be just that.
It’s not in the design, I think it’s my fabric choice. It feels stiff as if someone over-starched it when ironing. Maybe it just needs a few more times through the wash. Like maybe 50! I’ll choose a better fabric next time. This fabric is rather adorable though. I do feel great in the top. Maybe I’ll just increase the size a tiny little bit.
I admit to copying another seamstress by making this dress a top. I thought the idea brilliant and her top looked really comfortable. Much like my well-worn tops in my closet. I picked up the pattern in a 99 cent sale. The only way to buy most patterns. Decided on some fabric. I even got so far as cutting it out. Then it got stuffed away, to sit until I had time again to sew.
The top isn’t difficult to make, but it is time-consuming. Though buying bias tape rather than using the pattern pieces would cut down on some time. I also highly recommend using a zipper that is the proper length. I used a much shorter zip and I have to wiggle a bit to get it on.
I took the time to add loads of top-stitching. The way some of the bias tape is attached leaves the opportunity for it to stand up rather than lie flat.
I will be making more versions of this top. Though I plan to add a little wiggle room by increasing the size a bit. I will also be using a longer zipper. I think it will also be a bit shorter. This one is almost long enough to be a dress. Maybe with tights.