For my next make I wanted a simple dressmaking project and something that I could hopefully make again and again just in different variations. And I think I found exactly that in the Simple Sleeveless Top which is another pattern from Learn To Sew With Lauren by Lauren Guthrie from Guthrie & Ghani.
Lauren recently posted some really useful additional instructions on her blog about adjusting the fit and also adding a yoke section and pin tucks.
For my first attempt, I decided to make a toile to assess the fit. I don’t usually do this because I’m too impatient and I just want to get going with the nice fabric straight away (and also because I often don’t have a cheap fabric in the same weight as the fabric I want to use, so a toile might not be that accurate anyway). But I decided that since it’s such a simple pattern I should really take my time and get the fit right. And Lauren’s tutorials came just at the right time!
I cut a size 12 to make my toile and then adjusted the neckline at the back by taking out about an inch as it wasn’t sitting flat against my back. This is something that I find quite a lot with things that I’ve made and also with shop bought clothes, so now I know how to fix that. Lauren’s instructions were really helpful! The top was also quite baggy around my lower back, so I also pinched out some fabric there. Once I was happy with the toile, I unpicked the side seams so I could lay the the adjusted toile over my pattern piece. I traced around it and then also added 3cms in length because I’m quite tall.
And then it was on to proper fabric.
For my first attempt I used a cotton poplin in wine with mustard polka dots from minerva crafts (you can find it here). It was really easy to work with, so perfect for a stress free project.
The armholes and the neckline are bound with bias binding. A technique I hadn’t used before, but I will definitely do this again! It’s such a nice finish. As my bias binding was a slightly different colour to the main fabric (I guess that’s what happens when you buy it on the internet and can’t match the colours properly) I decided to hide the binding on the inside.
For my second attempt I chose a cotton lawn with a tree pattern (also from minerva – you can get it here). This was also really nice to work with but the edges frayed quite a bit, so I decided to go for French seams on this one. I do like French seams. They’re just so neat. I also shaved off about a centimetre from the bottom of the armholes for this version to make it a bit more comfortable. After having worn the first top to work for a day, I thought they were just a tiny bit restricting.
I also lowered the neckline just a tiny bit because on this version I left the binding exposed on the neckline and I didn’t want it to be any higher than on the first version.
And that’s it – my first two Simple Sleeveless Tops.
Even though it’s a simple pattern, I still think I learned quite a lot on these makes: mainly adjusting fit but also using bias binding to finish armholes and necklines. I think they will come in really handy.
I’m sure I’ll make this top again and again. I love Lauren’s version with the embroidered cotton over a plain cotton, so might look into doing a version like that too.