Boxy summer top – Simplicity SP104 review

When I was offered to collaborate with Simplicity on their brand new pdf patterns collection, I immediately liked this very nice top and was happy to review the new pdf pattern SP104. As always, thoughts were rushing in my head as I was planning to use this top design for leftover fabric I was eager to finish. And one more reason for my choice of this top was that I was in search for a good top pattern that could later also be used in many different ways. My previous top pattern I tried to hack was cut in too small a size, and after a significant struggle with my Ginkgo top I decided that I needed new top pattern, that would be cut in an appropriate size and could work for many more projects. And I absolutely love how this design worked!

My experience with this pattern started before even getting to the sewing machine. I printed this pdf pattern in A4 format. The print-out was designed in a way that did not require to cut borders of each page, and so paper sheets could just be taped together right after printing them. This saved me quite a bit of time in making paper pattern blocks.

When determining the size that I would be cutting my pattern pieces in, I was contemplating if I should merge few sizes, as I usually do. However, the top looked quite wide in photos, and I decided to stick to single size and ended up cutting pattern pieces in size 10. It was a sound decision. The finished top is wide enough for me, and yet not too wide, which I did not want it to be.

The stitching part started with me making the sleeves. I wanted to deal with those nice pleats as the first step. Even though sleeves look really elaborate, they are very easy to make. I connected the lower pleated parts of sleeves with main sleeve pieces, pressed pleats nicely and only then hemmed them using my 4 mm rolled hem foot. When the hem was finished, it was ironed once again to press the hem nicely in place so that pleats would look neat and tidy.

The first step while working with bodice pieces was to make chest darts and then press them. Then I stitched shoulder seams, interfaced facings and prepared them to get attached to the neckline. I very much liked how back facing was designed to cover the entire opening at the back. In my view that is so much more neat solution than a simple opening made out of back seam.

At that stage I had to make up my mind on the type of back closure. Suggested solution was a simple button loop and a button. Honestly, I do not like making button loops, neither I enjoy attaching buttons on πŸ™‚ So instead I figured that long ties could be a lovely detail to embellish the back of this top. So I cut two long 3 cm wide pieces of fabric, folded each of them in half and stitched them lengthwise at 0.7 cm seam allowance. It was a real pain to turn them right side out! πŸ™‚ While struggling with that I almost regretted my initial decision to ditch the button idea. Eventually somehow I managed to turn those ties out, pressed them carefully and attached to the top of the back opening.

Then it was time to attach the neck facing, which went in without any incident. When I understitched the neck facing and turned the neckline right side out, I noticed that with the back closure tied up, it still is not leaning against my neck all that nicely. Maybe there is something with my shoulders, but it is not the first time that I have to conclude that the neckline at the back gapes a bit. When I use this pattern next time, I might want to make narrow shoulder darts at the back (and also adjust back neck facing accordingly) in order to deal with that unwanted gaping.

Next few steps were rather straightforward. Side seams of the top got stitched, sleeves went in. The last bit of work was to get the hem finished. Since I had been unsure about the length that I might want to choose for this top, initially I had cut bodice pattern pieces 4 cm longer than designed. However, after trying the semi-finished top on I concluded that I wanted it to be rather short, so I ended up making a wide 5 cm hem, which looks quite nice, in my view.

Even though this is a collaboration post, I wanted to make sure I provided an honest review. And honestly, I am very happy how this top turned out. If there is anything to be wished for, next time I’d try to deal with slight back neckline gaping, and perhaps sleeves caps may be made a tiny bit more shallow to ensure that the sleeve cap goes into the armhole a bit easier. Otherwise, it is a very nice top design that is easy to make and works really well!

For this top I used 1 meter of leftover fabric, that was left after my summer vacation dress that I made last year. The pattern used here is pdf pattern SP104 by Simplicity patterns, which was gifted to me. It is available for purchase online on Sewdirect site here.

I cut the pattern in size 10. Other notions used were: a bit of interfacing for neck facings, a bit of interfacing tape, and coordinating thread. This top did not cost me anything as I was using leftover fabric. It was made in July, 2022.

I love how this top looks styled with either jeans or shorts. In fact, upon finishing it I realized that it should work perfectly for almost any occasion. I can very well see it worn on vacation that are soon to come πŸ™‚ And just as well I could be wearing it to the office styled with more formal pants.

This top is the penultimate summer project this year. I made it just before summer vacation in anticipation of having plenty of opportunities to wear it during vacation πŸ™‚ I have one last summer project to share and then I’ll be back to square one and start new autumn season!

Let there be peace in the world! πŸ’™πŸ’›

~Giedre~

Published by giedrestyle

This is a sewing blog. I am weekend sewist who enjoys creating a unique and one of a kind wardrobe.

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