Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Simplicity 3956 'sexy' top

I had to call this a 'sexy' top because for me the neckline is a daring one. It is at about the limit of low and wide that I will go!! I actually had to audition different bra's to go with this one because several of my bras had cups and bridges that just peeked out way too much. The final bra I decided upon was one that had a cut low enough to work. However, I still used some of that double sided body tape to adhere my bra to the top and at the shoulders to adhere the bra strap to the shoulder. 

I was really glad I did this for the evening event I wore this to because I didn't once worry about things slipping out of place and just gave me that little extra confidence :) I wore this top along with my Stockbridge skirt to an international professional ballroom dance competition. It was a long evening with a plated dinner starting at 6:30 followed by the competition from 8- midnight in a different ballroom and then an after party that went to almost 2 am! It was great fun to be all dressed up and those dancers were just AMAZING!!!

So let's talk specifics. The fabric is a beautiful poly charmeuse by Robert Kaufman that I purchased from Linda Z's in Arlington Heights, IL. The fabric was a dream to work with! (Normally I very much dislike poly's but this was quite nice) I lined the bodice with a light grey china silk. Yummy against my skin.

I used a single layer layout and took my time to pattern match the upper bodice portion on the front and back. The skirt peplum portion is on the bias so I did my best to match at the front so that the design looked symmetrical. I think it came out quite nice. The only part that I had the hardest time in matching was the top on grain portions to the bottom bias sections. I did my best at the front center to get someone that at least looked OK, I think it looks off a smidge left to right. But I'm also being picky with myself!!  The hems were done on the serger as a rolled hem with wooly nylon and with 2 passes for nice coverage and some added weight to hang pretty.

Pattern is Simplicity 3956 6 tops with different variations. I basically made view A with the longer length of view C as the bottom. 
I made some changes to the pattern in the bodice. After doing a quick pin fitting I needed to change the depth a little bit. I actually made 2 different variations for the new top pattern. One for evening wear and then I also drafted one for day wear with more modest coverage.

On this picture above you can see how I changed the center front height of the wrap portion. Also my marks wear I drew the fabric design on the center front line so that when I flipped it over I could match up the exact same design for the other side. Worked like a charm! Not the most economical use of fabric but for a special top I think it is worth it :)
This photo above shows the difference between what I did for the day to evening looks, added much more coverage from the shoulder on down and also redrew the shoulder slope to fit me better. The photo below shows what I did for the final changes. I still had too much fabric to ease across the chest. So I drew and cut a line from the upper third of neckline to but not through the armhole and the overlapped 3/4 of an inch. I also took off a half inch from the side seams front and back.

The pattern directions were just fine, I took a look at them before I began the project just to see if there was anything funny in them. I also eliminated the zipper. I was going to put the zipper in the side but when I had basted everything together to make any fitting adjustments I found that I didn't need one. I believe this is because the fitted portion of the bodice is just in the bust area, if it had been fitted any lower I would have needed one or possibly if I was shaped differently. 

All in all a very successful lovely evening top! I have several weddings this summer and one is themed black and white so this will fit the bill nicely. :)

Happy Sewing!


  1. Beautiful! You created a gorgeous top that many wouldn't have realized could be made from this pattern. I love it. I have the pattern and only saw it as casual.

    1. Thank you Annette! I have been working on thinking 'outside the box' or more likely outside the 'envelope pictures and art' !

  2. I love your pattern placement and you look gorgeous!

    1. Thank You Hillary! Taking my time and really thinking about it before cutting my fabric really payed off.


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