It's May Day! We had a cold, rainy/sleety/snowy one here, but that doesn't mean we can't start sewing for Spring anyway. I made this sweet summer top two weeks ago. I used Simplicity 8335 and a lightweight checked voile. The pattern is a "Learn to Sew" pattern and I guess I would rate it as an advanced beginner pattern (but a good one for learning) because it requires setting in a sleeve, a ruffle and a combination ruffle, and flounce for the "statement sleeve." The most difficult part was probably the curved hem of the sleeve flounce. All of those descriptors make the top sound awfully girly, but in the end it doesn't look ruffly or frilly, just Springy and cool.
This was a birthday gift for my daughter, so I just made it up without any fitting because it was (kind of) a secret. I made up the size extra-small, based on measurements and RTW sizing (once again forgetting how small big 4 patterns are compared to ready-to-wear). I shortened the top by about 3 inches and the length of the sleeve flounce by about one inch to make it petite. The top went together very nicely. The sleeve was easy to set (at least in this fabric). I thought the directions were a little more detailed than usual, perhaps because the pattern is labelled "Learn to Sew!"
When she tried it on it the length was good. but turned out to be to a little too small. It was especially small around the upper arms (my daughter plays volleyball and she does have muscles!). Luckily, I had fabric for a do-over. So we tried again, this time cutting a small, with medium arm scythe and sleeve, keeping the length adjustment the same. This one had to go together in time for the school band trip to Nashville the next day, which it did....
So the answer for the smaller top is to send it to my niece, who is quite a bit smaller. The fit of the style is forgiving, so I think it will look cute even if it is a little big on her. I did add the optional tie to the back, which will help keep in on her shoulders. It's a nice detail. The pattern can also be made without the sleeve flounce and includes instructions for a crossed straps detail at the back.
I would definitely make this pattern again in voile, lawn or double gauze. I think it would look even cuter in a softer fabric, but the version on the pattern cover in gingham is cute too. It just stands out from the body quite a bit more. In terms of fit , our main issues were the usual petite length adjustments as well as upper arm circumference (which I did not see coming). Also, when sewing for larger sizes, keep in mind that the pattern has no bust darts, which might effect fit for some body types.
The pictures I include here are of the smaller top, which is now on it's way to Columbia, Missouri (I suspect it's warmer there). When I can get pictures of either of the girls modeling I'll post them for you to see. Both of the girls tell me they like the styling, so you have the thumbs up from two teenagers, one in the North and one the Southern MidWest.
Happy May Day to all of you!