Hot chocolate

I’ve been doing so many long and involved projects for other people recently, that I’ve realised that I haven’t done anything for myself in a while. My sewing schedule is pretty much booked solid through to Christmas now, so I wouldn’t be able to make anything for me until at least January! So this Sunday, when I finished my housemate’s party dress early (more on this here, I promise!), and got to a good stopping spot on my boyfriend’s pirate jacket, I suddenly found myself with a free evening. Starting at 5pm with an unopened pattern, I had the following shirt finished by 9pm (in amongst making dinner, too!).

It’s Simplicity 4020, view D (the one the bottom model is wearing). This really should have been advertised as an “It’s So Easy!” pattern – it’s exactly four pattern pieces and (mentally counting) eight seams (plus three hems). Really, really easy, and I made a few changes in the construction order to make it even easier: If you sew the back seam, then shoulder seams, then attach the neck band, then attach the lower front, then the lower back, you can sew the underarm and side seams all in one go, eliminating the stupid way Simplicity suggest of fitting two large loops together. Ugh. And next time I make this, I’m making it even easier by cutting the upper back on the fold to eliminate the center back seam (I have no idea why they didn’t suggest this – that edge is even next to the fold on the cutting diagram!).

But even without these improvements, this is a must-have pattern – it’s quick, very flattering, and very easy indeed. I’m going to make as many of them as I can, because I absolutely love the slim waist matched with the blousy top and swinging arms. Especially since I’ve just had to lie to rest two favourites from my now-way-too-big wardrobe: this Chinese-inspired top which also featured wide kimono arms, and a chocolate-brown cowl-neck Banana Republic top which I practically lived in for the past two winters. I like to think that this new top is a beautiful blend of its fallen comrades.

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