Gahhhh this is maybe the cutest top I've ever made... and also I don't know if I'll ever wear it! Okay, maybe a bit dramatic, but part of the love/hate relationship with making your own clothes is FIT. Making something that fits your body perfectly is amazing when it works and infuriating when it doesn't, like with this pattern: New Look 6692.

I was so excited to find this pattern design by New Look. It ticked off all the right boxes for my vision of this top: square neckline, fully lined, shirring, open back (with tie!), puff sleeves. I scoured the internet and the gram for reviews so I could judge the sizing, and everything I read confirmed... size down! Many reviews said it was a size (or two) too big, and multiple sewists mentioned it was too wide at the shoulders. I decided to sew a size 10, one smaller than my normal 12 (my full bust is 34.5" right now) and hoped it would help it fit in the shoulders. However, I was already wary from issues with fit in my last make (bhl wrap dress) in the shoulder area. My shoulders are narrow and I always seem to end up with excess fabric between the shoulder and full bust. I should have taken more time to really measure the pattern pieces but there were so many! I started w/ the lining pieces as a kind of muslin, and they seemed okay so I went ahead...

There were so many little pieces to create this bodice! After finishing the top half, I tried it on, and realized I needed more room for my bust (let out 1" total). However, the top was still too big / wide at the shoulders, which made the square neckline sit funny and do weird things. Ugh no! At this point, I had already put so much time and effort in, so I just kept going. I added the gathered floating sleeves and a new design feature: double peplum!! I used all my remaining fabric to make these two rectangles, gathered them, and attached to the waist. I attempted a rolled hem on the serger, but the fabric is so fine that it literally just frayed / pulled off, so I ended up doing a baby hem on both peplums and the sleeve hem. 

This fabric is from our 2018 vacation to NYC (first time!) and obviously, we went to Mood. The fabric is a cotton blend, maybe with some silk, and is a sheer black with tiny white dots and yellow lemon wedges. I had 1 1/3 yd (56"w) of the main fabric and used 1/3 yd of black lightweight cotton for the lining. The shirred back panel, double peplum, and sleeves are not lined.

Fit issues aside, sewing up this pattern was really fun! Piecing together the bodice was like a puzzle. Since my main fabric is sheer, I had to be meticulous on finishing the inside, even with a lining. It was pretty tricky to know when to serge finish the edges at which point in the construction, but I got there. One major positive was the shirred back! I did regular shirring with elastic bobbin thread instead of sewing elastic channels. I used my notes from my first shirred top experiment (here) and it went perfectly! I was SO HAPPY that all the time and effort I put into figuring it out the first time around gave me the results I wanted on this project, first try! Shirr all the things! The stretchy back panel also lets me pull on the top and omit the zipper. I used the elastic guide to be sure that panel was the right width after shirring, and it was :)

I love so much about this top - it looks exactly how I had imagined. It just doesn't fit quite right :( I have worn it twice and couldn't stop fiddling with it. The neckline sits weirdly and while it is clearly too wide at the shoulders, it feels a bit tight under the arms and has just enough room at the bust. 

On the bright side, my frustration with the fit kicked my sew-jo into high gear! I took a deep dive researching bodice fitting issues. It was like my own private summer fitting boot camp! High bust, full bust, narrow shoulder, square shoulder, forward shoulder, "Right Size", vertical and horiztonal adjustments... I got totally obsessed for several days and made multiple muslins of bodice patterns and I think I finally have a path forward!! I can't wait to try it and share all the details! Until then, this can be my dance party top - no one notices the weird neckline when you're busting a move ;)


- love this top, so much cute! but fit is weird 

❤ Sally