Gosh, it feels so good to have actually completed something. It feels like it's been a while, ya know? Anyway, here it is. Temily from AS&E. What did I do differently than the magazine? Well, I used a print rather than a plain white fabric and I used a geometric smocking design rather than the picture smocked flower. The design is original. I just picked some colors and started smocking and this is what I ended up with. Works for us. I also added piping at the hem and sleeve cuffs. The magazine did not call for this. I used a contrast fabric for the ruffle, too. I had to topstitch the hem and cuffs, too, to keep the seam allowances under control. Other than that, I pretty much followed the directions, except for the neck binding. I didn't mean to do it differently, I just wasn't paying attention. The pattern called for sewing the binding right side to the top's wrong side, flipping it to the front and topstitching it down. I sewed them right sides together and then realised my mistake. Oh, well. I just flipped it to the inside, pinned carefully and stitched in the ditch on the right side, catching the binding in the stitching on the wrong side. Turned out beautifully.
I really like this little top and I'm thinking I will make it again... with some changes. I made a size 4 this time, and it's alright, but I'm thinking I could go up to the 6 next time. I also thought the sleeves were going to be a little bit fuller. The pattern piece is slightly tapered toward the cuff, so I would probably widen it ever so slightly and cut it a little bit straighter. I might lengthen the sleeve just a bit, too. Although I really like the piping at the cuffs and the hem, it adds construction time and I may be tempted to leave it off. The ruffles are kind of heavy, too. Using a pretty lace or other trim would be lighter and quicker. These ruffles are folded wrong sides together along the length and then gathered and attached. I suppose you could use a single thickness with a narrow hem, but I really don't want to hem all that ruffle- the hem alone is two 45 inch strips. I saw a version of this on SewForum that has short, elasticized sleeves which were really nice. I think a long sleeve would look cute with elastic, too.
This top would be so cute with a pair of jeans embellished to match, but alas, I'm doing good just to get the top done, so I'm not going to push my luck. The Princess was pleased and has already offered some suggestions for the next version. If (when) I make it again, I'll be sure to share the results.