The sketch on the right is my design. (The Princess helped me color it!) It's an Asian inspired top and capri pants. I got the inspiration from a cute little outfit I saw on Ebay some time ago. Then I found the pattern on the left, Simplicity 3900, and it all started coming together. I made this dress last year (the sleeveless non-tiered skirt view not shown) and it was adorable:
I'm using the cherry blossom print as the main fabric, the stripe as the contrast, and the red as trim. I have the bodice put together:
I'm really liking the way the fabrics look together. The pattern is pretty simple except for the front band section. It's not really difficult, just tricky. The pattern instructions have you sew the front bodice pieces together at center front from the bottom to the dot, right sides together. Then you sew your front bands together at center front from the bottom to the dot, lay the right side of the bands against the wrong side of the bodice, stitch from the dot to the top on both sides, then flip the bands to the outside. The problem is, this is impossible if you don't clip the seam allowances of the bodice pieces at the dot, and the instructions fail to mention this. Even if you do figure this out, you're left with raw edges showing inside your bodice. On the red dress from last year, I solved this problem by folding the seam allowances under and stitching them down to the bodice before I sewed the bands down on the outside. It looks okay- no raw edges- but it just looks kinda homemade. On this new version, I sewed my bodice pieces wrong sides together. By doing this, I eliminated the need to clip the seam allowances, and the band flipped to the outside hiding all the raw edges. I made a note on my pattern instructions to do this from now on. (Yeah, I like this pattern enough that I will probably make it again.)
Here is the bodice with the collar and sashes added. The pattern calls for a narrow (1.5 inch), ungathered tie rather than a true sash, but my design features a gathered sash that should flair out a little bit from center front toward the sides. I have my fingers crossed that this will actually work the way I'm imagining.
I also have my upper and lower skirt sections seamed and ready to be basted together and gathered. I'd love to be able to get this top done today. Then I will just need to make the capri pants to have a finished outfit. It would be great if the Princess could wear this to school this week. In order for that to happen, I need to go get to work. Stay tuned for another progress report this week.