This month on the Minerva Blogger Network I feel I'm not so much showcasing a fabric as showcasing a pattern. The pattern is Simplicity 8658. I have made the blouse version in dobby cotton in the Summer and this month I have chosen a thicker Ponte Roma for Winter. This fabric comes in 21 colours but I needed a black top!

The pattern encourages you to use the pattern pieces as a base to make changes to your liking. There is a large sheet of tissue paper in the pattern packet so that you can make alternative sleeves, or bodice pieces. It is a very versatile pattern for various shapes of women with a few main views which you can already choose from.

I also liked the pattern because I think it will encourage me to use up some of my smaller left over pieces of fabric by making peplums and sleeve gathers mixed with a main fabric.

The first one I made had long, cuffed, gathered sleeves so I wanted to try the short sleeved version. The photo is after a days wear at school wearing a cardigan on top. 

I cut the same size as my first one but felt that the shorter sleeved length needed bringing in a little at the ends of the arms. It looked very... um...what's the word...unsophisticated. The ends of the sleeves stuck out at right angles to my body, it was not a good silhouette. If I had used a lighter weight jersey it would have been fine but with Ponte Roma it was too stiff.


By the time I found out this vital piece of information I could not change the sleeve because I had hemmed it and really, if I am honest, it needed a change to the whole raglan piece so I made a box pleat and added a button. Bingo!

This version is worn with a skirt where it is tucked in. This is hiding another marvellous thing about this pattern which is revealed when it is worn outside your waistband...

There is a split in the back which is a boon for people like me who have a big bum! On many patterns I either have to grade out a size from the waist to the hips or add little side vents which sometimes spoils the overall effect. This dipped back however with pointed tips is perfect especially when I am sitting on infant sized chairs at school.

It has a more casual look when it is worn out but that adds to the versatility of the pattern.

There are many more tops to make out of this pattern and it is long term keeper. What would you do with it?

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