Hey, I'm Danni - owner of Oh Sew Quaint on Etsy, and I'm so happy to be part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network, it is a lovely community! I'm pleased to start my first post with my new favourite sewing pattern. Meet Simplicity Pattern 8342 - a multi-garment sewing pattern in a very wearable rockabilly style. For my first go at this pattern, I decided to make View B, which is a jersey tie-front top with some cute cap sleeves.

My fabric choice is the navy floral Ponte Roma Fabric available here at Minerva Crafts. I absolutely adore the print on this fabric, it suits the rockabilly style very well, and the roses help to give it a more feminine look. Being a Ponte Roma, the fabric is quite soft on the inside, and the weight of the fabric helps to carry the structure of this garment. This top can be worn all year round, it would look great with a pair of denim shorts during the summer, or with a cosy cardigan in the winter, making it the perfect wardrobe staple.

The top consists of 5 pattern pieces, plus an extra piece which is an elastic cutting guide. The pattern is quite simple to cut out, just watch out for which side down you put your pattern pieces - on my first attempt I cut piece 4 out the wrong way as it’s only meant to be cut wrong side down! Pattern cutting is one of my least favourite parts of sewing, but it is quick and easy with this pattern, meaning you can whip up these tops in no time.

The construction of the top is simple too, the only challenging part is the making the cap sleeves, which can be quite fiddly. To finish making the strap you need to roll the cap sleeve inside of the tube you are sewing, and you have to be very careful not to catch it. But the end result is worth the struggle, as these sleeves are very flattering. Once you've got the sleeves out of the way, the rest of the top comes together in no time - and if you don't want the hassle of a cap sleeve there's the option to have a halter neck too.

I am the world's slowest sewist - I tend to get very distracted and drag out the simplest of tasks, but I still got this top made in a day. For the more attentive and experienced dressmaker, it will probably take just a few hours from the first cut to the last stitch. I found the fit of the top to be great without any pattern adjustment, but there is plenty of room for adjustment without the need to change the pattern. The straps are purposely long so you can adjust them for a perfect fit, and the tie front helps to accommodate many bust sizes, meaning the only fitting that you need to be careful of is around the waist.

Overall, I'm very happy with this pattern and love how comfortable this top is. Whilst I love pinup and vintage styles, the clothes aren't always the most comfortable and practical to wear every day, so most of the time I'm wearing jeans and t-shirts. With this top, you can bridge the gap, and look effortlessly retro without giving up the comfort of a T-shirt. The pattern uses very little fabric too, using about 1 metre of fabric for the size 14 but I decided to get 2 metres for a bit of breathing room.

Which top variation do you prefer - the cap sleeve or the halterneck? Have you tried this pattern or have it on your sewing list? Let us know in the comments below - I can’t wait to get to know you!

Danni