Saturday, October 9, 2010

Simplicity 4744: Aqua shell top

I finally finished the shell to go with my aqua cardi-wrap cozy. It took me three times longer to make the shell as the cozy. It took lots of putzing to make the pattern fit and look right... see the details in my review for below.

But I like how it looks with the cozy itself. When you wrap the cozy, it can almost look like it's one top with wrapping capabilities. I show 10 different ways to wear the cozy here.

For the top, I took just the bodice part of this dress. (I can't see myself ever wearing any of those dress versions, but they sure are cute. I don't have anywhere to where such a thing.)

Review for

Pattern Description: A "Design your own dress with skirt variations and knit bodice" that I turned into a spaghetti strap shelf bra cami. (to go with my Cardi-wrap cozy reviewed earlier.
Pattern Sizing:12-20

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?My cami looks pretty much like the bodice of the dress. Close up of top only.

Were the instructions easy to follow?Yes. Except I kept losing them. Everytime I'd turn around they were somewhere else. If I was up at the sewing machine/iron, they were downstairs and vice versa. (this happens to my scissors and pins too... anyone else like that?)

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
1. It works well as a knit spaghetti strap shell.

2. I could do without the horizontal back seam... see no need for it.

3. Another dislike is my knit sewing skills.

....3A. The hem hung nice before I hem'd it, then after hemming it stretched a bit so the bottom of the top is a tad wider than originally planned.

....3B. I understitched the shelf bra to the seam allowances, but the stitching stretched the seam and made it uglier than before it was understitched. Maybe you're not suppose to understitch knits??? I wish I hadn't. I won't in the future.

Fabric Used:cotton/poly (?) rib knit

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
1. I used only the bodice to make the top.

2. The pattern said to insert elastic in the straps. I didn't. But I think I'll go back and do that. They want to keep falling down since there's nothing to hold them up.

3. I narrow'd the front strap placement an inch, so they'd fall off the shoulder less.

4. I added a shelf bra, which isn't enough for modesty, so I took the photo with a regular bra sans straps, (shoving the straps out of the way), but that won't do for real life. I need to solve this bra with spaghetti strap knit tops dilemna. I considered building a bra into it, but already the top took 3 times as long as the cardi-wrap to make, so I didn't. I'm thinking of making bra straps by covering elastic with my fashion fabric, attaching fasteners that work with a converable bra and use them and say "hey look at these matching bra straps" (I would hope they'd almost look like they were built in... like a top with two straps...) I'm wondering if anyone has ever done this? I'd love some inspiration.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?Now that I have it sized right for me, I may make another top, but I probably won't make the dress... I wish I had occasions to wear a dress like that, but alas... I'd recommend it to others, esp. if you're the type of person who goes salsa dancing.

Conclusion: Nice pattern. Morphed well into to top. (More on my blog) ... The cardiwrap is reviewed here and I have photos of my 10 ways to wear the cardiwrap cozy here.


  1. Looks great! I think those shells take a lot of work for such a little garment...kinda like panties :-)

  2. What a brilliant idea to use that dress for the shell. I love it since it already had a bust dart. I may have to sneak out tonight to pick this one up for $.99


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