I recently had the opportunity to try out* a new tween/teen pattern called the Breeze Top designed by Shannon from Little Kids Grow. Shannon has older kids herself and knows how hard it can be to find sewing patterns for that age group! Scroll on down to the bottom of the post for a coupon code and a chance to win your very own copy of the Breeze Top.
While MG is a tween by age she still fits into children's patterns so K (my 15 year old) was the guinea pig this time.
pattern: Peaches and Peanuts Breeze Top
fabric: cotton/lycra rib knit and Anna Maria Horner Innocent Crush voile
mods: due to lack of yardage the top is shorter, I didn't cover the elastic in the back
The Breeze Top can be made out of a knit, woven, or a combo of the two. I chose to sew a knit bodice and a woven 'skirt'. Per the pattern, there's a back band that you insert 2 cuts of elastic in to gather the back on either side of the racer back. But I had this soft elastic in the perfect width that was teal. I couldn't bear to cover it with fabric!
I serged the bottom of the racer back and the top of the back 'skirt'. To attach those to the elastic, I laid the elastic on top of the serged edges and used a zig zag stitch to sew it on. The zig zag stitch stretches with the elastic and doesn't pop like a straight stitch would have.
A cotton/lycra jersey would be a better choice than the hefty rib knit I used. But there again, the color was spot on so I couldn't resist using it. Shannon recommends sewing a muslin of the bodice to double check fit. Tweens (and teens) body shapes can vary so much even if their measurements are the same. I confess, I didn't make a muslin....and I really should have. The shoulder seam doesn't hit on the top of K's shoulder like it should. If I had made a muslin, I could have corrected that before cutting into my good fabric. Live and learn!
I love how light and airy the voile is. It's the perfect fabric for summer time and hot weather. It also gathers effortlessly.
Be sure to check out the other bloggers that are participating in the pattern tour. There are so many other fabulous versions of the Breeze Top. Pockets, ruffle fabric, dresses, swim coverups, lattice back, piping...there are all kinds of creative customizations! Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
If you don't win a free copy of the Breeze Top, Shannon has graciously provided a discount code. Use "BREEZETOUR" for 25% off the pattern. The code is good through 6/27/2014 at 11:59 pm.:)
*I received the pattern for free but as always all opinions are my own