Hot! The “Devil Wears Floral” Top


The "Devil Wears Floral" Top

The Facts
Fabric: Floral print cotton (top), polka dot print cotton (obi belt)
Pattern: Simplicity 2599
Year: Contemporary

Notions: Bias binding, button, embroidery thread for back button loop
Time to complete: 6 hours
First worn: To Baskin Robbins
Wear again? Yes
Total Price: $6

For the Summer Trends challenge, I unsuspectingly sewed with the Devil… who’s always fashionably late.

No, not Miranda Priestly. But the devil also know as “Murphy’s Law”. You see….I set out to make some minor fitting corrections to a bodice pattern… and, after two muslins, a fusible interfacing incident, and a final dress that FIT WORSE THAN BEFORE but in NEW places…

I had a SEWwakening (not before fuming, growling, and nearly quitting): in order to rescue my self-esteem, it was time to go BACK TO BASICS.

So, I revisited one of my first garment patterns, a simple sleeveless shell, and began perfecting its fit and construction using all of the knowledge I have now.

The "Devil Wears Floral" Top

After one “re-muslin” and the final top you see here, I learned:

  1. Narrowing the shoulder width worked well, but it could be reduced further so the shoulder line of the shell sits at a more flattering spot and the front neckline isn’t so loose.
  2. Lower necklines are also more flattering on me. I’ll lower this one a couple of inches and draft a scoop neckline for a second variation.
  3. My D-cup dart uptake is huge. There’s a french dart technique I could employ to reduce the bulk, but the truth is, I hate sewing darts and would rather rotate it to the neckline and sew pleats or gathers.
  4. I need more practice hand sewing thread loops. My blanket stitches are still not even.
  5. I LOVE finishing necklines and armholes with a narrow bias binding. 1/2″ pre-made bias tape is a perfect alternative to facings (especially when fusible interfacing decides to stop fusing to fabric).
S2599 Croquis Sketch
Making a basic shell top and focusing on the details was just the therapy I needed after major dressmaking defeat. And, using the same fabric combo from the “Heidi’s All Mixed Up” dress was extra fun — I like this arrangement better than the original. I can’t wait to make the pattern changes and sew the top again.

The "Devil Wears Floral" Top

Thanks for looking.



Najah Carroll is a project manager by day and seamstress by night. Once it became clear that ready-to-wear was never gonna support her five feet of curves, she taught herself to sew and make pattern alterations. In January, she lost her mind by signing up for this 52-week garment sewing challenge.


Comments are closed.

  1. Very flattering fit and fabric. I like the contrasting belt too. Isn’t it so rewarding when you finally get it right and then you build on that to make something else that fits perfectly, but now has new elements?
    Kudos to not giving up after a “meh” outfit and making something simple, but so nice!

  2. This is gorgeous! It really suits you :)P.S. I love your hair!

  3. Wow, I love this pattern combo. I completely missed the dress you made with these fabrics…not sure how this happened – such a cheerful dress! The top is super cute as well. I like to tinker around with my patterns, too, but it is really quite frustrating when nothing works out after several muslins. I am glad this one here worked out so well. What did the bodice that caused you so much trouble look like? Just being curious as a fellow pattern drafter/tinkerer. ;)

  4. Way to push though Najah and you ended up with beautiful top. It was cool to see thee sketch and how you will alter. I started to keep a sketch book of ideas and notes so I can keep track of what I learn. Have a great 4th.

  5. Super cute.. Love what you did with this pattern.Great fabric choices.. Happy sewing.

  6. Fuming, growling, nearly quitting? That’s me when a muslin (or 4) goes wrong!

  7. Do you know what I particularly like about this post – seeing the changes since your Meet and Greet tunic….not only in your fitting skills, the things you’ve learnt about sewing and your body to make it look it’s best, but in the change of seasons in your garden behind you in the pics. Any week where you can have a nearly giving up point and still pull something as pretty as this out of the bag has to be a win.

    (Totally unrelated side point: I love Devil Wears Prada movie not because of the story or the clothes, but because it was one of the movies (along with Up) I watched on my flight emigrating to the USA. I can’t watch it without having multiple memories now, thank you for reminding me again :))

  8. Love these two fabrics together!!! Looks great on you.