Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Sunflowers & Stripes in Simplicity 8687

I was really attracted to this pattern when it was released in Fall 2018.  I purchased it shortly thereafter and it's sat in my pattern collection waiting it's turn to be used. I always saw it as a longer blouse, tunic or topper. Of course I searched the internet to find other versions but it hasn't been a very popular sew...only five reviews on PatternReview and because of that it's now on clearance on Simplicity's site.

Supplies ~
I bought two of these panels from Marcy Tilton's booth at Sew Expo in March 2016. I'm finally using this collection fabric - you know my new fabric usage designations. 

As an aside, I bought a lot of fabric that trip and this is the fifth piece I've used of the dozen pieces I purchased. Slowly but surely working through that fabric...*LOL*

7 - 1" yellow buttons from Pacific Trimmings
Black 'n White piping from the trim stash
Floral bias binding made from a quilting cotton purchased from Zooks, Lancaster, PA
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller

Pattern Alterations ~
Since I'm making View C, I started with a size 28 because I wanted an unfitted topper that a turtleneck or sweater could go under easily. Even starting with a 28, I needed to add ease to the hip area. I added an inch to each side seam from the bust area down starting with a quarter inch to a full inch at the hemline. 

Sleeves ~
o  The sleeves were already oversized so I didn't need to make an alteration to the body of them. 
o  Although I did make a shoulder alteration to make the sleeves more set in than the slightly dropped shoulder the pattern suggests. 
o  I did a slash and overlap of 7/8" at the shoulder on the front and back pieces to remove the excess. 
o  I should have removed some of the excess from the sleeve cap but didn't realize this until I started to construct the topper. Will remove it for the next version.

Finally, I did shorten it from dress length to tunic length by removing 10" from the hemline. Here is the first fitting done at the sew-in.

Construction ~
The cutting was creative on this one. I really wanted to have the sunflowers run down the fronts of the topper. Once I got the front and back cut out, I then cut the sleeves. However, before I cut them out, I did a sketch in my Cashmerette Sketchbook to see if I'd like the way the stripes worked.

All of the other pieces were cut out of the remaining fabric remnants, however, there wasn't enough for the side seam pockets. I honestly didn't care about including them. I can always put pockets in the next version. That was the only thing I omitted.   

As I mentioned above, since I neglected to alter the sleeve pattern there was way more gathering than I would have liked in the sleeve cap. I made it work. It's not perfect but it's wearable.

The last construction challenge was the buttons. I found some buttons at Pacific Trimmings that I thought would be perfect for the topper ~ right color, right size but I was wrong. When I laid them on the topper even using all 10 of them, they were just too small.  So back to Pacific Trimmings where I purchased three different larger sized yellow buttons, finally settling on these. They're lighter in hue but coordinate nicely with the sunflowers.

One more thing ~
I left my back facing piece at home. Left it on the ironing board and I just didn't want to wait until the next day to work on the topper. So I bought some black quilting cotton from the Urban Sewciety's store and used that instead. If I was going to wash the topper I would be concerned but since I will probably have to dry clean it, I will wait to see how that decision turns out.

A Few Pictures ~
When I took these pictures it was a warm Sunday in February. In the Northeast this has been a pretty mild winter.  No heavy snows, no days of chilly/freezing temps and bitterly cold winds so I am seriously starting to think about spring. So I styled this topper how I would wear it now and how I will wear it in a few months...


For Spring...

Conclusion ~
I will make this again both as a topper and a longer blouse/tunic.  In this version the sleeves turned out to be 3/4 length due to my alterations, so I will need to fix my pattern for future makes. I also had a few ideas of alternative hem closures. Maybe a buckle, large snap or button instead of the ties to give the sleeve hem a cleaner finish. I'm already working on my next version so it should show up sooner or later. always more later!


  1. I picked up this pattern a while ago but when I got it hoe, the more I thought about it, the less enthusiastic I got
    I'm reconsidering my reconsideration.
    Your version reminded me of the bones of the pattern that appealed to me in the first place and your creative use of fabric and detail has me doodling ideas
    Thank you

  2. LOVE this. Perfect showcase for the very pretty fabric. I would never have pictured that pattern looking so cute!

  3. Looks great and I love the use of the fabric.

  4. This is SUPER cute! Love how you made that print work for you!

  5. This turned out really well. I love the flowers going down the front, but the BACK is especially lovely. The mitering of the stripes is so striking, and the fit in the back is perfect. Just that small amount of gathers makes the back fit so well. Great use of the fabric.

  6. What a fun, happy topper!! Good for you on making those sleeves work. Sometimes that's the most irritating part!

  7. In all the pictures I've seen of this topper, I never noticed the direction of the stripes on the sleeves! Until today. So, what makes this a topper vs. a long top? Also, I would totally pair this with a sunny yellow ditzy print - but I know that's not your style. I really like how this has turned out and you've inspired me to pull my pattern and play. g

    1. Gaylen - I call toppers anything that I wear over something else like a turtleneck, shirt or top. I don't wear anything under my shirts or tops. This is my personal designation cause I'm sure others would call it something else! Yeah that you pulled your pattern out. You know I have one cut out and I think I'm going to do one more in denim before I let the pattern go.

  8. I love the Sunflowers and the "plain" stripes! This looks Wicked Cool on you.

  9. Really a year around piece! Gorgeous. Love the way you placed the sunflowers. Reading your blog is helping me overcome my fear of border prints.

    1. Virginia - I love border and panel prints because they give you the ability to play with the print and also for the problem solving challenge! I'm glad you're inspired to try one!

  10. Love it! The front is gorgeous, but the back was quite a pleasant surprise!
    This is the 2nd version that I've seen of this pattern, but your amazing version makes me want to pull my pattern from my stash!

  11. This is fab!! So much to love, the mitred back, the placement of the sunflowers, the design choice... etc etc!

  12. Oh, Carolyn, this topper has to be one of my top favorites of your garments. I remember this Marcy T fabric and you used it up fabulously! Karen

  13. This is SO fun! I love the use of the fabric and that piping is truly a fantastic addition. It's perfect.

  14. I just love this blouse on you!!!! Love!!

  15. Love your project, the detail on back was nice. Try making view A or B with your leggings. That would look nice too. That fabric was sharp & the strip thing on back was superb. I would have done black buttons though. I really love all the beautiful projects you make. Jeez you must have a huge wish I did...LOL

  16. This is gorgeous! Love this fabric and glad you can winterize the look as well as change it up for spring!

  17. Perfect use of a gorgeous fabric. Love the trim on the collar; it's just the right touch.

  18. Love this fabric and how you used it in your blouse. And the smaller stripe piping.... So pretty!


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