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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Me 4.0 and Simplicity 3835

Four Top
It took me a year to finally make the Built By Wendy, Simplicity 3835 pattern. I watched as everyone made cute shirt/tunic/dress after cute shirt/tunic/dress. While thinking that it looked great on them, I wondered if it would look maternity-ish on someone my size. The pattern only goes up to bust size 40 inches and I'm 46. Fortunately I remembered that on of my vintage-but-sized-for-larger-folk patterns it explained that, if you are larger than a B-cup, it's better to measure above the breasts and around the back to get a better measurement — when I do that, I'm 42 inches. So, after holding the pattern up to my body, and getting mom's opinion, and comparing it to my other favorite home-sewn, I skipped the muslin and went straight to cute polkadot quilter's cotton.

The modifications I made were: not adding the elastic on the sleeves (too puffy); adding a little to the front fold (about a half inch); adding additional length (because I'm tall); and adding the darts in back (like the dress version).

Make sure to follow the directions for the length of the elastic for the neck opening, which seems long, but, will flatter with its peek at your collar bones.

This shirt is so much better than stained, Old Gravy T-shirts in XXL, but it serves the same purpose — it's a classic mom uniform from way back, but now you get to use all the cute fabrics. It's utilitarian. It's easy. It's stash busting. It's fast (1 1/2 to 2 hours)! It's my favorite pattern, ever!

Did I scream yet about how much I LOVE THIS PATTERN?

So, even if you have big b**bs, and even if your waist size is the same as your age*, and even if you still have that baby belly — TRY THIS PATTERN. It even looks good on skinny girls. It's all good.


*It's my 40th birthday today!!!!!

Labels: ,


Blogger Donna said...

Happy Birthday!

Thanks for the pattern review. Your last paragraph pretty much describes my shape--and I've been worried about the maternity affect as well. The top looks great on you--think I will give it a try as well.

Tue Apr 15, 06:09:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Tami said...

Happy birthday! And remember, 40 is the new 30, or so they tell me. (I just turned 40 a couple weeks ago.)

Tue Apr 15, 06:20:00 PM PDT  
Blogger showyourworkings said...

Yay! Happy Birthday!
I had the same concerns but it looks great on you!

Tue Apr 15, 06:28:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Kim said...

It's your birthday!? Happy birthday!

I will have to try that pattern. Oh yeah.

Tue Apr 15, 06:37:00 PM PDT  
Blogger futuregirl said...

Happy Birthday, Michelle! I wish you all the best. You are so damn inspiring with all your clothes making for yourself. Someday I'm going to follow your example! xo, Alice

Tue Apr 15, 07:22:00 PM PDT  
Blogger kat coyle said...

EEhaw! Happy 4.0!!!
Love the shirt. Maybe I'll make on too...this year I'll be 4.6---yikes!

Tue Apr 15, 08:57:00 PM PDT  
Blogger ingrid said...

Happy Birthday!
And thanks so much for sharing this. I am a bigger girl and have put of trying this pattern as I didnt think it would work, but now I am all keen to give it a go.

Tue Apr 15, 09:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger meg said...

I've been reading sew u for a while now trying to build up the courage to actually make a shirt/dress/tunic. thanks for the push.

Tue Apr 15, 09:47:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Regina said...


You look awesome in your new tops and the psychedelic photos is so flippin' cool!

Hey, now you've REALLY inspired me to make more of those tops!!

Tue Apr 15, 10:17:00 PM PDT  
Blogger patrice said...

Happy Happy Birthday Michelle! I think you look beautiful.

Wed Apr 16, 01:06:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous greta said...

Happy Birthday!
I do love an HONEST pattern review!
I think I need to go dig that out of my pile of
Things To Do Someday ;)
40? You are still a youngster,

Wed Apr 16, 04:45:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Yarrow said...

Happy, happy birthday! I have my 40th coming up in July. Enjoy! Celebrate!

Wed Apr 16, 05:33:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Mandy said...

Wow! You look beautiful...I may be inspired to try this pattern.

Happy Happy Birthday!

Wed Apr 16, 06:23:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Andy said...

40! I hope you're going to do *something*, anything, unusual/fun today. Happiest of birthdays to the great mom. and I'm stealing my better half's identity, I'm really chardgirl.


Wed Apr 16, 07:03:00 AM PDT  
OpenID fiveflowers said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL! I love to look at the BBW patterns, but i have yet to sew anything for myself- i am quite the beginner. love the look though...

Wed Apr 16, 08:17:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Jen said...

Happy birthday!

Those tops look great on you! I'm going to have to give that pattern a try after all. Thanks for the tip on measuring high.

Wed Apr 16, 08:25:00 AM PDT  
Blogger PamKittyMorning said...

Happy Happy Birthday!!

Wed Apr 16, 08:58:00 AM PDT  
Blogger stephanie s said...

happy birthday!!!!!

i am fiddling with the idea of making myself some clothes. i am not a cute little thing, so making cute little things so my easier on my psyche than clothes... thanks for the inspiration.

Wed Apr 16, 09:53:00 AM PDT  
Blogger stephanie s said...

ummm, i never preview my comments. i should always preview my comments....

... is so much easier on my psyche...

Wed Apr 16, 09:54:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Paper Dolls for Boys said...

Happy Birthday to you! And you look amazing in those shirts. As someone who is not a size 4, I appreciate you posting that! :) Tracey

Wed Apr 16, 09:59:00 AM PDT  
Blogger house on hill road said...

happy birthday! the shirts are great!

Wed Apr 16, 10:15:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Emily said...

Happy Birthday!!! You look gorgeous in those shirts! I have made that pattern a couple of times and agree that the darts in the back are key to achieving a non-maternity look. You've got me charged up to make another!

Wed Apr 16, 12:01:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous meg said...

Happy Birthday! Hope this is the beginning of a fabulous new year for you.

And I will try this pattern, based upon your review which spoke directly to my needs. Excellent!

Wed Apr 16, 12:14:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Crystal said...

Hope you have a fantastic 40th birthday!!

Awsome review. I have huge hooters so I especially enjoyed the sewing tips. :)

Wed Apr 16, 12:25:00 PM PDT  
Blogger kristin said...

well...welcome to the 40's!! it's a fine place to be :)...a very belated but very sincere Happy Birthday to you!! Hope you celebrated it in grand fashion Michelle. xx

Wed Apr 16, 01:33:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Lori said...

happy birthday ! ! ! :^D)

and you're just a young'un, girl, 'cause *i'm* 42. ;^)

Wed Apr 16, 03:47:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Daphne said...

Happy Birthday! I'm so happy to realize there are a buncha people on my blog reader who are hitting 40 and whose kids are still little--it gives me hope that having kids in my thirties won't kill me (I'll be 33 soon enough). But even if I'm still 32 and have a pre-baby body, I would look pregnant in this type of top: I guar-an-tee it. Empire waist = same issue. But you and the linked-to-blogger? Beautiful.

Wed Apr 16, 04:31:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Siri said...

Happy Birthday!
Going to have to give this pattern another try, especially after seeing yours. Maybe I just need to adjust the length of the elastic at the neckline.
I didn't realize there was a Flickr group for her patterns either. Such inspiration there.

Wed Apr 16, 10:20:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous steph said...

Melissa! I'm late to wish you HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! You look so cute and vintage in those blouses--it IS a great (mom-uniform!) pattern, and (once again) I love these electric pictures! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thu Apr 17, 07:14:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous steph said...

f%cK!! I did it again! what is my deal, Michelle? MICHELLE. Your name is MICHELLE. Not Melissa, not Mollie. I'm starting to wonder what's wrong with me! ack. ACK!!!

Thu Apr 17, 09:04:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Raesha D said...

Happy birthday! I made two of these shirts last yera and I LOVE them! I made some of the same mods that you did. I hope to make several more this year and try not putting the elastic in the sleeve - I haven't done that yet.

Sun Apr 20, 08:24:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Threads of Inspiration said...

Happy 40th! Thanks for the pattern info. I have similar body shapes, so it sounds like a pattern I should check out.

Sun Apr 20, 03:14:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous ambika said...

Belated happy birthday! And love the sepia quality of these photos (and the tops, too).

Mon Apr 21, 08:11:00 AM PDT  
Blogger tiffany... said...

hey! thanks for the props! your top looks so great! makes me want to make another!

Thu Apr 24, 04:41:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Di said...

Some inspiration for me to get out of T-shirts... Great work!

Mon Apr 28, 08:01:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Péitseoga said...

i like them! and happy birthday!

Fri Jul 11, 01:13:00 PM PDT  

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