Well, this looks a bit familiar, doesn't it? It's a grown up version of my square neck smocky top. Pedants will be thinking, 'Amanda, you've got that apostrophe all wrong in the title!' Actually, I meant Big Girls' because, woah... busty from the side.
From the front though, the combination of
The most notable difference (or not, because you can't see it in the pictures) from my little girl's version is that the neckpiece is not a pre-squared piece, it is mitred strips. And it doesn't have inset sleeves, they are raglan and follow the seam line of the mitred neck. Like the bodice front and back, the sleeves are very gathered to make the end result fluttery.
I didn't use a pattern, I based it on a top I already had in my wardrobe. Normally if I am replicating something, it's a fairly straight-forward trace around each piece and then add seam allowance but with all the gathering I had to do a bit more measurement-based drafting. If you are interested, the process I used is here:
- Draw a picture of your item of clothing with all it's different pieces. Optional but recommended: draw it terribly.
- Take all the important measurements like seam lines, and heights / widths of various pieces.
- Break it down into pattern pieces and summarise their individual measurements.
- Draft the pieces onto paper, adding seam and hem allowances where required and making any adjustments to fit that you would like. I ended up giving my top more of a shaped waist than the original. You will have to do a bit of guess work as to how much extra to add for gathering, but a general rule of 1.5 times final (gathered) width for light gathering and 2 times for heaps is a good rule. I used just under 2 times but that was probably surplus to requirements.
- Turn your original garment inside out and study the seams. Write down the order and manner they were constructed. For example, I learned that the when making the (self-faced) neck piece, the seam allowance was understitched to the inside facing. That's a good idea.