When I first decided that I was going to take a sewing class, I hit the local Yardage Town and picked up a couple of easy-looking Simplicity patterns. (My mom had told me that Simplicity was probably the easiest pattern line to start out with.) I even made sure that the patterns that I picked up were part of their "It's So Easy" line.
The very first pattern that caught my eye was Simplicity 4123, a basic summer top that could either be made as a tank top or as a top with small flutter sleeves:
On the same trip to Yardage Town, I picked up some very pretty white cotton fabric with navy blue flowers. I decided that that fabric and this top would be a perfect match. Deciding that I wanted the yoke of the top to contrast, I also picked up some navy blue cotton fabric that matched the blue flowers perfectly.
Fast forward about a month or so, and I felt like I'd learned enough in my sewing class to tackle making this top. Based on my own measurements and the "finished garment" measurements listed on the back of the pattern, I decided that I would make the top in a size 14. (I made my previous top--the green peasant blouse--in a size 16, but this pattern looked like it ran significantly larger).
Wow. I was wrong. Although I was anal about cutting out my fabric and my seam allowance, my finished garment wound up 3 inches smaller across than predicted by the pattern. I let the seam out a little bit, but there wasn't enough fabric to get quite the fit that I was going for. Additionally, the top wound up too short for my comfort level. I fixed this by adding a band of the leftover navy blue cotton to the bottom. (David actually suggested this, so I need to give him credit for the idea.) I think that the top looks adorable on a hanger, but it's not the most flattering style for my body type. I'll still wear it, but I'll chalk this one up to being a learning experience.
Here's the finished top: