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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Bay top- not just for kids anymore!

Oh how I adore the Brownie Goose Bay dresses that I have made for my daughter. I was thrilled to test the pattern a while back- see that post here- and have made several more since then! But, with every Brownie Goose  Bay dress that I make for a little girl I keep thinking, man I wish I had a top like this... and then I came to the realization that this pattern runs a little on the large side and I wasn't that far off from the chest measurement of the size 12 so I thought hey why not give this a try!

I started by tracing off the size 12 with the drop waist option and made up a quick muslin by just sewing the shoulder and side seams- no lining just quick and simple. I tried it on for fit and realized the armholes were a little snug and that the top should probably come down a smidge in the front and of course the back needed to be a little deeper and more dramatic... so off with the ruler and marker and scissors I went : )

I dropped the scoop in the back by two inches and just rounded it out to keep the same strap width at the top. I trimmed it off and tried it on again to check the fit before adjusting my pattern pieces. I did the same thing in the front scooping the front neckline down about 1.5 inches. I also scooped the armholes down about an inch as well to make room for my arms! I ALSO ADDED 8 INCHES IN LENGTH to the size 12 to make it long enough for me. I am about 5'9" these days- I appear to be shrinking in my older age, ha! 

Once I was happy with the way my muslin fit I cut into my "real" fabric which was a Kaufman Carolina Chambray in Black. I fully lined the bodice in the same fabric but it would be fun to do a fun print on the inside too! Once I had my two front and four back pieces cut I stitched them together per the pattern instructions at the shoulders then pinned and stitched around the neck and arm holes per instructions. I went ahead and did my side seams after that as well instead of following Amy's fabulous instructions.

I cut my peplum pieces from the same fabric making them about 1.5 times as long as each section of my top (front and 2 backs). Forgive me for not ironing before pictures!

I used the template from the pattern to cut the curve of the peplum and then assembled them per pattern instructions by sewing the lining and main pieces together first then stitching around the entire peplum piece. I decided to add a double needle top-stitch to the bottom just to add a little something there.

At first I gathered and attached the peplum but could not stop thinking that it looked like a jumper for a ten year old headed to private school so I ripped it off and decided to pleat it instead. Here it is with the ruffle. Try to control your laughter ; )

I wish I could say I carefully measured and calculated my pleats but I did my best to just evenly space them and hoped for the best! I added four buttons on one side and opted to do snaps on the other to hold that other back piece in place. I found that I also needed one snap down at the very bottom to keep that peplum in place. 

Now if only we could convince the fabulous Amy of Brownie Goose to upsize this one a little more! If you wanted to attempt to make it a little larger I would try adding a little to the sides of the front piece and back sides and go from there. I think this would be an adorable top even for a tween! I also considered just hemming it up as a top without a peplum or adding a band at the bottom. Get creative and have fun!

And a special thanks to my friend Amy over at Blink Life and Clothing for a fun dinner date and photo shoot!


  1. Wow, that is awesome. Have you shared with Amy! Such a great idea. I would love for you to share at my linky party at

  2. How unique and pretty! Glad you pinned it to the PDF board :)