"Have fun always carrying around a light sweater!", was the line from one character to another on "30 Rock" the other week. It was mocking a life living in the (San Francisco) bay area, and the reason I'm still chuckling about it is because it is so true! I live in the bay area, and I do, indeed, always wear a light sweater. My professional "uniform" is pants, blouse and light cardigan. And while I have a fully impressive collection of 3/4 sleeve cardigan sweaters, I lack an equally impressive collection of blouses to go underneath them. But I'm working on remedying that:
Using a RTW top in my closet, I rubbed off the pattern to make a cotton version (the original is dry-clean only silk), leaving off the sleeves and ties (there is not much less flattering than a bow hiding under the back of a sweater). I rarely take off the sweater (unless my lecture hall is toasty), so I
found that sleeveless tops work best so the thin-gauge sweaters don't
look bulky in the arms.
I love the elastic smocking under the bust, since not only is it flattering, but it's comfortable! There is an invisible side zipper, but depending on the ease of the top, you can get away without a zipper if using enough elastic gathers. While this top looks remarkably similar to my final entry to the Spring Top Sewalong, I actually used two different RTW tops to make the patterns!
The back is very simple, with vertical darts and a slight sway-back adjustment (a horizontal dart, that is not super noticeable), but with my broad shoulders, I need to find a way to make the back more flattering (although I guess it's unimportant under a sweater!).
I've purchased many yards of cotton voile for tops over the past few months. I need to get into blouse-making mode to clear out my stash (preferably before summer break, so I can actually use them for work!). But first up, I have some fabric and ideas in mind for Skirt Week!