At my workplace, we aren’t expected to turn up in full business formal wear everyday — thank goodness! While I could never be one to wear a white button-up and suit each day, I do think it is important for my work wardrobe to look professional (yet to also let my personality peep through!).
For this, I tend to favour shell tops in natural fibres that can drape well; this simple style of top can be easily tucked into skirts without looking too bulky, or can be worn with smart chinos and heels. You can then play with cheerful colours or prints and still look polished, so finding a suitable shell top pattern for my handmade wardrobe has been crucial to me.
Enter: Simplicity 8061.
This pattern is just great for beginners; I like that there are four different options for the neckline and there aren’t huge amount of separate pattern pieces (for View A, it was only five pieces, which meant I could be super speedy at cutting everything out). The neckline is also faced, which is another neat touch. In terms of adjustments, I made my usual FBA (I recommend checking out this tutorial) and I also stitched in the ditch at both the shoulder seams; this was not part of the instructions, but I feel it helps to secure the neckline facing.
The fabric is a gorgeous ex-designer viscose from Fabric Godmother (sadly now sold out) that my sister got for my birthday. The deep burgundy shade will be great for autumn and winter, but the print really sells it – anglepoise lamps is certainly a bit different! This was also the first time I have sewn with viscose, so it took a little while to get the correct tension and stitch length.
Simplicity 8061 is quick to sew and great for beginners. I would recommend this pattern for lightweight fabrics, such as this viscose, as well as cotton blends; I made a version in February with cotton sateen. I am sure I will be making another version soon – perhaps with a v-neck, or maybe sleeveless…?