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Gemma’s Simplicity S8927

With the double gauze from August’s Mini box Gemma made a cute little cropped tie vest using a Mimi G for Simplicity pattern S8927.

I look forward to receiving my turn of the Mini Box as I know it offers the promise of a smaller (and potentially easier!) make due to receiving only 1m of the main fabric. We all love a quick project from time to time, and although it can be tricky to think about how to wisely use that amount of fabric, the satisfaction when you do is the best!

This month’s fabric is a beautiful double gauze, a fabric I was very happy to receive during a UK heatwave! Not only is it a gorgeous colour with gold specks, but double gauze is a surprisingly good fabric for all temperatures – cool when hot and warmer when cold, due to the double layer nature of the fabric. I really am loving this kind of fabric lately, as it is just as easy to sew with as standard cotton, maybe even easier as it doesn’t move around at all when lining pieces up. It has great hold and structure and just makes it so enjoyable to use. I couldn’t wait to get my thinking cap on and decide what to make with it!

As mentioned, when I received this fabric we were currently in the throws of a major heatwave: think 40+ degrees!! As much as I love the warmer temperatures, being a redhead means this is a little too extreme for me, and luckily I could hide away at home with a fan whilst sewing – not a bad way to cope! It meant that I wanted to make something that would be ideal to wear in the heat, and played with the idea of shorts, but settled on a top. I decided to go with a pattern I had sewn once before – S8927, a Mimi G pattern for Simplicity. This pattern comes as a set which includes a skirt and cropped top combo, and the top is just what I was thinking – a cropped tie vest that buttons at the front, it is also the perfect stash busting project for fitting on 1m of 150cm wide fabric!

It is actually a really simple make, something I was surprised to discover when I first made it. You basically sew fronts and back together twice (so an outside and a lining) and then join them together, so sews up really quickly. I did make a couple of size adjustments on this version: I lengthened the bodice considerably, by roughly 11cm. Although designed to be cropped, my first version came up really short, even on me with a shorter torso, and means I will only wear it with very high waisted jeans. As it has a tie on the fronts and a dart on the back bodice, it did involve some jigsaw-ing. I cut the front piece just above the tie and added the extra length from there, making sure it lined up with the extended back piece, and then moved the dart to meet the lower back edge. This length suits me much better – although still with a little crop, it meets my natural waist, making it a more comfortable wear.

Do bear in mind that lengthening the pattern pieces means it uses up more fabric than the original, and I did have to cut my pieces slightly differently to get it to fit on the fabric I had. The fact that this wasn’t a fabric with a directional print meant I could do this easily – had it been then it might not have worked as well, or I may have had to use another fabric as lining, so something to consider.

Another adjustment I made was to shorten the straps by quite a bit (that shorter torso popping up again). Luckily it is easy to try on the top and adjust the ties to a suitable length before finishing, as when you sew the outside and lining together you leave a gap on each side for this very reason. Once fit is finalised, all that is needed is to add your buttons – how lucky that I had some already that are the perfect colour match!

I love how well the double gauze works with this pattern – it is cool and comfortable and very much needed during the hot weather! If you are after a simple and quick pattern I highly recommend this one, and definitely need to make more, especially as it’s a great way of using smaller amounts of fabric – I can imagine a colour/pattern block version would look amazing!