Who doesn’t love a co-ord these days?
That trend for matching tops and bottoms of the past few years is still going strong – you’d think the desire to recreate the childhood look of matching sets would’ve faded by now but I think the loungewear sets of lockdown has kept the trend alive!
I spotted the Simplicity 9114 pattern in the recent Simplicity sale and wondered if it’ll make for a good look this summer. It’s a Mimi G pattern with three items – a shirtdress, cropped cami and high waisted trousers. I wasn’t too fussed about the dress as it’s very similar to other patterns I had but I loved the idea of the matching top and trousers.
Admittedly I could’ve just used any two top and trousers patterns in the same fabric for a co-ord look but there was something about the shape of these two that really drew me. I’d also not tried any of the Mimi G for Simplicity patterns before so figured this would be a great time to try them!
The trouser has a tapered shape with pleats on the front and back dart for shaping. It has a front fly closure and in seam pockets. The crop top is a simple loose fit darted camisole.
I had a piece of 1/4” black and white yarn dyed cotton gingham that I thought would be great for this. I’d bought it in a closing down sale of a little indie fabric shop – an occurrence that’s unfortunately becoming the norm these days. The lightweight but relatively firm hand of the fabric I felt would work well for both a top and trouser for the summer.
Now annoyingly the sizing for a lot of Simplicity patterns puts me across the two sizing bands available. I’m just in the lower size for my top half and just into the upper size range for my lower half. It always makes picking a pattern size tricky! Usually I expect the sizing for a Big 4 pattern to run large so I opted to go with the lower size band. To be honest I always prefer to pick a range that can be used for my sisters too in case they ever need me to make them something!
To compensate, I planned to widen the seam allowance on the trousers side seam to accommodate some extra ease here as well as doing my normal crotch adjustments (lengthening the front crotch curve and a low seat adjustment). I didn’t feel like there was enough of a need to do a full grade though as there seemed to be enough ease built it.
I shortened everything, taking about 10cm off the length of the leg. I always make sure to do the leg length adjustments at the beginning rather than just hemming to fit so I don’t waste fabric! I also adjusted the waistband, adding extra length to accommodate the wider seams if needed the room and also to curve it. Straight waistbands rarely work on me and I find a curved one will always fit and look better.
(Note: to curve a waistband, I take out a little V shape in the centre back of the pattern piece and roughly where the side seams are. I smooth out the line and this creates a gentle curve)
I did a baste fit for the trouser and actually they worked really well. I didn’t need much of the extra allowance I’d added in so I probably could’ve gotten away with just cutting a straight 14 if I didn’t mind a slimmer fit. Overall, it was a pretty simple sew. I got a bit confused with their fly instructions mostly because I skim read them but to be honest I’ve sewn enough zip flys by now that it wasn’t much of an issue. After a while you kinda get a rough idea of where all the bits should go!
I added little belt loops so I could wear a skinny belt with them – not necessary for the fit, I just think it looks better!
I liked the trouser pattern more than I expected. I wouldn’t mind making a few more of them! I took them up even more by the end with a turned up hem and they just hit where I’d like. I could’ve taken a whole 15 cm off at the start though!
The crop top was a simple as expected. I ended up shortening this too even though it’s already on the short side. When I wore the two pieces together the top landed a bit too low and covered too much of the waist making me look overly round in the middle! (For a look like this I either want the top long enough to tuck in or short enough to show my narrow middle bits!)
The great thing about a set like this is that I’m going to be able to mix and match it with other items in the wardrobe so I’ll be able to get plenty of use out of it. I think it’ll be a staple piece for me this summer!