Black, black, black. Oh how I love wearing you. You look so good on, but you do photograph poorly...
It's really difficult to see the details here, but this top (Butterick 5497) has that 80s vibe going on with the ruched shoulders and loose fitting upper bodice combined with a closer fit through the lower torso.
And of course the cut out back detail, although modified here, it's definitely an 80s trend revisited.
Which leads to my only dislike of this pattern. The back criss-cross is too low for me as evidenced by the little peek-a-boo of my undergarment.
Butterick's rating of "Easy" is right on with this top. For view B, which I sewed, there are only five pattern pieces.
My original plan was to sew view A, but I don't think I'd like to wear this top with a cami underneath and on me, that neckline would require one. Plus I only needed 1-1/4 yards of fabric for view B. I was pleasantly surprised at the neckline. Not too high and not too low. Perfect to wear as is or with a fabulous beaded necklace.
The back of the top is two separate pieces with a self facing. They overlap slightly at the lower edge and are secured in place at the back neck edge with a narrow neck binding.
I would suggest extending that neck binding (pattern piece 5) so it could be used to finish the front neck edge also instead of the turn under and stitch method as shown in the instructions.
I was surprised to learn that the ruching at the shoulders is created by inserting elastic into narrow casings. I guess if I would have known this had I taken time to read the description on the back side of the envelope.
The bodice is gathered front and back and sewn to the lower front and back pieces. Normally I would deviate from the instructions and sew the front bodice to the lower front and the back bodice to the lower back before sewing the side seams. But for this top you'll want to follow along as written.
Why? Because another narrow casing for elastic is created at that seam. I was going to skip that part, but was pleasantly surprised at how nicely that little bit of elastic helps hold the upper bodice in place.
Here's the top inside out so you can see the elastic casings at both the shoulder and the midriff seams.
After hemming the bottom and the sleeves this baby was done. Super duper simple.
Of course the fabric was wonderful. A black knit purchased from Treadle Yard Goods (and from their remnant bin no less). It has a nice drape to it which works beautifully with this design.
I still have no plans to sew view A, but view C will be making an appearance as the weather begins to cool. Wouldn't it be great with a pair of jeans tucked into boots? Oh, and if you'd like to see what view A looks like, check out The Mahogany Stylist's yellow version.