First, I didn't have enough fabric. I thought maybe I had them cut the wrong amount but after buying fabric to make another of these (I'll get to that later), I am thinking that the width of it must have been less than the normal 44". I'm not sure but after playing Tetris will all the pattern pieces, I know something was up and I've already started blocking that from my memory.
The zipper was easy to put in. I used this tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew. Definitely take care to put those teeth right at your seam. It's very important. I had a couple of problems with the collar and need to make some adjustments for some issues that you can't see in the photos. I'll have to rip part of it out and re-sew. It shouldn't take long. The sleeves in the original do not have the extra gathering detail you see in the photos. The directions expect you to ease the fabric -- even though they list several potential fabrics, few of which actually "ease." I solved the problem by adding the gather. Since I have small shoulders, a little poof on the sleeve is a good thing. I am proud of myself for making that work.
The most challenging part of the construction was the hem. Again with the ease! This fabric does not ease so I ended up cutting more of the interfacing fabric using the same pattern pieces, put right sides together and stitched it up. Then I clipped my curves like a maniac, turned and topstitched as directed. I ended up going in with my pinking shears and cutting the extra way down to about 1/4" because it was hanging funny.
Finally, the pattern for the belt did not make it long enough for my taste. My MIL suggested that I sew in a little snap and do a fake squareknot. I think that's a good idea but I doubt I'll actually get around to it. Overall, I love the this top. I think it fits perfectly, is very slimming, and very comfortable. And guess what? After all that hassle, I'm actually going to work with this pattern again. More on that tomorrow.
Thanks to Mr. Lemon for taking these pictures of me. We walked across the street because I thought the color of our neighbor's wall would look good with the shirt.