I like surplice styling. The diagonal line across the stomach has always been flattering. Even when I weighed 96 pounds ( that’s 4 pounds less than 100), I had a tummy. Now weighing about half again as much, I have a large inflated beach ball to contend with and that diagonal line is even more desirable. But I have a real issue with surplice styles. I’ve never had one that would stay closed. I was forever either grabbing the front of my top/dress or giving away free boob shots. I’ve always attributed the problem to not having much in the boob department. Even though that has improved over the years, the gaping front surplice closure did not. I’d even ask people what they did to keep their surplice closed. The replies boiled down to just pin it at the top. Well pinning at the top, didn’t keep it from billowing open lower down. True, I wasn’t making any boobs visible and with 2 layers of fabric, tummy wasn’t visible either. But I disliked the billowing and awkward draping. Multiple pins as in 6 or more, might close my surplice but then there were these “pulls” across the surplice. I tried stitching the surplice front down along the style line. that seemed to quadruple the bulk, make for a spot that didn’t dry in the laundry and difficult pressing sessions. While I was working, I really didn’t have the time to work out the issue; and I note that I may have had an ego problem. I felt the issue was something I was doing wrong rather something that should have been adjusted in the clothing and pattern. In the end, I just got tired of fussing with the surplice all day long trying to fix “my” problem. I banned all surplice styles from my wardrobe.
However, because of Stitcher’s Guild, I’ve seen some lovely surplice styles on women who’s body shapes were very similar to my own. Now retired and having the time to work out these kinds of issues, I’ve been asking again, “What do you do to keep the surplice closed?”. I’ve acquired a few surplice top patterns. Even tried one. I can say that one piece of advice I received “look for one that crosses above the waist” was a good step in the right direction. The problem with that particular pattern (which I no longer have and can’t provide the number) is that the surplices were completely faced. I made both styles, one which crossed just above the waist. Repeated pinning didn’t keep the surplice together. The other style was crossed at an Empire line. It might have been OK except being completely faced also made it very heavy, bulky and another laundry/ironing nightmare. But it did improve my outlook. Enough so that when I saw Ottobre 5/2008 Style 17. I put it in my que. It’s taken me this long to attempt this style and I share my experience HERE