Believe it or not summer is coming. Since I have a goal of making the entire summer wardrobe of my kids, and myself if I get around to it. I thought I better get started. So today is layering piece #1 I love that it can be worn with pants and a shirt or sweater for cooler days, or worn as a dress, or with a pair of shorts on hot summer days. 
The lightweight linen makes a perfectly breezy summer top.

and it has some nice body to it, for the perfectly feminine form.

It is easy to make and is created based on the Abbey Dress and The Sweet Top.

To make the pattern:
Grab a shirt that fits well. Start just under the armpit and add width to the top so it has some body to it. I also put in a slight A-line
For the top bodice it will come across the chest at the neckline and put the curve in for the arm. The back bodice will be the same as this front bodice piece only I made mine an inch wider so it would have extra room to make it easy on and off.
Then to make your gathered front piece add a few inched to the top of the bodice piece and a little room out the side. (the dotted line in the picture above) Then I cut the gathered piece out first and cut the pattern down to size to cut the lining piece.
You will also cut 2 back bodice pieces one out of the outer fabric and one lining.
cut one skirt piece on the fold and 2 not on the fold.

Additionally I cut out two pockets, I just eyeballed the shape I wanted (you will see them later) Also 2 shoulder straps.

To sew the back bodice piece:
sew the two back bodice pieces right sides together along the top and sides leaving a space for the elastic. Then clip the curve and turn it right side out. Then sew below the top line creating an elastic casing. Then slide the elastic in and sew it at both ends to secure. Thats it for the back. 

For front bodice take taller piece and run a basting stitch down both sides and two strips down the middle. Then sew the two front pieces right sides together along the top edge. Then pull to gather the taller piece so it matches the lining piece. Then sew it in place along the same line that you gathered.

Last take your front and back pieces and sew them right sides together at the side (right under the arm curve) 

Take the back pieces and sew them together down the straight edge. Then line the pockets up on the right side of the skirt piece. Sew them to the skirt along the edge. Do this with the front and back skirt piece with all 4 pocket pieces. Make sure they all line up. Then flip the pocket out and topstitch along the seam. Then you should have two skirt pieces that have the pockets flipped outward, almost like little ears.

Then place the front and back skirt pieces together and sew along out side edge, sewing around the pockets.
Then when you turn it right side around the pockets should be perfectly in place, hidden in the dies seam.

Next sew the bodice to the skirt piece adding pleats where needed. 
Lastly sew your shoulder straps with them folded in half sew the top and one side to create a tube. Turn it right side out and sew the straps to the front and back of the top.
Lastly I dug through my button drawer and grabbed a few pairs of buttons and sewed them to the front of the bodice down the lines that were sewn in place.

That’s it. Now you have a sweet little top with pockets to hold all your little one’s treasures.

The sweet buttons and easy breezy fit will call out for summer.

But until summer arrives we will layer it with my new favorite cardigan, and it is perfect for spring.

Enjoy!