A perfect summer ensemble

When I was asked to pattern test the Summer Solstice Bratop and Equinox Elastic Waist Skirt, I was thrilled. We were deep in winter and I needed to make something to reassure myself that summer was going to arrive eventually. dsc08367

This ensemble is a simple make and an easy wear. In the summer I love to pull on something that is cool and comfortable, but which looks a bit dressy, and this ticks all those boxes. It is designed by Coco Savage who has rebranded her business which is now called Naughty Bobbin Patterns. One of the things that I really like about her site is that the copy shop patterns are cheaper. I’ve never seen this before, and you can buy either print at home or copy shop. This makes the patterns very economical, for example, this pattern is $7.99 for print at home (I assume to cover the extra work that tiling patterns involves) or $5.99 for copy shop. It’s rare that anyone would want both, so it makes a lot of sense to me.

OK, back to the pattern.

The Equinox Skirt is a pull on skirt with an elastic waist, which has front and back darts to give it some shape and reduces the gathers that would otherwise occur. It is paired with the Summer Solstice bra top, which, as the name implies, has a built in bra, which is beautifully designed, as it provides comfort and is a really neat way of finishing the top.


I love the shape of the back, but to my dismay, all my photos had a bra strap showing. The pattern is designed to not show bra straps, but I managed it! I was going to retake the photos but I got a rather unfortunately shaped sunburn on my back and it looked worse than the bra strap. So take my word for it, whenever I’ve tried this top on I have not flashed a bra strap, except this once.  dsc08370

The fabric is a magnificent piece of  cotton knit that Mark bought me on one of his solo trips to Hobart. My only complaint is that it went totally off-grain when I prewashed it, meaning that I had to wrestle it back to some semblance of straight grain so that I could pattern match, and I was pleased to get all those stripes lined up.

One of the things I was rather chuffed with was my reverse coverstitching, especially round the back of the neck. Those curves weren’t that easy to accomplish! If I had my time over I would have used pale grey thread in the looper to emulate the silver stripes, but hey, the navy looks fine too.


So, what can I say about this pattern? Like the Presto Popover top, this ensemble is beautifully drafted with some very clever elements. I really like the way the bra doubled as the neck and armhole facing. The instructions are really clear and concise, and Coco makes suggestions along the way, such as using a double sided fusible web on the hems. I usually use a light interfacing (if I think of it), but I found a roll of the fusible tape in my stash and it really does make a difference. My hems are sharp and less prone to stretching out. I have used the tape on all my knit makes since I made this outfit!


So, this patterns arrives just in time for summer for those of us in the southern hemisphere, and it was lovely to sew something summery in the midst of the winter sewing. The pattern also includes a cap, which I haven’t managed to make yet, but if you want to see a fabulous example, head over to Meggipeg’s post.


29 thoughts on “A perfect summer ensemble

  1. This is a perfect summer ensemble and you look fantastic! Love that back detail!! Sounds like it is as comfortable to wear as it so stylishly looks. Double win! 🙂

  2. That looks gorgeous on you! Must remember to use my coverstich machine for more than basic hems- your topstitching really adds a beautiful finish!

  3. I love this ensemble and the pattern is downloading as I write this. After reading your blog post and Meggipeg’s post, I decided it would be perfect for a Queensland summer. The Presto top is a lovely pattern and I enjoyed not only making it but how well it turned out and fitted. I recently made a pledge to myself to not buy anymore PDF’s from Indie pattern company’s as I am tired of all the extra alterations you have to make. I have had a subscription with Burda for over 20 years and I can make something from their patterns and make my usual adjustments and presto, it works out. So you have tempted me out of this pledge as I know this will be a good quality pattern.

    1. I am so pleased you have the pattern Marjorie, it will suit you brilliantly. I have taken a pledge to not buy any patterns at all, so you’re doing better than I am!

  4. This is beautiful make. I do like the color and the combination suits you well. I really was surprised when you told me that Mark bought this fabric for you in your reaction on my comment on IG. What a great guy he is.

  5. Yes, perfect for your lovely climate. And who cares about bra straps, really? The straps coordinate with the coverstitching. And yes, using a light grey thread would have been the bees knees, but it looks great anyhow.

  6. A perfect outfit for your warmer weather, and if it’s anything like as good as the Preston it will be a winner. The fabric Mark chose is lovely – a fantastic colour!

  7. A gorgeous outfit, Sue! It does indeed look like the perfect little summer ensemble. I love the fabric you’ve used too; really lovely on you. You look amazing in blue 🙂

  8. Think summer has disappeared from Sydney. Love your “suit” – and the back is interesting as it doesn’t go too low.

  9. Really like this! Checked out her other patterns and they look really nice, too. Thanks for introducing me to a new designer!

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