Another Sewing Challenge item down! Ok, so this was really a 2 item ensemble piece, but either way I get to cross another item off my Tim Gunn inspired list. Tim’s list included a “Sweatsuit Alternative” – an outfit that is easy going and comfortable but not a velour track suit or work out clothes or jeans and a t-shirt. At the beginning of summer I made my linen pants and I have finally made an easy but stylish top to go with them, Simplicity 2369:
This is one of Pattern Review’s Patterns of the Year (from 2009 I think?), and I can see why. It is awesome! I made view C, the tunic shirt, and it came out just incredible. The fit is fantastic and looks EXACTLY like the photograph, with practically no alterations. And it was super simple to sew together too. I don’t know why I kept putting it off, I made it in an evening, it took maybe four hours total, including tracing the pattern, cutting it out, sewing it, and taking a dinner break (energy is important for sewing!). Originally I wanted to use a solid magenta knit fabric, but I didn’t have enough (the sleeves use a lot of fabric), so I went with a similar color scheme in a print that I picked up from the Michael Levine Loft. So the total cost of this top (including the pattern) is probably less than $6. Oh, and I have more of the fabric left for another project. Sweet, no?
Ok, so here is a look at my top and the entire ensemble, complete with linen pants:
And here is my official pattern review:
Pattern Description: Tie front knit top and dress options, with pants. Sleeve options and length options on the dress. I made view C, the tunic top with the bell shaped sleeves.
Pattern Sizing: Simplicity sizes (8-10-12-14-16) or (16-18-20-22-24). I used a size 12 for the shoulder area, but graded out to a 14 near where I estimated the full bust to be and used a 14 down to the hem. There is practically no ease in the pattern, so sizing is easy to figure out and very accurate.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, super easy. There wasn’t anything too complicated, and I thought the layout of the instructions was pretty logical. The only thing I might change is sewing only the top sleeve seam, then attaching to the body of the top, and sewing the underarm seam and side seam all in one so I could use my serger. Otherwise the instructions were logical and straightforward.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it? Yes! Almost exactly! It is a great pattern and turns out exactly as you would imagine it.
What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern? Likes: I love the style and options, I love the accurate sizing, I love the easy instructions, and I love the shaping on the center back seam. It was quick and simple to put together and that was great as well. Dislikes: The front might be a tiny bit low for me. I think it hits exactly where it is supposed to (the same as the photograph) but I think if I wanted to make a more subdued version for work I would probably need to raise the neckline just a bit, or wear a tank top under it.
Fabric used: Mystery knit from Michael Levine Loft in LA. I would guess that it is some sort of poly/cotton/lycra blend, but I am not really sure. It was fairly stable, and didn’t ravel at all, but still had a decent amount of stretch on the crossgrain direction. It is remarkably stable for being as thin as it is.
Pattern alterations or design changed you made: I added an extra 1.5″ to the hem length, and then I only used a narrow hem instead of the 1.25″ hem instructed by the pattern. I always have to add length to tops from the Big4, and on this pattern the easiest way to do that was to just add length at the hem.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes! I would love to make more of these tops, and I even want to make some of the dresses from this pattern too! I really love this way this pattern fits, and it is so easy to put together. I am already trying to figure out what stash fabric I should use for more versions… The only thing I would change in the future is raising the top just a bit so it isn’t as low on me, and trying the different sleeve variations and maybe making one of the dresses. I think this pattern would be flattering on a lot of people (form fitting without being too revealing) so I would highly recommend it to others.
Conclusion: Fabulous pattern! I love everything about it and I really want to use it to make more tops and dresses in the future. Could easily become a TNT.
So there we have it – another sewing challenge item down. I know I have been planning on using a Butterick pattern to make myself a “day dress” but right now I am tempted to use view A from this pattern to make myself a knit dress for fall… I am very very tempted. Very tempted. And I could use it to cross off another Challenge item. That and I have some knits telling me they want to become shirts from the September Burda magazine sooner rather than later. Ah, yes, my immediate sewing plans, they have been de-railed. Maybe next week I can make myself a dress and another knit top and maybe even squeeze in some work on muslin #2 of my button down shirt before returning to the original plan of a skating dress tutorial. Hmmm. I will have to ponder this. And see what I have time to get cut out this week. Capricious and selfish sewing, I have missed you!