Pattern Review: Simplicity 1716

This should really be titled “Stripes Two Ways – Part II.”  I was looking at my teal striped knit and I couldn’t really decide which pattern I wanted to use.  So rather than make a choice I ended up making two different tops – one from Burda Style Magazine, and another from Simplicity 1716:

S1716 – I made view E (white drawing)

I was torn between making an oversized top or a drapey cowl neck, so I decided to make one of each.  The oversized Burda top is maybe a bit more fitted than expected (but I like it that way), and this one is perhaps a bit more drapey.  But that is ok too!  I am really happy with the fit on this top, and I am in love with the sleeves:

Striped flutter sleeve top!
Center back seam for the win!
(Yes, there is a center back seam – it is fantastic for hiding the swaybackedness.)
Underside of the lazy man’s narrow hem – serge, flip, stitch.  Neat and easy.
Pleats are used to create the cowl shape.  Not entirely sure
how I feel about the placement of the one at the bust though…
It either seems to sit too high or too low and creates pull lines
or bagginess under the bust.

Here is my official pattern review:

Pattern Description:  Knit top pattern with neckline, sleeve, and length options.  I made view E – a draped cowl neck in a tunic length with flutter sleeves.

Pattern Sizing:  Simplicity sizes (4-6-8-10-12) and (12-14-16-18-20).  I made a size 12 grading out to a size 14 over the hips.  I chose the size based on the full bust finished garment measurements given in the pattern envelope.

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes, I thought so.  The instructions even mention using binding to prevent the shoulder seams from stretching out and provide lots of clear illustrations.  You do have to bounce back to find instructions for how to insert the sleeves but I don’t think was particularly confusing.  Overall it was very straightforward.

Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it?  Yes, I thought the top looked very similar to the line drawing.  It looked a bit more drapey than the photo, but I think I usually need to use a size 10 in Simplicity, so perhaps the extra drape comes from using a slightly larger size than normal?  I like the amount of drape it has though, so I am pleased with it.

What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern?  Likes: I like the fact that this had a center back seam which gives it nice shaping.  I also like the fit of the pattern, ease of construction, and I think the sleeves look really cute!  I also like the extra-long length of the top.  Usually I have to add length, but not on this pattern.  My only dislike – I am not really a fan of where the lowest pleat lies on my body – it looks like an awkwardly placed bust dart.

Fabric used:  Mystery knit from the National City Swap Meet, most likely some sort of rayon?  It was nice to sew with, so now I just have to hope it doesn’t pill too badly after repeated washings.

Pattern alterations or design changes you made:  None.  I made view E exactly as drafted.

Would you sew this again?  Would you recommend it to others?  I might sew this again – I really like this top.  Actually, I think I might make a frankenpattern using the back and sleeves from this pattern, and using the front piece from McCall’s 6078 to remove the awkward bust dart that I don’t like. But, yes, I could see myself making more of these tops in the future.  I would recommend this pattern – easy to make and the fit was really great right out of the envelope.

Conclusion:  Overall I think this is a great pattern and very easy to put together.  It could look really classy in a black knit, or look cute and casual in a fun print.  I think it was a great choice for my teal striped knit.  Highly recommended!

I wore this top to a party – super comfy and I even got a few compliments!  I was a bit worried about the knit stretching out, but even a few excited puppies pawing at the cowl didn’t stretch the fabric out of shape, so I think this top will see heavy use in the rotation.  Definitely a great use of the few hours it took to stitch this together and my bargain priced swap meet fabric.

8 thoughts on “Pattern Review: Simplicity 1716

  1. I’m about to make this top. I can never figure out the sizing in these things. Can I ask what your bust measurements are? I wear a 36b and trying to decide between the 10 and 12…


    1. I’d go with the 10 if I were you. I wear a 34DD, but that is the difference between under bust and full bust. I have a 2 inch difference between my full and upper bust so I usually go with a C cup in sewing patterns if given the option. If I recall, this pattern was a bit looser on the fit so I’d go with the smaller size.


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