The final top for my Pattern Review Wardrobe Contest entry is an oldie but a goodie – A remake of Simplicity 3536D. This was one of the first patterns I ever made, way back in 2011, and despite my imperfect sewing, I loved the top so much I wore the fabric past the point of being acceptable in public. That plus the wonky sewing of the collar made it the victim of a recent purge of the closet. But I missed it greatly, so I brought the pattern back out to make a new variation for this contest.
I actually made view B last year for the Sudoku Contest, but it came out much too large because I was paranoid about my body re-measurements at the time. In order to get these patterns made up in a better size, I’ve actually included all three views of this top in my plans for the Spring Sew Geeky Capsule Wardrobe, so hopefully views B and F will be showing up on the blog something in the next few months. Originally, I’d planned to use view B for this contest entry, but a fabric shortage made me jump from view B to view D for inclusion in this mini collection for the Pattern Review contest.
Here is my official pattern review:
S3536C Pattern Review – Wardrobe Entry #4
Wardrobe Contest Notes: This is the third of the three tops for the Wardrobe Contest. It is also part of my larger spring capsule wardrobe sewing plans, and my year-long “Sew Geeky” self-challenge. My inspiration for spring was Hunchback of Notre Dame, one of my favorite books/movies/stories from when I was young. I thought that the colors and decorated, curved neckline were indicative of the architecture that is critical to this story.
Pattern Description: Women’s top with several pattern options. I made view D – the sleeveless top with curved collar and ruching detail. This is my second time making this view, and my third time using this pattern. I’d like to re-make view B and try view F in the near future.
Pattern Sizing: Simplicity sizes 4-12 and 12-20. I made a size 12 and graded out to a size 14 at the hip. I also lengthened the pattern by 2 inches. For some reason all of the other views have sufficient length, but this one (C/D) is quite short.
Were the instructions easy to follow? For some reason I never realized that the instructions included a bit about using a serger vs. having only a straight stitch machine. I basically followed the construction order, but didn’t read the instructions too in depth because I’ve made it before and it is pretty simple.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the envelope once you were done with it? Yes, very much so! I love this pattern – everything comes out so great.
What did you particularly like or dislike about this pattern? Likes: Well, this is the second time I’ve made this top, so I love the style and fit. I think it is interesting and great looking. My first version got worn so much the fabric was starting to wear thin. I’ve also improved my skills and tools, so I used proper fused interfacing this time around, so the collar and front are more smooth and substantial. Dislikes: I have to find a halter top bra to wear with this top, and for some reason view C/D is stupidly short in the body (especially when compared with the other views in this pattern), which is easily fixable, but definitely caused me problems the first time around. It also made me add ridiculous amounts of length to every pattern I used for the first two years I sewed because I thought they were all as crazy short as this top. I’ve since learned – it’s not that I’m super tall, it’s just that this view of the pattern is super short.
Fabric used: Some sort of poly/cotton jersey I got from the Michael Levine Loft. It was a remnant piece with holes and missing segments, but I was able to get a top out of the scraps I rescued from the Loft bins.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added 2” of length because I like slightly longer tops for myself (and I don’t even think this is that long!). I used a coverstitch to do the hem and sleeve openings, a serger for the main construction, and my sewing machine to do the collar stitching. The only thing I’m not satisfied with is the collar topstitching – is is slightly skewed, but not enough that I wanted to rip out the entire collar and remake it.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? As this is my second version of this top, yes, I’ll definitely sew it again! I’m also probably going to sew all the other views as well. I highly recommend this pattern – it is one of my favorites! Totally worth tracking down an old version since it is now OOP.
Conclusion: I knew I’d like this top, and I do! I’m excited to mix some of my older (possibly TNT-ish patterns) in with new ones for this wardrobe challenge. I’m also really excited to have re-added this top to my wardrobe, as the first one got used so much it wore out! It’s a quick project, but has some nice details and is totally worth the efforts.