So, my Micro-Mini Wardrobe plans got totally derailed during the month of September. Not because I wasn’t doing a lot of sewing (I was, actually), but because I spent the whole month fitting toiles (or mock ups or muslins, if you prefer). After feeling like I’d spent a lot of time accomplishing nothing and that all of my pattern adjusting was getting the best of me, I decided I needed a quick win before the month was out, so I brought out a TNT pattern, Simplicity 3536.
I’ve made this pattern three times before; I’ve made view B once, and view D twice. This time I decided to go with view A; it had always been a part of my September sewing plans since I thought it would work best for my mini work wardrobe plans.
I always like a cowl neck style, and I’ve always liked the tops I’ve made with this particular Simplicity pattern.
My favorite parts of this version are the gathering details at the sleeve cuffs and the hem. I feel like the photos came out looking super wrinkled because the lighting wasn’t the best, but in person I think it has a lovely draped look.
Pattern Description: Women’s knit top pattern with 6 options. I made view A – the cowl neck top with 3/4 sleeve and gathers at the hips and cuffs. Sadly, this pattern is OOP.
Pattern Sizing: The pattern comes in sizes (4-6-8-10-12) or (12-14-16-18-20). I made a size 14 at the shoulders, graded out to an 18 at the waist and a 20 at the hip. I also made a 1″ FBA and used approximately a size 18 at the fullest part of my bicep for the sleeve.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, this is a pretty easy pattern. I’ve made views B and D before, so it wasn’t my first time seeing the instructions or using the pattern. View A is probably the easiest view I’ve made thus far, though views E & F look like they might be even easier to construct. The instructions are interesting because they offer options for if you have a serger or if you only have a regular sewing machine.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it? Yes, definitely. This top has a low cowl neck and soft gathers at the sleeves and hips, so as long as you use a drapey fabric it should come out ok.
What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern? I love this pattern – it might be one of my favorite top patterns because it comes with so much variety in one envelope, and so far all of the styles I’ve made had turned out to be some of my favorite wardrobe items. I really like the style of view A – it’s easy to dress up or dress down, and I think you could make it in a wide range of knit fabrics and have it turn out well. I think the cowl on view A and B might be slightly too deep, but I do really love the use of the gathering on the sleeve cuffs – I think it is a really nice detail! One thing I will mention is that I think this pattern might have a more ease than most people would prefer for a knit pattern; I would suggest to measure the pattern tissue before choosing a size.
Fabric used: I used a rayon jersey fabric. I can’t remember where I got it, but based on the weirdly cut ends, I’m guessing it was a find from the Michael Levine Loft, or possibly something I ordered where I agreed to take whatever they had available to send me and not the full amount. Regardless, this is wonderfully soft fabric and I love it.
Pattern alterations or design changes you made: I made a 1″ FBA and added a bit of length to the pattern. I usually need to add 1/2-1″ of length to Simplicity patterns, so that’s a normal adjustment for me, as is the FBA. To do the FBA I added 1″ of length to the front pattern and sort of rounded out the side seam in the bust area, then eased that into the back while I was sewing it on my serger. It worked out pretty well because this fabric had nice stretch and recovery, and I think it made the fit really fantastic.
Would you sew this again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, absolutely! This is the fourth top I’ve made from this pattern, and I’d love to make some more. I might try to tweak the cowl to be slightly less deep, but otherwise I love the fit of this pattern. I also want to sew some more version of the other styles that come with this pattern in the future. I would definitely recommend this pattern to others as well; it’s a great knit top pattern with a lot of variety and clear instructions.
Conclusion: I love it! It’s one of my favorite shirt styles in one of my favorite colors in a wonderfully soft fabric. I made this because I was so frustrated at how slowly my patterning was going on several other projects and I needed a quick win (I’m working on a classic button front shirt and trousers, and both have gone through several pattern iterations and still need more adjustments…). This top definitely gave me the serotonin boost I needed to push forward with my other more time consuming projects, and I’ve also got a really great new top.
Is this top a “Triumph of Individual Style”? Yes, I think so! I think both the color and style are perfect for me, and I really love the fit. It’s definitely something I can wear to the office or to a party or just because, and I think it will get a lot of use in the wardrobe.