Feeling Groovy! The Simplicity Blogger Challenge

Simplicity blogger challengeWhen Simplicity announced free patterns for people entering their Star Sewist competition I was there in a minute! I have been looking around for some woven tops for summer and this vintage reproduction pattern Simplicity 1364  was part of the challenge.

1364_env_frontI really like the french dart feature, but I was surprised when I realised that the pattern features a zipper at the back. I didn’t love the idea of a zip on a top so I decided to change the pattern to feature a button band instead.Simplicity 1364For the fabric I wanted something that was inspired by the 60s but without looking too costume-y. When I think of the 60s, I think of amazing colours and prints and I found a few fabric inspirations online. 60s coloursAt the Leeds meet-up I found this lovely cotton at B&M Fabrics. I am not absolutely certain of the content of the fabric, it is a very soft and lightweight cotton which may be mixed with another fibre. I love the mix of colours and I think the splashes of orange and the slightly paisley shapes of the print have a really 60s vibe.Simplicity 1364I started by cutting out a size 14, based on my measurements. The pattern includes 4 inches of ease at the bust and this made the 14 look really boxy on me and there was too much fabric at the bust.  I tried again with a size 12 and this worked at the bust, but I needed to grade out to the size 14 at the waist and towards the hip. I still had some tightness around the armscye once the sleeve was on so I added a broad back adjustment. I folded out some of the fullness on the sleeve cap (I have a tiny pleat  but the original sleeve head required more gathering to ease it in which looked a bit puffy). To make the button bands I simply added about an inch to the centre back pieces and interfaced each side to strengthen the fabric.

When I finally came to cut my fabric after working out all the changes I realised that it was very narrow – it was only about 90cm wide and this meant that I barely had space to fit all the pieces on! I had to cut the top slightly shorter giving a more cropped look and I couldn’t fit the full length sleeve. I also ditched the facings and replaced them with bias binding made out of the remnants of the fabric – I much prefer a bias finish to a facing so this wasn’t a great loss!

Simplicity 1364I used french seams throughout as the fabric was very soft and a little prone to fraying.

Simplicity blogger challenge

The actual sewing was really straightforward after I had adjusted the fit. I love the french darts – they give a subtle shape – they are almost impossible to see in this print but I really like the final effect.

Simplicity 1364 After finishing the button band I realised that in fact I can get in and out of the top without undoing any of the buttons as the neckline is quite wide, so at least I don’t have to worry about how I will manage to reach them all!

I hand stitched the binding at the neckline and the hem and I am really pleased with the finished top.

Simplicity 1364I have plans for a cropped version to wear with my Chardon skirts  and one or two sleeveless ones for whenever summer makes it this far north…

So who else has tried this pattern for the challenge? I have seen a few of the New Look 6145 dresses but only one or two versions of this top so far – there is still time to get your pattern and enter!

 

 

 

 

 

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31 Comments Add yours

  1. Chris says:

    That’s just a GREAT top! Love the fabric and the neckline and the sleeve length. I’m making most of my tops to look very similar to this, except usually in a solid color knit. In California, I can wear them for summer or winter – adding a cardigan or jacket in winter.

    Like

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – I have made lots of knit tops since I got my overlocker so it has been good for me to try something a bit different!
      Louise

      Like

  2. Thimberlina says:

    Good luck with the comp! I was tempted to enter, the section with the dress, but then bottled it!
    Yours looks fab, so neat! And I love how the darts disappear into the fabric. Good luck!

    Like

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I figured it was worth a go – I don’t expect to win or anything like that but I liked the pattern and it was fun to think about making it my own

      Louise

      Liked by 1 person

  3. nanacathy2 says:

    A very pretty top, and the fabric could easily have come from the 60’s.

    Like

  4. Absolutely love it! Great fabric and the button band back was a great change.

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I didn’t love the idea of a zip but I really like the buttons! you could probably wear this top without any closure another back as the neck is wide

      Louise

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  5. It looks great. I’m keen to give french darts a try as they look like they give a really good fit. How did you go about converting the back into a button band?

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! It was easy to make the button band – there is already a centre back seam allowance for the zip so I just added an extra inch to each side – folded under quarter of an inch at the edge and added a strip of interfacing to strengthen the fabric. The folded over again and measured out even spaces for the buttons!

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      1. Genius! I’ve been thinking about converting the Belcarra to include buttons down the back, but the maths was giving me brain ache!

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      2. notsewsimple says:

        I made a snip where the original seamline would have been so I didnt end up too far away from there – you could do it on any top – it allows a bit more ease around the hip as well if you don’t button all the way down!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the top, it fits the vintage theme while still looking very modern. I’ve got the pattern but haven’t got around to doing it yet. I was a bit concerned about the zip as I’m using a very fine cotton. I think I’ll just baste the back seam and see if I can wriggle in and out of it! I need to get a move on though if I’m going to make the deadline!

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! It is a cute top – I think you can wriggle in and out without any fastening at the back as it isn’t too close fitting. Looking forward to seeing what you make!

      Like

  7. Colesworth says:

    love that fabric, especially with the purple buttons down the back ;o)

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I love the colours of the fabric and the abstract patterns. It is really soft as well!

      Louise

      Like

  8. Lynne says:

    This is gorgeous! I love the fabric and the button back, what a great idea.

    Like

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! I’m really pleased with how it turned out!

      Like

  9. Nice! You picked the perfect fabric. It looks lovely on you! I would love to have a button back top, but then again I wouldn’t want to have to button it up all the time!

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Luckily the top isn’t too fitted so you can actually get it on without having to undo the buttons at all!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the look of the buttons at the back its a great finish. Good luck in the competition.

    Like

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – it’s a really versatile pattern!

      Like

  11. Great fabric choice and I like the change to the button band.

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    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou! It was really easy to do – though you can get away without any closures

      Louise

      Like

  12. Nicky B says:

    Well done. The fabric is fantastic & I love the button band:D

    Like

  13. scruffybadger says:

    Such a great blouse and I adore the fabric too! I hope you don’t mind but I shall be writing up a round up on my blog & linking to you, your pic and your blog post, hope that’s OK 🙂

    Like

    1. notsewsimple says:

      Thankyou – I would be delighted to be included in a round up!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. scruffybadger says:

        Great. I’ll be perfect reading over Sunday brunch!!

        Liked by 1 person

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