Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Simplicity 1916 Pattern Review

2015 PR Best Patterns of 2012-2014
Pattern Description:
Misses' knit wrap top with sleeve variations.

(For contest entry)
1. Why do you think this was voted one of the Best Patterns?
It is a very cute shirt. I'm sure many people like the style and it's fairly easy to make.

2. Would you have made this pattern if it was NOT voted one of the top patterns of the year?
Yes, I planned on making this pattern for myself for a while. I already made it for my mom a few years ago, which was a little big for her. It's on my blog if you are interested in looking at it.

3. How did you make your version of this pattern unique?
I added sleeves to the style (F) and added some modesty to the top.
4. Pattern Sizing:
I used size 10, view F with E's sleeves.

5. Did you find the sizing accurate compared to the measurements listed on the pattern?
I made this shirt for my mom a few years ago. I went according to my measurements (size 12), then added one size (14--since she was a little bigger than me), which was too big for her. So I figured if I went down one size for myself, it would be perfect. That's how I came to the conclusion for using size 10. According to the sizing on the pattern, I would have been size 12. It was a little snug, mostly under the arms, so maybe I should have stuck with 12. You can view my mom’s shirt I made her here.

6. What fabric and trims did you use? What was the source of your fabric and trims?
I'm really not sure exactly what kind of fabric I used, other than it stretches. It is a tight-weave, thick stretch knit. It reminds me of a performance fabric or swimwear fabric, so it could possibly be a nylon/spandex mix.
I bought it at Joann's red tag table a few years ago.

7. Describe how you used the pattern instructions. Did you follow the instructions literally, did you figure out how to assemble on your own, or a combination of instructions plus own experience? Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, they were easy to follow but I would change how to do it next time.
I followed the instructions literally, but with adding the sleeves, I had to omit the binding around the sleeves, of course.
The instructions say to first gather the band (13), then gather the front end (14). It causes a lot of bulk. Next time I will gather them together at the same time. Plus, it's easier to center the gathering once it's all put together rather than before sewing on the bottom front.

8. Pattern alterations or any design changes you made and discuss whether alternations were for fit or for design:
Many alterations--for fit, not design. I was afraid of the top being too low cut for me, so when I read that many of the reviews stated that it was too low cut and one reviewer added 1 1/2" to the front top and shoulders, I decided to copy her. Because I added that much to the shoulders, I needed to also add that much to the back piece. I tried it on after each step to make sure it would fit and if I needed to make any alterations, it would be easier as I went instead of when I completed. It seemed like it would fit okay, but after sewing the bottom front to the top front, it did not fit in the bust. If I had a huge bust, it would have been fine. Otherwise I was "swimming" in it. I tried taking in (using a basting stitch) some at the shoulders and it did not look good at all because of the way the instructions have us putting on the binding all around. Plus, it caused the underarms to be too close for comfort. I finally decided to take out the seam from the top and bottom front pieces and sew the bottom piece up 1 1/2" above the bottom of the top piece (tapering it). It finally fit after that, but with a lot of frustration of getting the pieces to line up. I also had to add another pleat to the top pieces.

9. What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I liked that the instructions were easy, but I did not like how it pieced together in the front. It was difficult to get the two front pieces centered. I'd rather deal with gathering than pleats.

10. Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, I would sew it again but not before making more alterations to the pattern. Next time I make this top, I will take off 1 1/2" from the bottom of the top piece (piece #10) and add a pleat so that it will be easier to construct. I wonder if I had not added the 1 1/2" originally to the top part, if it would have fit better.
It was also a little snug under the arms, so I will be adding 1/2" to the front sides and band (#13).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Somewhat. I changed it a bit by adding sleeves to view F. The pleats didn't really show up as they do on the pattern picture. The fabric that I used does not hang well, so the sleeves aren't as gathered-looking as in the pattern photo. I'm sure if I use a lighter fabric, they will be fine.


The pattern is perfect for women with big busts and small waists. Otherwise, there's lots of alterations needed. I recommend making a muslin first. My kids liked it, my husband said it looked store bought.
I have tired eyes. It was 9:30 pm, I’d been working on the darn thing for 6-7 hours!