crafts · Sewing

FO: Simplicity 2614

Pattern: Simplicity 2614, view d

Fabric: Green mini-gingham pima cotton from Denver Fabrics

Notes: This is another item in my wardrobe that started with an inspiration garment.  I saw the Swathed Gingham blouse (below) at Anthropologie, and fell in love with the green gingham.

Realistically though, I don’t look good in things that wrap around the side, so I knew I wouldn’t be making a true copy.  Fashion advice always says “Everyone looks fabulous in a wrap top or dress!”  Well, I must be weird, because I don’t.  Having something tied at the side emphasizes the lack of difference  between my waist and bust, and makes me look like a big rectangle.  I do love the DKNY dress I made last month, but it’s a mock wrap with an empire waist, and ties in the front anyway.

I chose this pattern because I liked the versatility of it – I would make almost all of the views.  I also like how feminine the gathers and little puff sleeves are.  It wasn’t until I went to cut the pattern that I realized the back and lower front are cut on the bias.  This is to enable it to go over your head without a zipper.  It does work, but as I have mentioned before I am not a fan of bias cuts.  In this case it causes weird wrinkles in the back, which you can see above, though the front looks fine.  It looks like I need a swayback alteration, but I do not have a swayback (and I never get these wrinkles!)   If I made it again I would not cut it on the bias and add an underarm zip.   This is a very tiny gingham, so I didn’t bother to match up the print – I would have gone blind, and you can’t tell in this fabric anyway.  I did cut the top front piece on the fold, as I think a seam there would be unattractive (and made it harder to sew the v neckline!)

I am a B cup, and made the B cup pattern, but it is a little short in the bust – you can see in the pictures that the underbust seam is maybe half an inch too high.  Something to consider if you are making this pattern up – I am rather short from shoulder to waist, so it’s unusual for something to be short there.

All the reviews of this pattern said that the v neck was the most challenging part.  I’ve never sewn one before, so I looked up tutorials (of course!  I need photos!)  I used the method outlined here, and it was excellent.  I did sew with the 5/8″ seam allowance, and then cut it down to 1/4 inch with pinking shears afterward.  I clipped all the way to the stitching on the v.  It was hard, because I am still terrified of disaster every time I clip!  It looks really good I think, though there is a slight bobble where I didn’t overlap the stitching exactly on one side.  Not noticeable on this fabric.

I did a few things to simplify construction.  First, I did all the gathering with crochet thread and a wide zigzag stitch, and can I just say how I love this method?  Then I sewed the shirt together at the shoulders and sewed in the sleeves flat, before sewing the side seams.  I am a big fan of sewing in sleeves flat, especially with a gathered sleeve cap, where it will not be noticeable. I also did the facings (for which I used self fabric interfacing) before sewing the side seams, so that I could move the fabric around more.

There is an article in this month’s Threads magazine about weighting down narrow hems with thread, which made me happy because that’s what I’ve been doing (only with a serger instead.)  I serged the hem edges, then folded over once and topstitched down.  It looks very nice and neat from both sides.  I did the same on the sleeve hems and the bottom.

And of course I love my buttons!   I made a straight size 6, which as usual is smaller than they recommend, and it fits fine.  I could have maybe traced a size larger in the shoulders (this is a common alteration for me) but it doesn’t feel tight – I can just see that it would look a little better with another half inch in the shoulders.

Sorry for the weirdness of the photos  – when you resize a small print it gets wonky!  Anyway, I’m not sure I would make this pattern again.  I like my shirt, but I just don’t like the bias cut on the bottom and back… I feel like it doesn’t fit as well as I would like, and it doesn’t fit in the same way that every bias cut shirt or dress I’ve ever owned doesn’t fit. I can’t explain what it is about bias I don’t like – I think it’s how they are supposed to skim over curves.  Well, I don’t have a lot of curves, and I feel like when things skim I just look straight up and down, which is something I try to avoid.  But maybe I’m being harsh, as I often am when things are newly made!

22 thoughts on “FO: Simplicity 2614

  1. The blouse looks great! I know exactly what you mean abou the bias-cut-feel. I used Butterick 3385, a similar blouse pattern and I get the same feel.
    Your blouse turned out great and looks really good.

  2. I expect you are a little hard on yourself about the finished item because you are a careful person who takes some trouble to make it fit perfectly, so when it doesn’t, you notice. I am coming to the place where I trust my own instincts a little more than the pattern sometimes, and you knew the bias cut would be a problem, just like I knew that these pants I was making should be a size 14(European, but according to the envelope I was a size 18, and behold, I was right. I don’t know what it is about Burda patterns, but they consistently do this to me.

  3. this looks fabulous on you! (and trust me, no one but the maker would notice the back, it turned out perfectly in my eye 🙂

  4. I think this is super cute! I love your pop of red in the buttons. Bias cut garments usually need a more drapey fabric or else you get wrinkles. Although yours are pretty minimal and I’m sure nobody will notice. I’m like you in that I’m super critical of things freshly made. If they sit in the closet for a month or two I usually can’t remember what it was about them that made me so irritated.

  5. Very cute top! I wouldn’t worry about the back (I reckon photos accentuate wrinkles anyway!), the front looks perfect. And l do like your choice of red buttons, they make it zing and add a neat vintage feel.

    For bias cuts, stable fabrics and drapy fabrics give quite different results in the same pattern – I always made a completely different pattern for each fabric even if it was the same style. It can be hard to figure out where you need to add on/take in on bias garments, and sometimes I recommend unpicking the side seams and just seeing how it naturally hangs, and sew it how it wants to be sewn, if you know what I mean!

  6. This is great! Fab colour combo and nice detailing. I wouldn’t worry about the things that are niggling you, it looks great from an outsider’s perspective!

  7. I like this alot, I actually think this top flatters and accentuates your curves b/c of the way it is cut at the bottom. Just my 2 cents. 🙂

  8. Hi there – the blouse looks magnificent. I am discovering your blog and really appreciate your posts with the pictures and the details of your process. I don’t sew… yet! I really want to pick up sewing soon. You are thus an inspiration :).

    This blog is probably not the place for newbies to pick up beginners skills, but it’s a lot of fun to imagine what I could do.

  9. Hi –

    I’ve been lurking for a few months. Have enjoyed sharing in your knitting adventures, especially the bits dealing with combining machine and hand knitting within a garment, which is something I’d like to try. More recently, I’ve gotten a kick out of your jump into the deep end of the sewing pool. No playing around with beginner projects for you! 🙂 (I’ve been sewing clothing for my husband and self for mmmmm over 25 years, but knitting for just 3.)

    Anyway, I LOVE your gingham top, from the front. Like you, I felt disappointment when I saw the back, wanting it to look just as lovely as the front.

    You might try basting in two long vertical darts. See how much of a change you can make back there without effecting the beautiful flow of the front. Hope this idea is helpful to you.

  10. I think it looks nice too. I ended up with those same wrinkles in the back on that pattern. Like others have said, the top looks lovely and perhaps it just needs to be put in time out long enough for you to forget what bothered you so much about it in the first place.

  11. Very cute top. I don’t like bias cuts either — I always feel like I’m in a straight jacket! I’ve ignored the bias instructions before when making a garment, cut it on straight of grain, and found that I had to alter the side seams a bit to get a flattering fit, but it’s worth the trouble.

  12. I think this blouse looks very nice. I love the idea of re-making your wardrobe with handmade items that fit you perfectly!

    I commented a few weeks ago that you had inspired me to invest in a sewing machine, and I did! Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to invest in one from an actual store, but I found a hardly used Brother CE4000 on craigslist for a really good price. Now, suddenly because I can manage to (barely) stitch two pieces together, I have daydreams of making my own clothes. Keep posting so I can keep dreaming! 🙂

  13. I love it! And now I want that Anthropologie top! Thanks for the sizing info about it being short from shoulder to bust – sounds like I should make this top too. I also like the idea of not cutting the bottom on the bias and adding a zip. I have a RTW top that has those wrinkles – maybe it was cut on the bias as I usually don’t have those wrinkles either. Very interesting!!!

  14. I would never have noticed the wrinkles if you hadn’t pointed them out – I’d be too busy admiring that inspired button and fabric combination: those colours really bring out the best in each other!

  15. Again, really nice top. Everyone wants a figure they don’t have: you look very delicate & graceful & I wouldn’t be so hard on what nature gave, which is pretty nice.

  16. Cute! I’ve been looking for a pattern like this for awhile now to make up in an orange gingham and I love how yours looks in the green, although I hear you on the gingham [and I almost always need a swayback adjustment, though I’m often too lazy to make one, or rather have no idea how to and am too lazy to try to figure it out just yet]. Also have the same problem with wrap tops, I stay away from them like the plague, not sure what it is about them?

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