finished objects · Sewing

Simplicity 1805

I said I needed more tops!  Here is the first:

Pattern: Simplicity 1805, view F

Fabric: Leftover from a maxi dress I made last year.  This is a nylon/lycra knit with a lot of drape and stretch.

Notions: Double fold bias tape


I really like how this top came out.  This might be my favorite fabric ever, so I’m pleased I got to use up every bit!  I need more tops, and I’m trying to make that happen this month – we will see how it goes, as I get bored easily!

Although I like how it came out, the process was way difficult.  I ended up altering the directions for the neckline/sleeve treatment quite a bit.  Here is a closeup of that area (on the envelope it is made in black and impossible to see!)

First thing to know: you absolutely cannot wear a normal bra with this top.  The straps will show.   I’d recommend either a strapless or a camisole that looks like you’re exposing straps on purpose!

Second thing to know: the wrong side of your fabric will show.  I wouldn’t recommend a knit that is totally white on one side for that reason.

Third thing to know: Most of the pattern uses 3/8″ seam allowances, but I’m not clear if they all are that way.  I treated the entire top that way, and it worked out.  I used my serger for most of the construction.

Fourth thing to know: The instructions for the shoulders are odd.  They call for creating a self facing from the fabric, which is fine except that the holes are quite floppy and they aren’t sewn down.  The facing would constantly flip out (a review on Patternreview mentions this issue.)  I turned back the facing and then hemmed it.   That way it looks finished and I don’t have to worry.  This did change the way I dealt with the neck, leading to…

Fifth thing to know: The entire weight of the top hangs off that narrow neck binding.  The instructions call for self fabric with interfacing.  Now, I don’t have any knit interfacing, and even if I did I don’t think that binding is substantial enough to support all that weight.  I instead used plain old double fold bias tape, turned under to make a narrow edge.  I was worried about how it would look, but it’s fine, and this way the top won’t stretch.  My head fits through the neck opening easily, and I have a giant head!

Because I hemmed the shoulder openings before attaching the binding they are attached flat – I butted the openings next to each other and sewed them to the binding, attaching the shoulders to the top that way.  It worked fine, but it is not the way the pattern wanted them attached.

The openings fall to the front.  From the back it looks like puff sleeves.  I did not hem the top – I have a long torso and didn’t think to lengthen.  The sleeve hems themselves are a little narrow – the top has quite a lot of ease, so I cut the XXS.  I’d usually cut the small or XS, and I should have given a little more room in the upper arms, but oh well – it’s a knit!

I’m going to go ahead and recommend the pattern with my alterations.  I haven’t tried the other views, but they look simpler.  There are other patterns with cut out shoulders, but I haven’t seen any that are as drapey as these, which I prefer.  This is the first time I’ve used a bias tape on a knit (I know Amanda does this all the time!) and I’m surprised at how well it worked!

12 thoughts on “Simplicity 1805

  1. I love that top! I’ll have to try to find the pattern in my area. I’m not usually one to wear shirts with holes in the sleeves, but I think they’ve grown on me. I’ve seen them everywhere and they look cute!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your modifications! I am currently pulling out my hair trying to figure out the neck and reading about your idea of using double fold bias tape was like seeing the heavens open up and hearing the angels sing!! LOL! Thank you!

  3. I also say thanks for sharing your review! I am currently trying to figure the sleeves out! (it’s almost like things/areas are labeled wrong? idk) I wish there was a hotline you could call and some nice lady would answer and walk you right through the confusing directions! I chose to use a rayon material, one that looks the same on either right or wrong side (because of the sleeve issue and the material was so darn cute, and sooooft) however I am now thinking I need to use a knit – the sleeve is not stretchy at all and I am not a small girl. Personally I like to do a pattern piece and then use that for inspiration to play with the next similar piece and freehand it. At any rate – Thanks for sharing your experience!!!

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