So here is my first top and review: Simplicity 1668. This is my favorite of the three I finished. I could wear it under a jacket, so it's not just a summer top.
Having read other reviews that this top was generous, I cut a size M with a L hip (increased front and back side seams starting at the waist and increasing out to 1 inch at bottom edge)
Rayon, purchased in Germany
I used the sewing machine for all construction. I used a 3-thread overlock stitch on my serger to finish the side seams, edge of neck facings and also the bottom edge before hemming. The arm holes are finished with a bias binding facing - I cut bias strips from my fabric instead of using packaged bias binding.
The front neck was a bit of a trouble. The first time I sewed it, it came out crooked, which I noticed when I went to attach the neck facing. Somehow one side was longer than the other. I actually wasn't surprised because there is potential for adding error when piecing the front shoulders, or my fabric could have shifted during cutting, or the 90-degree angled front neck edge may have not been sew correctly. I unpicked the seams and found that I'd sewn the front neck piece on a bit crooked so I fixed that and fudged the rest of the smaller differences. Problem solved - or at least it's not so obvious now.
The instructions for applying the bias tape to the armholes are brief and weren't enough for me. Actually I had an added problem because I was sewing this pattern as a Simplicity reprint in the German magazine "Meine Nähmode", so my instructions were translated into German (thankfully they kept the illustrations!). But that aside, I've actually never applied bias binding as a facing. I've used bias binding a lot as an edge finish in knits but in woven garments the neck is often finished with a facing piece and I haven't sewn sleeveless garments before, so this was a new technique for me. Some of my sewing books showed better instructions but ultimately a YouTube video made it all make sense. It turns out that it's very easy to do and makes a nice finish.
These might be new concepts for a beginner:
- Under stitching a facing
- Bias binding facings
- Sewing a 90-degree angle (just requires careful stitching and clipping)
- Check how things line up before you get too far along in the sewing.
- YouTube is a great source for learning sewing techniques
- Bias binding as facings are really nice, but make your own bias binding - the packaged stuff is just too stiff.
- I'm happy with the alterations I made.
I really like this top. There was a lot of "fiddly" construction but it was worth it in the end for the nice details: gathered detail on the front shoulders, gather bit at the neck front and the vent in the back. The fit is good and I think I nailed the fabric - a flowy rayon. Funny too that this was a remnant piece that I picked up for less than $7.
Yes, but use a flowy fabric and you might want to go down a size.