Simplicity 1280: No Pinching!

By | March 17, 2016


Good grief, that was fast! I went from cutting to almost 3/4 finished in half a day. (And I’m a moderately slow sewer, so speed demons can really crank this one out!)

Maybe I’m just getting faster?

This is Simplicity 1280, in a bright green just in time to not get pinched on St. Patrick’s Day. The neckline is similar to the Butterick Lisette 6168 maxi dress I made recently. (BTW, thank you for all the feedback on the length! I’m going to listen to the crowd and keep it long, at least for awhile.) I liked the neckline on that dress, so was excited to try a slightly different version. Plus, I like the full, blousy styling. I think it will be a good fit with skinny jeans.

The fabric is a textured poly crepe from Hart’s. I originally bought it to make a dress — Vogue 9166 — but realized I already have a dress in this color (Vogue 8593). Even if I made a different style of dress, it still seemed redundant. I considered making sailor pants since this fabric could work as a bottomweight and has a nice little bit of stretch, but that seemed pretty questionable — especially since the fabric does have a lot of texture.


Butt texture? Perhaps not the sartorial statement I’d like to make.

Anybody else struggle with making separates when you technically have enough yardage to make a dress? I finally talked myself into the top since I’m pretty sure I’ll wear it a bunch — probably much more than a dress.

I found this pattern pretty easy to construct. I might just be getting better, but I do think this would be a good option for a beginner who’s looking to stretch just a bit. You get to make a narrow hem (on a long, straight line where it’s easy), attach a neckband, match up a few circles and notches, ease a sleeve cap, set in a sleeve, and make casings. I found that all the pieces went together easily and everything matched up as it should. (You know sometimes they don’t!)

A new skill that I picked up was setting in a sleeve in the flat. I’ve read about this, and always meant to try it, but I sew up the side seams without thinking. I actually remembered this time, so I gave it a whirl. To be honest, it didn’t seem that much easier than setting in a sleeve in the round. Still, the result is solid, and I did find it easy to manage the ease in the flat.

Another classic case of phone-butt

Another classic case of phone-butt

One note: the instructions call for you to stitch down the two front panels in a one-inch spot. I found that it created some weird bunching (perhaps because I cut the extra-small). I unpicked that stitching (it was easy to do from the underside) and found a better place for me to tack the two front panels together.

Bottom line: maybe wait until you can try the top on before you tack those two pieces together. On the other hand, I like that Simplicity included that step, instead of leaving the open front to blow in the wind. I’d actually recommend tacking down a 2.5 – 3″ section, since that’s where any questionable gaping could happen.

Wait... that's my not my top... those are just the fake internet cats I'm obsessed with!

Wait… that’s my not my top… those are just the fake internet cats I’m obsessed with!

The only other adjustment I made was to nix the elastic in the sleeve and narrow the entire sleeve. I tried it. It was not good. The sleeve ends right at about the same point as the top, so both blouse out at the same point on your body. My husband’s comment: “It’s like Princess Jasmine!” He meant it as a compliment, but I immediately grabbed my seam ripper at that point. I made a new seam about 1.5″ or 2″ from the original seam, and just cuffed the sleeves up. Much better!

No amount of editing can capture this glorious green!

No amount of editing can capture this glorious green!

Welcome to the club, my Conveniently Green for St. Patrick’s Day Blouse!

6 thoughts on “Simplicity 1280: No Pinching!

  1. Carmen

    That looks smashing on you! Great job. I think I have this pattern, too, so now you’ve motivated me to give it a go.

    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      As I pretty much always say to you: Do it! I can see this top really working for you!

  2. Jennifer A

    This looks great. I love the color on you. This pattern was my first blouse pattern I attempted since getting back into sewing. I can say it is great for beginners. I do think though it gave me too much confidence because I quickly learned setting sleeves isn’t as easy as this made me think it was. Haha 🙂

    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      That’s so funny, Jenn! I see so many people with the opposite problem of not enough sewing confidence, that it never crossed my mind that too much confidence would be just as much trouble!

  3. Margo

    Great top Sara! Love the color. I have trouble making smaller items like tops when I have enough yardage to make a dress….that’s probably why I make so many dresses. Maybe I have to cut back on how much I buy! Naw…

    1. Sara in Stitches Post author

      Agreed–you can’t cut back on the yardage. No matter how much yardage I buy of any given fabric, I always seem to need 20% more than what I expected. I sure there’s some theorem or principle that describes this…

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