Occasionally everything comes together just right and I end up with a project that I'm really pleased with. Simplicity 1317 is one of those projects. I am thrilled with the way this top turned out.
After being disappointed in the Burda pattern from the last post, I turned my attention to this simple sweatshirt pattern from Simplicity. It's a raglan sleeve sweatshirt with a neckband, two sleeve options, and an optional hip band. It was the raglan sleeves that cinched it for me. I figured they would fit better and be more flattering than the dropped shoulders of the Burda top.
My fabric is this red and black ponte "scroll" from Hancock's. I love the colors and the pattern, and it has a nice beefy texture which seemed perfect for a dressy sweatshirt. It was a bit pricey at 19.99/yard, but it was on sale for 40% off and I only needed 1 yard for this project.
The sleeves and neckband are plain black ponte, also from Hancock's.
This pattern is sized XXS through XXL and I didn't really trust the back of the envelope. If I had gone by my measurements and made a size L, I think I would have been disappointed. Instead, I measured a favorite RTW sweatshirt and compared it to the pattern tissue. I decided to go with a Medium and just add a bit at the sides to give myself the extra ease needed to mimic the RTW shirt. Basically I used the M cutting line as my seam line and added 5/8" extra to the sides.
I also added 1.5" of length at the waist and another 1" to the hem. That allowed me to keep the deep, 2" hem allowance and have the top still be long enough to look nice and cover the top of my jeans. I shortened the sleeve by 5/8", not because I really needed to, but to fit the pattern piece on my fabric. The sleeves turned out just right.
I decided before cutting to eliminate the hem band. I felt that a plain, straight hem would be comfortable, flattering, and look more polished than a contrast band snugged up around my hips.
The pattern pieces are well drafted and go together very easily. In fact, I don't think I even looked at the instructions. The neckline seems wide once you sew the backs, fronts, and sleeves together, but the neckband is cut perfectly- you stretch it to fit the top while you sew and then it snugs up just right to lie perfectly flat. I added a row of topstitching close to the neckline seam to keep the allowance in place inside. (This is one of those patterns that changes to a 3/8" seam allowance at the neck- you have to watch out for that.) I love the finished neckline, too. It's wide enough to be comfortable and flattering, but you could easily layer another top, even a turtleneck underneath for extra warmth.
There is no waist shaping in this pattern. The sides are straight and the finished top is boxy. I like it, especially since that is the relaxed look I was going for, but I think I might like to make this again and experiment with nipping the waist in just a bit.
And I will be making this again. It's so easy and I like the finished top so much, how could I not? The Princess wants one, too. I am already on the lookout for my next fabric combination.