Sunday, June 23, 2013

Black, White, and Embellished: Simplicity 2371

The summer is heating up and I have been anticipating some steamy evenings spent at swim meets.  The best thing to wear on steamy days in my opinion is a loose woven top with sleeves.  So I searched through the pattern stash and decided on Simplicity 2371, a woven, pull-over tunic.
Simplicity 2371
The interesting thing about this pattern is that it does not use a bust dart, but has 3 shoulder darts instead.  The pattern is designed with 6" of ease (I mean really?) so for my 38" bust measurement, the back of the envelope says that's a size 16.  Slide down to the finished garment measurements and the finished bust size for the 16 is 44"!  Gigantic!!  So I decided to cut out a size 14, which had a 42" finished bust size.  4" of ease seemed much more reasonable.

Most times with Big 4 patterns, the shoulders tend to be too wide for me when I cut out the right bust size but with the shoulder darts on this pattern, I figured that if were the case, I could always increase the shoulder darts to make the shoulders narrower (and trim down the back piece afterwards).

So...Stitch ON!

I did a little stash-busting and chose a very lightweight cotton with black outlined roses that I purchased in India back in April 2012.

The pattern went together very easily.  The back piece is not cut on the fold, but has a CB seam instead.  I decided to keep the CB seam to conserve fabric.  Ordinarily I would have omitted it.

To snazz things up a bit, I added purchased black piping to the sleeves and dug out the embroidery floss to dress up the neckline.  The shoulder darts (or are they pleats?) disappeared in the pattern of the fabric and I wanted to highlight them.  So I divided my embroidery floss and used 3 of the 6 strands, and did a running stitch down the seams and back up them again.  They look a little wobbly, but I think I'm ok with it.  Around the neckline I did the same kind of running stitches in a square U shape around the neckline notch.  Once done, I felt it wasn't thick enough and needed to be more noticeable.  So I took out the embroidery floss again, laid a full strand over my hand stitches, set my machine to a narrow and pretty dense zig-zag stitch.  I zig-zagged over the embroidery floss following my hand stitching.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out.

So the neckline was embellished well and in keeping with my Indian influences, needed to add something else near the hem.  I used some 1/8" grosgrain ribbon and stitched it down 1.25" from the bottom hem.  Then I added a second row 1/2" above the first.

Here is the finished top, and I made a belt to go with it not bothering with a pattern.

So what do you think, belt or no belt?  I kind of like the belt although I feel a little karate-esque when wearing it.  Or does the belt detract from the rest of the top?

The shorts I'm wearing are also a new make.  I bought some cheap quality black jersey knit at Jo-Ann's (ie the only kind they had) and made a short version of New Look 6110 View A.  They are elastic waist, not-quite leggings with side seams.  I had some full length black leggings that I could wear with this top in cooler weather, but for summer, they would be too warm.

I cut a size 20 based on my hip measurement and took in the waist quite a bit, almost an inch at each side seam.  Super easy, and super comfy.  I just hope people won't think they are pajama bottoms when I wear them out.  :)

Here is the back view (lightened up so you can see).  I have really good luck with New Look pants.  Granted I haven't made many pants/shorts but the NL crotch curve seems to work really well on this pear shaped girl.  Has anyone else had similar luck?

There we have it!  An entire outfit done!



  1. Meigan, I have to drop in to say that I really love your sewing choices, both fabrics & patterns. I'm just getting back into sewing, and I will try your recommendation for NL pants patterns. I have that 2nd one you showed! Great job!

    Cherie in Phoenix

  2. This looks great. I love your embellishments on the top and the shorts are perfect with it. I think you and I are a similar size/shape. I have had good luck with NL, too. And Simplicity pants fit me great right out of the envelope.

    1. Thanks! I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes the NL pants. I will have to try some Simplicity ones too!

  3. I like it with the belt. I have this pattern and now I may have to make the shirt. Love your shirt

    1. Thanks! The reviews are mixed on belt vs. no belt. I like the definition that he belt gives, but I feel like I should be going to karate class. :)


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