Hello readers! Welcome to another post focused on Simplicity patterns during Curvy Simplicity Week!
Today, I am sharing my thoughts on Simplicity 8137 in a navy blue crepe lined with black rayon.
Pattern name: Simplicity 8137; the pattern includes a top, dress (knee length and full length), and pants. I made the top.
Size range: 20W-28W
What size did you make? 28W
What are your measurements, height, and body type?
Body Shape: Hourglass with extra sand on the bottom.
Bra size: 44HH
*Note: I received this pattern free of charge in return for a review on the CSC.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
I narrowed the shoulders by 1 inch and did a large bicep adjustment of 3 inches as well as adding 1 inch to each side seam in order to give adequate room to the armscye for the bicep adjustment. After doing a quick tissue fit, I figured an FBA wasn’t necessary since the princess seams crossed the apex in the correct location, but narrowing the shoulder and a large bicep adjustment would be necessary. This is actually the least I’ve done for anything I’ve sewn up in a while from the Big 4. Simplicity patterns aren’t widely available in Canada and the shipping/duty charges tend not to make ordering from the website manageable so this is only the second time I have used a Simplicity pattern, but after seeing how few adjustments I needed, I will be asking my US friends to send me a couple of patterns in the future. I also have a few in my pattern stash that are untouched, but are probably going to go up in my sewing queue now!
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
The construction process went okay. The instructions were a bit…lacking. I looked over them several times, but didn’t see where it referred to actually sewing up the lining before you sew the lining to the bodice or sewing the side seams. They aren’t the kind of instructions for a beginner to follow, but I was okay. The pattern doesn’t have a difficulty rating, but I would place it in advanced beginner simply based on the instructions. With better instructions, there is nothing at all complicated with the design or construction and a beginner could complete it, but the missing parts would confuse them.
I decided to save time and not slip stitch the lining at the waist by hand during construction and simply treated the lining and main fabric as one piece in attaching the peplum to it. It worked out just fine, but is maybe not as neat of a look as the design intended. I finished all my seams on the serger.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your particular body shape?
I think the pattern fits pretty well! I do think it tends toward being wide and low in the v-neck. For someone who works in a conservative setting, this is a slight issue. I felt more comfortable wearing a camisole underneath the top as it does go quite low. The wrap top is fixed by snaps and the ties don’t actually have much function beside a design feature and a bit of cinching in at the waist. They don’t pull in the fronts as much as traditional wrap tops where they are affixed to the ends of the bodice and slipped through at the waist. That makes the construction a lot easier since they are sewn in at the side seams and waist but it doesn’t help keep the bodice v together like traditional wrap top designs. I think the wrap design is great for my body shape and would work for a lot of people since it goes in at the waist and flares at the hips adding a nice curve. Overall, the fit is really good except for the low front.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
I will make this again for sure. I will probably add another couple of snaps to this version to cinch in the front and make the v-neckline a bit less revealing. In future versions, I will raise the neckline, as well as add in extra snaps so that the v shape stays in place. I can see this becoming a staple in my wardrobe in both the top version and the dress version. I doubt I will make the pants, though, since my hips do go beyond the 28W sizing and I don’t really wear pants anyway. I can also see how this top would look nice with a pencil skirt or even a circle skirt on the bottom. So it works quite well with my wardrobe.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources (blog posts, fitting books, tutorials) that helped you sew this piece up?
I suggest you don’t sew this up as a novice (unless you have an intermediate sewing buddy to guide you) since the instructions are a bit confusing. You may want to raise the front v based on your own preferences.
Pattern Rating (1-5):
Size Range: 4
Construction Process: 4
Final Fit: 4.5
Overall Rating: 3.785 … 4 (Bumping it up since I think this is a little low for what the pattern deserves in spite of the missing parts in the instructions)
Overall, I really liked the pattern and was pleasantly surprised that Simplicity sizing works so well for me! I bumped up the rating because the fit was great out of the package without a lot of alterations. The design is flattering due to the princess seams, ties, and the flare of the peplum. The instructions are lacking a couple of details, but overall they shouldn’t stump an advanced beginner or above. I can see this becoming a wardrobe staple for me and think you’ll be seeing a full length dress version on me in the summer next year!