Ginger Made: Simplicity 1690

Hi, guys! Hope you’re well! I’ve been feeling really scatterbrained in the sewing room lately. After a string of duds, I set aside my slow-going projects and whipped up a quick top. Sometimes you just need to feel some sewing satisfaction instead of just plodding along, you know?

This is Simplicity 1690, a Leanne Marshall design. I bought the pattern because I thought the skirt would look cute on my little sister, but I think I’ll stick to sewing her things with an adjustable waist for the time being as the last skirt with a fitted waist that I made, well, didn’t fit (sewing long distance isn’t easy!). I liked the simple lines of this top, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Big 4 patterns often run big, in my experience, so I checked the finished measurements before cutting. Lo and behold, it runs true to size! I’ve heard that the designer patterns sometimes do- has that been your experience? I wanted to use French seams, but the pattern has splits at the side hem, so I just turned and stitched the seam allowances to finish them. The neckline is finished with a bias facing- you fold the bias binding in half, match it to the raw edge of the neckline, stitch, and then press the whole thing underneath before topstitching it down. I really liked this- it’s a tidy, clean finish, but without all the tedious fiddling around you have to do with a bound neckline. The bias loop was too long for my neckline, though, so I had to shorten it, but maybe I stretched it out too much with handling.  I thought the pattern looked short, so I lengthened it by 2″, which might have been too much. Next time I think I’ll reduce that by 1″.

The fabric is a cotton-silk blend, and it’s really special to me because it was a gift from Stephanie! She sent it to me with the yarn for my grandpa cardigan and a few other goodies. I really like the abstract print, and it feels really nice on my skin. I’ve had it in my stash for a while, so I’m really happy to be wearing it instead of hoarding it.  The only thing that’s kind of weird is that the print sort of… flattens me? See what I mean? It looks like the shirt hangs straight down from my shoulders! I promise I’m not really THAT flat! But I’m guessing that wearing a longish necklace would sort that out. 🙂

I really, really like this top and would love to make a few more. It’s easy to wear, and the neckline is really flattering, in my opinion. Plus it’s a quick make and doesn’t take much fabric. Hooray for easy sewing!

I think I’m walking on an invisible tight rope here?

A few more items of business: first of all, the Felt Dogs giveaway winner, chosen by random.org, is Show and Tell Meg! I’m a little worried that my mom, an avid corgi-ist, will be inspired to do like Meg and make a corgi out of corgi!  😉

Next up, there’s still time to sign up for my sewing class and for the Sewing Swap Meet & Party! I have it on good authority that Gail will be in town and attending the party- I can’t wait to meet her!

Finally, I shared this photo on Twitter, but I was tickled pink when my mother-in-law sent me a pic of this dress:

It’s a dead ringer for the dress Megan wore in the season premiere Sunday night! She’s had it since 1969! Pretty cool, huh?

Well, that’s all, folks! What are you up to these days? Any special sewing on the docket?

103 responses

    • It’s so cool that she has that dress, especially because she’s not a sentimental person who hangs onto everything- this is the one dress from that era that she still has! I had a DEBACLE with the Grainline Hemlock tee- doesn’t work for my shape, totally botched the neck binding (that I serged on, oof), couldn’t get my stretchy, meshy fabric to take any sort of hem at all. I ended up just chucking it completely. I’m also working on a plaid buttondown for my dude, but the cheap fabric has major grain issues and no matter what I do, it wibbles and wobbles out of grain and I can’t get it to match up right. I’m treating it as a wearable muslin, buuuuuut it’s really hard to make yourself sew cuff plackets and collars onto something you suspect might not get worn.

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  1. Wow! What an amazing dress to have in the closet! Simple is good too and I like your top. I’m sewing my first item of clothing (a Lonsdale dress) in about 15 years and so enjoying it. I blogged about my progress yesterday and that gave me the push to crack on today.

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  2. I would have totally overlooked this shirt. The cover art makes the pattern look like a dress. I do love a loose top so I’m glad you discovered this pattern. Looks great on you.

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  3. That dress is pretty much identical!! What a great find. Oh and I love the fabric of your top. It looks like a great, very wearable pattern 🙂

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  4. Great top! I need more basics like this. I’m going to try that bias finishing method too, it sounds super speedy. I’ve got a bit of sewing scatterbrain too, some simple projects are a good idea to knock it away!

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  5. Pretty top, isn’t silk/cotton wonderful? I think it’s so cool that your mother in law kept that dress, and amazing that it’s exactly the same as Megan’s. I’ve finally been working on making some t-shirts. Don’t know why I didn’t do it before, I think I’m going to get addicted!

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  6. that’s a really cool top, and the print is spectacular.. recently i realised i really need to make more of that kind of simple tops..
    also – really loved that dress megan wore at premiere episode, so cool to see a real 1969 version of it!

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    • I don’t know why I’ve never made a top like this before- I can totally see myself living in these! Steph has such great taste in prints. I’m thrilled that she gave this to me!

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  7. the top is great. i have found that the more simple the better these days. are you doing memademay? if so something like this is the perfect thing to be whipping out these days.

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  8. Cute top, GInger, and I have to say, my type of ideal project as it is something I could see myself reaching for all the time. You are going to enjoy meeting Gail – she’s the best! No special sewing going here these days. I’ve had visitors, one after the other, since mid March and the last group won’t leave until the end of April so my time in the sewing room has been nil. Knitting, on the other hand, I have been doing lots of.

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  9. My goodness what a great dress from 1969 and it looks exactly the same as the one on Megan (whoever she is? Mad Men?) I love your top as well. I’m doing easy makes at the moment as well!

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  10. Hoorah for easy sewing indeed! Lovely top, you look fab.
    Gawd, I wish my mother-in-law would unearth a gem like that gorgeous Megan dress, sadly I don’t think there’s anything of that calibre lurking in her closet! x

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  11. Easy sewing win! I love the print but it does weird things to my eyes after a while (or I’m too tired!). My MIL is never going to unearth anything gem like I’m afraid so I shall live vicariously!

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  12. I hear you about a simple project every now and then! I hope this top welcomes in the warm weather. And, oh my goodness, that dress! How amazing that your mother-in-law has the same one AND that Mad Men got it so right!

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  13. no matter how much i love very involved and detailed sewing (like jackets and shirts), sometimes a simple project is just the best! i’m sure you’ll get a ton of wear from this too!

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  14. Hooray for easy sewing indeed! It’s great to have a pick-me-up quick project. I wish I could do that in between other more complicated projects. I’m too obsessive I think! Must work on that for the sanity of all involved.

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  15. Oooh, I like your new top! I was just at JoAnn’s yesterday and looked at that pattern, then put it back. Might have to have another look!

    Can’t wait to see you in a couple weeks! Squee!

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  16. Such cute top (I have a major weakness for black and white prints)! You gotta love it when a top comes out the size it says it is on the envelope ;)! Like you mentioned it would look great with a necklace, but I like the way you styled it here too. It’s nice to keep things simple with a statement print.
    Wow! That really does look like exactly the same dress (that Megan wore)! Janie Bryant could have bought it at a thrift store, perhaps it’s another copy of the same RTW dress…Very cool indded!

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  17. I do love a nice kimono sleeve top, especially to get ones mojo back. It looks great – such a simple chic pattern. I’m almost finished my 4th or 5th pair of Elle pants (style arc) in an awesome lace brocade. Love it!

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  18. Hi NYC bestie! Love this cute top – sometimes it’s so nice to make something a bit more straightforward that will give you that sewing buzz – plus those straightforward makes are often the ones that get most wear. You look like a gal I want to take out, so let’s go to the Trash Bar and get some free Tequila off of M(n)ick. Miss you and hope Doug is feeling brighter today xxxx

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    • Oh, Mick… I bet he misses us! Doug is feeling better- he’s been cheered by all the fancy snackies I’ve been giving him! He can’t have any solid food, so he’s getting his favorite things blended up, ha!

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  19. I think this is a great and versatile top! I would love to grab a copy of this pattern and add it to my list of things to sew. I should probably check to make sure I don’t have something similar first… Anyway, really wonderful top!!!

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  20. “Easy sewing” garments are not only the most rewarding but also, in my experience, the most wearable. How many times do we put on our fancy dresses? A top like this is irreplaceable!

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    • Most of my fancy dresses have only been worn once! It’s a shame, really. I need to make more wearable clothes with precious fabrics- I tend to save my favorite fabrics for special items, but then I never get to wear them!

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  21. Cute top! And OMG I’m going to be in NYC the weekend that the swap meet party is on! Not sure about lugging fabric to swap halfway round the world, but I reckon I could bring a few patterns!

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  22. Really cute top and such a useful and wearable shape in a nice print too! I’ve just ordered a really similar looking pattern in a recent big 4 pattern sale, but the last patterns I ordered from BMV took 6 months to reach me coz they’d been on a detour to Sao Paolo!

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  23. i keep going for the simple tops lately (not that i don’t like a good sewing challenge–i do!) because they are quick and get worn all the time. love the fabric you used here, it would look great with some bright pants too! how awesome about the mad men dress… what are the odds?!

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  24. I reeally like your top — so much that I had to go check out this pattern on Simplicity. I know it’s a simple kimono sleeve top, but it looks like it’s shaped nicely and you chose a very cool print for it. Definitely high ROI with makes like this. 🙂 And that’s so wild about the Mad Men dress — how cool!!

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  25. That’s a great top! I’m so glad you were finally able to get something sewn after your duds. That is the worst feeling in the world when one thing after another just mocks you. Anyway, I love this! I could totally see it being worth repeating in a variety of ways. That’s a really flattering neckline on you, too!

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  26. I totally see what you mean about quick projects! How long did this one take you? Have you already done it?
    I’m truly amazed your mother has kept this garment for so long!! I’m not sure there will be anything I currently wear in 30 years time 🙂

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  27. Great top! I’ve made it a couple times and it doesn’t disappoint 🙂 I like the print of your fabric a lot – what a great gift from the lovely Stephanie! And the Megan Draper dress – WOWza! Super cool! Just like you 😉

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  28. This top looks lovely on you. I’ve had a few sewing disasters lately, including a woven t-shirt thing which I somehow cut out about two sizes too small and became trapped in. Glad to know it happens to others as well 🙂

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  29. What a great top, simple and clean. But can I ask-if a pattern is out there on the market, why are there errors (like the neckline issue)–?? I find this time and time again with mass market patterns and it irritates me so much, I mean how hard is it to have them tested?! ugh Now the dress, (Meagan) is truly amazing–that makes me smile so much…..How fabulous! I bet she’ll keep it forever now right? ;D xoxo

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    • I’ve made the top, and when I pinned the the bias binding the first time, I also thought it was too long. I then re-pinned it using my even distribution method, – ends, middle, middles of the new middles, and it worked out fine.
      Love this top on you Ginger! It is the reason I bought the pattern. I am always looking for a good boat neck pattern. I now also love Leanne, because the details (like the new to me binding technique and the side slits) were so nice for a simple and lovely woven top.
      Does your MIL watch Mad Men? Did she about die when she saw Megan in her dress?? 🙂

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      • I think I may have just handled it too much before pinning and stretched it out- the fabric is reallllly lightweight! I really like that binding technique, too. It’s so clean and so simple!

        Yep, my mom-in-law watches Mad Men. She was SHOCKED when she saw the dress! She wore it to a county fair queen pageant. 🙂

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