Simplicity 1916: another knock-off!

I’m at it again – making my own version of a too-expensive top! This one was kicked into action by the Pattern Review RTW Contest. I love Boden, and I’ve spent plenty of money on their clothes (their print fabrics are just fabulous and so unique), but when I spotted this basic jersey top-with-a-twist, I heard the familiar “I could make that” siren call in my head, so I saved the picture:

When the contest came around, I went hunting for a suitable pattern, and actually found it in my stash! Simplicity 1916 was one of their new spring patterns, and I bought it when it came out just because I liked it and then I promptly forgot about it. It’s basically perfect for this top. So here’s my version:

(Yes, I am trying to duplicate the original photo – hey, it’s a requirement of the contest! Also, I’m not sure why Boden paired a gray top with khakis, but I went with it.)

I really made very few modifications to the pattern. The base, with the pleated crossover top and center gathered lower front, was exactly like the Boden top. I used the pattern piece for the long sleeves and cut them off about 2 inches below the underarm. I was going to draft pieces for the twist overlay, but then I discovered a pattern piece for a midriff overlay on View F that was perfect! I cut two instead of one, stitched them into tubes and gathered the ends a little, then hooked them through each other and basted them onto the sides of the constructed front piece, basically splitting the midriff seam so the twist would cover it up. I probably should have cut the overlay pieces just a little longer than the pattern piece, since with the twist it pulls the back of the top a little tight across my back. The pattern calls for bias facing the neckline, but the Boden top clearly has a self facing that’s not stitched down. I tried to duplicate that by zigzagging clear elastic along the seam allowance and folding it under, but it wouldn’t stay put so I ended up twin-needling over it. The only fit modification I made was to pinch out an inch along the front neckline as an SBA.

I really like this pattern as itself, too, not just as a vehicle for a knock-off, and I’m sure I’ll make one without the twist overlay at some point as well. It went together really fast and easily, which is basically my only criteria for a winning pattern at this point. My pattern review/contest entry is here.

This was the last of the projects I had queued up for April, so believe it or not, I have actually returned to my sad, abandoned Minoru rain jacket and have made progress on it! I know, you’ll believe it when you see it. I’m thinking that by finally finishing it, it will prevent any rain from falling until October, giving me no opportunity to wear it until then. But I’m okay with that. Bring on the summer weather!

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16 comments
  1. You really nailed it. Nicely done. I’m off to vote for you!

  2. Perfection!! Love it. Congrats. And good luck in the contest.

  3. Oh no now I have found Boden. Thanks for adding to my eye candy sites. Sigh. :o) Nice knock off too ….. Good luck with the contest.

  4. very nice! That looks great on you! sewingforme.wordpress.com

  5. erin said:

    Lovely top, the twist looks very pretty. Thanks for explaining how you did it.

  6. Great job on the knock off! It’s a fun and flattering little top perfect for summer. I am in the process of making some summer go-to’s and am going to check out the pattern you used.

  7. So glad I checked with Pattern Review this afternoon when making Simplicity 1916 view F. I saw your review and picture and was immediately interested in the modifications that you made. The twist detail that you did is just what I needed for my new top. You are so smart! Thanks.

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