Simplicity 1716 – a cowly win!

It may be (just slightly) clear at this point that I enjoy a cowl neckline. While I do like the sew-on-a-tube variety of cowl, my favorite is the all-in-one-drapey-bodice type cowl (is it called a “cut-on cowl? I think it is). I have a couple of this type of shirt from Gap a few years ago that I love, and I’ve been on the hunt for a pattern to make more. I like McCall’s 6078 (oh, it’s out of print now! Sad.), but it’s sleeveless (could I add sleeves? Well, yes – in fact, I did once) and the cowl is a little lower than I like. Enter Simplicity 1716. And you know, it’s pretty perfect.

Simplicity 1716I had my eye on this pattern since it was released in the fall, and even though I was excited to try it, other projects kept pushing it down the queue. I actually cut it out back in December, but ran out of time before the holidays so I didn’t sew it up until the new year. But once I finally sat down to sew, I had a shirt in about an hour. Easy but not boring is my absolute favorite combination! A couple of pleats at the shoulder, back neckline finish, then just sleeves and side seams. I omitted the strange additional pleat that comes out of the armscye (I just folded it out of the pattern before I cut) because I thought it was odd and I don’t need the extra room in the bust (plus one less pleat to sew!). Bonus points: it fit well with no adjustments (cutting my regular 10-grade-to-12). And it’s really long, something I like in a top.

There’s not much more to say about this one, but it’s a keeper! I will certainly make another of these (maybe a couple) and I’ll give the weird twisty neckline variation a try at some point (even though some clever blogger that I can’t place right now thought it looked like the neckline was eating the model’s head, and now that’s all I can think of when I see the pattern envelope… still, might be worth the risk of head-consumption).

My pattern review can be found here.

Oh, yeah, and about the fabric: this is another piece I dug from the bins at Michael Levine Loft back in November, just a regular ol’ cotton-lycra jersey that was a pretty color and had a nice hand. Or so I thought. Those wrinkles you see in the picture if you zoom in (or, really, just look closely)? They’re permanent. Although it looks like I’ve just left the shirt at the bottom of a pile of dirty clothes for a week, in fact this is what it looks like fresh from the dryer. And it’s totally impervious to ironing. Not only does the iron not remove the wrinkles, but it makes the fabric turn a darker shade of purple for several minutes. This is a crazy thing, right? Is my fabric possessed? Well, it’s lucky I really really like this shirt. ‘Cause this sucker’s getting worn a lot, even if it makes me look like I just rolled out of bed.

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8 comments
  1. Lovely and great colour. I adore cowls too and my current pattern crush is the Maria Denmark day-to-night top. It’s sleeveless but the sleeves from Maria’s t-shirt pattern fit the cowl neck as well. I converted the top into a dress and pretty much wear it whenever I’m not at work! It’s my perfect cowl. Think I might try adding sleeves for my winter.

  2. Myra said:

    This is a great cowl neckline top! I wish I had quick access to a Michael Levine “brick and motar” store! You’re a lucky woman!

  3. lisa g said:

    great top! i can see why you love that fabric, the color is awesome! and there’s a name for the fabric changing color when you press it… not that i can remember the term, i just know there is one. 🙂

  4. christina said:

    Love it! I just bought this pattern and some pretty green knit a few days ago and was going to tackle it this week!

  5. Such a cute top. Color is gorgeous, and the fit is perfect. Hooray for easy but not boring!

  6. Jessica said:

    So glad to hear the pattern was easy! I just picked it up yesterday and am really looking forward to trying it myself. 🙂

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