Simplicity Blogger – or Simply a Bugger?

I’m having a shot at Simplicity’s Blogger Challenge that they’re holding.


I already had the dress pattern for the dressmaking challenge but the simple top they were offering through the vintage challenge seemed so simple that doing a variation on it looked like it could be fun. Plus – by entering the challenge you get a free pattern. I’m never one to turn down something free.

IMG_6249 IMG_6253 IMG_6254

So far I’ve made up the toile (out of my nephews old curtains!). There’s a lot I need to do to make it fit.


Problem 1: Abnormally narrow shoulders

Part of the problem is my abnormally narrow shoulders. The shoulder seam is falling away down my arms and looks silly. Which means I’ll have to adjust the arms though I’m not sure how much because the slash neck is so wide. At the moment I can raise my arms comfortably but if I just cut into the shoulder seams I’ll have to adjust both the neck width and the arms fit.

Problem 2: Chunky monkey hips

The second issue is it’s a bit snug on my hips but very loose around the middle. In essence the top is a square but I’m a bit more hourglass. I quite like loose tops so less worried about the bust but need to adjust the hips.

Problem 3: Short arse torso

Most dress patterns I have to shorten the torso. I’ve never normally bothered on blouses and tops but clearly from the back view I need to do something about this pattern.

I’ve sketched a couple of ideas of what to do with it. I’m thinking of a structured jacket of some sort. You probably can’t see the sketches anyway because all I could find was a red colouring pencil.

IMG_6235 2015-05-08 20.10.03

It’s all about the fabric for me though. I’ve got this cracking waxed batik fabric I bought in Uganda in January. As I’ve got no plans to go to this tiny little remote village in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park any time soon I want to make sure I use this fabric carefully.

As you can see its got fish all over it. As a marine biologist and fish nerd therefore this fabric called out to me.

I’m thinking if I do it right this could be a fun piece to wear to work meetings. I’m such a nerd I get a real kick out of wearing clothes that match the theme if the meeting. Like my elephant print dress to an Illegal Wildlife Trade meeting, butterflies to a taxonony meeting, hibiscus skirt to a botany meeting. You name it and I’ve nerded it!

Who else is in for the challenge? Got any thoughts on what to do?

23 thoughts on “Simplicity Blogger – or Simply a Bugger?

    1. It seemed to take about a week to 10 days to come. I’d forgotten about it and was accused of buying more patterns by my husband – he knows the tell tale sign of the parcels that come through the letterbox


  1. I am an hourglass too, it is the most challenging figure to sew for as it is so curvy, you had me giggling at your descriptions. It is oddly comforting to know that someone else has to alter so many elements – do you often find yourself thinking it might be easier to simply draft your own patterns?

    I love your choice of fabric and the way you use co-ordinating designs for work!

    The jacket design looks great, can’t wait to see the finished garment!

    I am taking part in the challenge, (waiting for the pattern to arrive). It is my first sewing challenge, and it is nice to see what other sewers are doing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Your idea is awesome! Go for it.

        I hope you don’t mind me mentioning, but your site is very slow to load – if you reduce the size of your pictures it will mean that it will load easier. It will also mean that you don’t run out of free space. (I hope you don’t mind me mentioning!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. To be fair I’ve been using my SLR which does take lovely photos but the file sizes are HUGE! Someone told me to investigate instagram or flikr and then just link the url. Could be an option


      3. Picasa is a free photo editing software from google, it is really good. It gives the option to export the photos and you can set the dpi to 72, which is adequate for websites and you can add a watermark to protect your work. I know that word press blogs have limited free space, so its a way to keep costs down.


  2. I love this post and your fabric. I feel your pain as far as alterations go and I have been on a new journey lately in my sewing which has lend me down the drafting side of things. I found that any pattern I delved into required a great amount of my time reinventing “the wheel” so to speak ….. Tweaking a pattern for days to get the fit to look acceptable and pouring countless hours in mock ups.
    Your sketches are gorgeous and I can’t wait to see your final garment:)
    As far as the current design I think your shoulders are dropped because the boat neck is to large for your neck area if you redraft the lines on the neck (make it smaller) your shoulder seams will be closer. Decrease your CF and CB length will get rid of the access fabric pooling at the waist also let out your side seams by 1/4 inch should help with the hourglass figure and allow it to hang more smooth.
    Again I love your post and the fact that you dress in themes for work is so cool;not nerdy 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s almost exactly what I spentlast night doing – I’ve pulled it in across the shoulders which has made the neck and arms sit perfectly. It was a very vain half hour stood in front if the mirror with pins!

      Are you at the point where you know ‘oh this is simplicity so I’ll need to shorten the torso’ etc or do you think the necessary adjustments change evey time?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually I have not made many things for myself as of yet I was mostly making my children clothes and now have started into more serious sewing trying to get that “perfect” fit. I pretty much know that any pattern I have to adjust the waist for sure because I always have a gaping problem in the waist. I also seem to always have to do a sway back adjustment to get rid of the excess fabric in the back at the waist.
        Glad you got the neck and arms sitting perfectly, can’t wait to see the adjustments 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s