Simplicity 9816

1 Jun

So she’s still around eh?

Yeah that thing called irl aka Real Life took over more than I think it ought to have. There needs to be a law against that sort of thing happening, in my opinion 😛

Catching up with some old stuff here:

More coraly-oranges Mmmm!


  • Fabric/trims/notions used
Coral stripe cotton seersucker and some pretty matching coral buttons.
  • Inspiration

Actually, this is a muslin that turned out to be wearable. I just want a nice TNT blouse pattern! I tried this pattern out, and yes I did like it but for a TNT pattern I think I can do better.

The tie-neckline was inspired by all the tie-necklines around the place these days. I ❤ tie necklines!

  • Useful info

This is one of those patterns with different cup-sizes. I couldn’t work out from the instructions if it was like a bra, where you choose your ribcage size (eg size 14) then go with whatever cup size fits your breasts properly, and cup and rib-cage size combined dictates the overall bust circumference. Or if you went with the overall bust circumference, and used the cup size within that overall circumference. Kinda the opposite of a bra.  It seemed to be the opposite but I wasn’t sure, so I just went with that, and it worked out ok.

I’ve recently acquired another one of these cup-size fitting patterns now (op shop find!). It’s newer than the Simplicity 9816 and in its instructions it’s very clear you choose your size based on the overall circumference, and then whichever cup size in that size that suits you. Which is good, because after making this blouse I’d been avoiding those cup-size fitting patterns because of that ambiguity. Now it’s been cleared up I’m happy to try more. I’m not convinced the different cup sizes makes the fitting easier particularly. You still have to, well, fit the blouse anyway. And when you’re short and have to take out a good 5cm/2″ out of the length, adjust the shoulder slope for your coat-hanger shoulders, and and and… well, how much fitting are you saving?

The answer, I feel, requires more research with these cup-size patterns. With the one I got from the op-shop. Nothing to do with it being a gorgeous pattern, hell no! It’s all in the name of research!

Simplicity 2996


  • Construction notes

I left the vertical darts unsewn, thinking it would give a better fit if I pinned them on me directly. After MUCH fiddling round and a few four-letter words, I ended up with the darts being sewn pretty much as they were on the pattern. *sigh* Oh well.

I replaced the collar with a tie just for the fun of it. I like the tie. It wasn’t that hard to do either. The only slightly difficult bit was where the tie detaches from the neck. I looked on a different pattern that had the tie as part of the pattern, to work out how to do it. The tie is formed by folding the fabric right sides together and sewing the edge up to the point where it is joined to the neck. Then turn inside out and press. At the point where it joins the neck you need to get the seam allowance to then be outside the tie so it can be stitched to the neck and covered by the facing. The instructions said to clip the seam allowance right at that point and fold it so it’s sticking out, able to be sewed down.

But it seemed to me the stress-point (physical! though possible difficulty-wise too…) of the whole tie affair was right at that point and I didn’t think clipping it so close would be good. I got around this by sewing that bit of the seam on the tie off at a 45 degree angle, which meant I just needed to clip a tiny bit to help the fabric sit neatly round that angle-point, and the rest of the seam allowance folded out neatly ready to be sewn to the neck, the fabric still nice and strong at that point. Worked brilliantly! It also made matching up the point where the tie seam allowance meets up with the neckline seam allowance a bit easier. More room for error. Always a good thing!

I tried drawing this on Microsoft Paint to make it clearer, but I gave up. I’m spoilt. I’m used to a nice vector-based drawing program *cough* Illustrator *cough*, and a tablet and pen setup. Using an ordinary mouse on Paint drove me nuts and didn’t even look any good anyway. Sorry …

The hem and sleeve hem were edged in a bias ruffle. Fun!

  • Cost
Mum had the fabric sitting round for about a decade, and happily handed it over for me to play with. Perhaps $10
Pattern: $10
Buttons $5
Total: $25
  • Last word

Well… I think I can do better for a TNT blouse pattern. I don’t think the overall shape is very flattering. It looks a bit short and squat on me, in my opinion and making it a bit longer might help but probably not much.  And if a top gets too long it can end up visually cutting my already  short person in half and making me look like (or feel?) a weird squat robot. (No, I’m serious! :-P) I’ve got another blouse pattern that has princess seams rather than darts, and I think it might look better on my figure.

I do like the bias ruffles on the sleeve and hem though! If you’ve got pretty, stripey fabric, may as well play with it eh?

8 Responses to “Simplicity 9816”

  1. Katherine June 1, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    Welcome back! That blouse looks like it could be styled al sorts of ways…a cute addition to a tropical wardrobe.


    • Tropical Threads June 1, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

      Hi Katherine! Thanks 🙂

      That’s the kind of thing I’m after, something to be styled many ways. This top is pretty but I need more plain stuff, to be honest, to make my wardrobe more versatile. But pretty patterns keep jumping into my shopping basket at Spotlight. I don’t know how it happens O_O


  2. Gjeometry June 2, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    Very cute blouse! I love how you added the ruffles on the short sleeves.


    • Tropical Threads June 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm #


      Yeah I like those ruffles, I’d certainly do them again on the right top 🙂


  3. Josie Brady June 3, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    I really liked the fit of the blouse over the bust, and combined with the pattern it worked really well. The ruffles of course, are your own special touch.

    I used that same material to make a pair of trousers, which I still wear around the house in the summer. I liked combining the stripes with all sorts of plain matching tops.


    • Tropical Threads June 3, 2013 at 11:42 am #

      Yep in spite of my confusion, the different cup-sizes do seem to work well 🙂 I’d love to sit down a take a good look at each cup size and see what the difference is. But the weather isn’t cool enough to turn the ceiling fans off, so the paper doesn’t blow around everywhere, and it’s far too cool here to justify turning the aircon on, which would be the other alternative.

      Heh that’s funny about you having the same material, and in trousers. I almost made the fabric up as trousers myself! I’ve forgotten why I changed my mind. But they must be very nice trousers. Soft and swishy, and yes, fun to combine with plain tops.


  4. eumoronorio June 29, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Hiya! That is a cute blouse and i like those cute little ruffles too! Here’s a crazy idea: wear it with a high waist-ed skirt. Have you ever tried those? I did recently in the store and loved it because it lengthened my 5’3″ frame and flattered it too. I totally agree that too long or not long enough can be so hard to determine on a petite frame. PS where in the tropics do you sew??


    • Tropical Threads June 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm #


      Hey that’s a great idea 🙂 I don’t own one. Sad but true. I’ve spent so much of my life trying to get the fit across my hips, then narrowing into my little waist, with indifferent success that when low-rise trousers and skirts sitting on the hips came in ooh like decade ago, I was very happy. No more trying to fit that silly little waist.

      However, now I’m seeing vintage-style high-waist things, not just 80’s things I’m enamoured. I’ve had it in mind to make a high-waist skirt from this pattern:

      The waist is fairly bristling with darts. Just what I need!

      I’m glad to hear they can work on a petite frame. Thanks 🙂

      I’m in Darwin, Australia. True wet/dry tropics. So it’s either stinking hot and humid or horribly dry and cold (for us). Which inspires us locals to whinge all the time 😛

      I’m off to read your blog now!


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