Simplicity 1783…Just what are you hiding in there?


‘I know you have the microfilm Trixie,’

‘You don’t have a thing on me, Paulo….’

“I know you’re aiding the resistance, and I know you’re irresistible….’

Trixie totally would have made it thru boardercheck with the microfilm, 2 filing cabinets full of classified info, 4 Von Trapp children and possibly Humphrey Bogart on her if she’d worn my latest creation.I love you Cynthia Rowley, but Simplicity pattern tech drawings have done you wrong. Unless I am totally missing something, the pleat center front on this adorable blouse is really not cool. Once more a waif on a cover does not make for Annie-fied elegance in reality. That pleat lays down like a dachshund on a sunporch in the picture. On me? It’s like an accordion during Lady of Spain?! It is open almost to the waist- laying flat in the picture of the model who is probably tired of being referred to as laying flat. I almost can’t see my feet- and you know how I love my shoes! Thats a crime! Is it as bad as I keep thinking or is it just from my angle? Everytime I looked down at it last evening it was spreading like a beach umbrella. I still like this blouse and I love the fabric as you all know. Lets focus on the parts I really like. It has a nice curve to the waist making it very girly and not bulky. I liked the look of the little shot of color on the long-sleeved view, so I changed my bands and facings to a contrast bias tape and I’m liking that quite a bit. What do you think? I also skipped the side zip- and still can get in and out of it easilly. But look at that spreading box pleat! Now once more I call upon the advise of the sagest counsels I like this blouse in theory, but what sort of redrafting, tacking, threatening should I do to make the pleat sit? Is it just a matter of stitching it closed higher? Will it lose the shape and line of Cynthia’s flat chested intentions? I feel like I have a giant napkin tucked in there. I think I lost some jellybeans in there earlier?! All this cobnstant blouse yanking is most unseemly!

photo credits: pattern review, meadhawg, google images

63 thoughts on “Simplicity 1783…Just what are you hiding in there?

  1. That is one heck of a pleat of doom! I’m loving the fabric and the bias bands- they’re summery and fun. But, let’s get back to PoD. That sucker seems poorly placed for any busty lady and could be kind of tricky to tackle. I think if you stitch it closed higher up you will still get the gapiness (new word I totes just made up) across the bust. I look forward to seeing how you tackle this!

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  2. mrsmole says:

    It could be the fabric…they recommend crepe but throwing in an unstable hidden pleat like that is not flattering. No matter who is wearing that blouse it will open up when you sit down. Can you open it up below to release it or stitch it up higher to match the others? Normally I would run a line of stitching down the inside folds inside the garment to keep the folds from opening up but this looks like it has a mind of it’s own. If they had featured a real woman instead of an anorexic on the pattern envelope we may have seen a disaster waiting to happen. Another trick to make blouses fit better when sitting is to make side seam vents…I always ask my clients if they plan on having lunch in their blouses as this helps to keep you looking nice without bunching up top. Other than that, the colors are gorgeous on your skin and is that a matching colored headband hiding???

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    • Well, actually it’s a tiny blue poodle barrette. Cuz I’m classy, you know- also 3 weeks past a haircut and threateningto look more and more like Danny Bonaduce each day!?

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  3. LOL is it just me or when you are sitting primly the pleats sit nicely and once you start ‘messing around’ the pleats pounce?
    I think you need to use fabric with more drape, yes slippery stuff!
    I’m still wondering what the heck is going on with those ghastly pockets on the pants and skirt??? Yikes! But love the top….

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    • When I made a dress out of the slimey floral it was so light and drapey and refused to accept shape that I thought this would work- maybe it just wants to be curtains….I can’t be trusted to remain prim for long!

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  4. i reckon that pleat would gape on just about anyone with a cleavage, especially when sitting down. i wonder if it would be a bit more drapey than gapey in a really lightweight fabric? it is a lovely blouse. just don’t sit. or breathe. or slouch. πŸ˜‰

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  5. You could try making an organza lining for it. You would need to draft the pleats out of the front pattern for the lining, Sew it in at the neckline, armsye and side seams (imagine a shelf bra with out the elastic at the bottom) but leave the front hems separate(like a skirt) If this didn’t help to control the problem then you could tack the pleats to the organza to control the poof.

    Or – weight the hem. Sew some chain into the hemline. its so Channel:)

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    • Who knew tht Cynthia Rowley- queen of the Simplicity dirndl elastic waist skirt patterns would want me to work this hard? Oy! I really want this to work, tho…..I may enter organza country. Unless I can find my staple gun….

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  6. What??!! A POODLE barrette???? I’m flabberghasted and can only imagine what the doxies are thinking. As to pleats over the girls, it never works for me no matter how much I like them on the pattern person, so I end up tacking them down if I’ve fallen prey to the allure .

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    • They can’t see the top of my head- I think I’m safe,I also think that they would consider being a barette too menial, so a poodle could do it. They are for more important tasks.

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  7. Chicky Chickita says:

    Love the pattern …and your right for busty women the pleat is makes one wonder what type of surgery had and might be hiding under their πŸ™‚ okay with the cups sizes I have gained from my pregnancy…I love it …and you truly look cute in the outfit still but I can’t pass cuteness off that well..l’ll wait till i loose the cup sizes:)

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  8. Most Cynthia Rowley patterns are pretty sack like, imo. I’ve no advice on the pleats except to maybe tack it closed. Of course that would defeat the purpose of having it there in the first place. I dunno.

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  9. You have heard it before but here it is again: that is adorable on you but what wouldn’t be? You might try a cotton batiste, or a cotton/poly blend for a 2nd try at the pattern. You know, I am a 34.756 B and those pleats do it on me too. It’s because my hips are a size greater than my bust…so I try to add in vents on any pattern like this. I actually redrafted side seam and angles of the Sorbetto to get it to be wearable.

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  10. I like that pattern. I’ve been on the lookout for blouse patterns that are not just regular button-front shirts.

    You might want to try an FBA with a dart coming from the side seam. Maybe there’s just not enough fabric across the bust, so the shirt is finding more fabric wherever it can.

    Or it might just be an integral issue with any blouse that has a pleat down the front.

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    • I am on a different top quest too and I really enjoyed making this one. All the pleats and darts adn whoo-ha were alot of fun to do. This will not be the last Lady of Spain top- once I get that pleat secured.

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  11. First of all, I love the fabric, love the trim on the neckline and sleeves, love the colour on you, and I love the poodle barrette.

    WTF was Ms Rowley thinking putting a pleat on the front of a blouse that wasn’t intended for a little girl (ie a flat chested person). I am baffled.

    Of course, like always, I have no clue how to fix this, but I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

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  12. The suggestion from Lynnewill is a good one. If you make a lining from a pattern that has had at least the centre pleat taken out, you can stitch it into the SA on the shoulders, armscye seams and side seams. Tack it onto the neckline. Then it will act like a stay. (Like when you extend skirt/trouser pocket patterns to be stitched into front zip SA to hold the tummy in rather than have gaping pockets.) In the blouse, it will contain the bosoms and hopefully the blouse will drape rather than gape.
    You can do it in silk organza, or you can do it in lightweight muslin or even a quality lining.

    I like the suggestions for slits in the hem of the side seams as well. It will give more at that point when you are sitting and will keep the front from pushing forward which in turn pushes the pleat open.
    Hope you can redeem it.
    Sandy in the UK

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    • I feel kind of gyped- you know? I am not exactly Quasimodo- I have just the standard figure issues- I think that if I have to put this much work into a little blouse, it’s a flaw of the designers- am I crazy? Cynthia and I are very thankful that people are knowledgable enough to help make this one doable!

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  13. Those other ideas are probably better, but I thought I might throw mine out there just in case. 1) I’d use that vinegar solution to make those creases permanent, and then 2) starch the crap out of it before wearing. I’d only starch where the pleats are though, you probably don’t want to make the whole blouse stiffer.

    I hope that something in this comment thread works for you, because this blouse is so cute on you!! πŸ™‚

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  14. The blouse is lovely, I adore the contrast bands and the colours.

    I have this problem with pleats on the bust too, and have some pouter pidgeon garments of utter hideousness that were partially tamed by topstitching above and below the bust and using a lining type stay at the front as Lynnewill and Sandy suggest – but when I have done this (the stay) in a firm fabric,it often becomes obvious that a FBA was required and was the reason for some of the pleat misbehaviour.
    The other issue I have found with pleats over the bust that gape is that sometimes the pleat has to be effectively shortened so that the garment is pulled close to the body just under the bust- which is counter intuitive, but stops any excess length from converting itself into width below the bust, where it is not wanted. In this blouse maybe invisibly tacking the inner sections of the pleat horizontally at the empire line would prevent below bust expansion?.(and then maybe you wouldn’t have to add a lining stay for a light summer blouse)-on second thoughts the tacking would act as a stay πŸ™‚

    I love your smuggling spy plans for this top, your blog is so much fun to read, even aside from your gorgeous garments.

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  15. It looks really cute on you and I like the fabric, but it would drive me nuts, too. Possibly this blouse should not be worn by anyone over 12 or with a cup size bigger than A. I hope you can find a solution because it looks really lovely on you.

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  16. That’s a shame – maybe the top only works well for photoshoots when nobody is moving. I’d press the daylights out of the pleats and then sew them closed at the edge the whole way down – but that’s making a tuck and not a pleat and defeating the purpose of the design I suppose. Otherwise get a job as a spy.

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  17. I think the blouse looks fantastic with your blue jeans–I love all the color. And it’s quite cute in the first photo, but that center pleat really did open up for the second pic, huh? I don’t know what to do with pleats, sorry I’m no help. I’d probably see about tacking it into place, but what do I know?! I fully agree that the fabric is lovely and the contrasting bands are brilliant, and the silhouette is nice too. I hope you and the pleats can come to an agreement πŸ˜‰

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  18. I like everything about this blouse except the gaping when sitting aspect. I would top stitch at right angles to the centre front across the pleats at regular intervals, trying to make it look like a design feature, possibly placing a button at each line, so that the pleat would still open a little – a couple of inches – between the lines of stitching, proving that its a pleat feature and not just a seam. Or….. maybe I’d just go with the buttons alone, stitching a rouleau loop under the pleat edge and a button sort of centred.

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  19. I am totally loving the colors of this blouse, but I hear you on the craziness of Cynthia Rowley patterns. I’ve only made one, but I think that will be the last one I ever make. I gave the pattern away because I was just too sad about my *ahem* assets on display and I just didn’t want to fuss with redrafting it every time I wanted to make it. I love Pella’s ideas above – I think any of those would definitely help the pleat issue!

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  20. punkmik says:

    i really like the blouse and the print. Sadly I dont have much experience with pleats. Like some others I would have tried top stitching maybe? maybe you can have some fun with the top stitching detail too! πŸ˜€

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  21. Thanks for this review. I have been inexplicably drawn to this top for weeks (I mean, how can one resist that beguiling brown-on-brown styling on the envelope?), even to the point of having the fabric picked out and sitting on the cutting table, but I think you’ve broken the spell for me. It looks so cute on you, but I may take my crepe and run. Let us know if you make headway with the Pleat of Doom.

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      • It’s hardly a foible on your part. There is obviously something inherently wrong with this pattern, especially for those of us with ample-tude. You’re doing a public service for pointing it out. Besides, I’ve been dying to make an Alma blouse, so this is my excuse to skip Miss Brown-on-Brown and focus on that. If I find a fabric slippery enough, I’ll go back to 1783. Seriously, I appreciate your review and your perfect timing, and I hope you get your blouse into a more tolerable state. Then I can steal your method and make my own. πŸ™‚

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  22. Colleen says:

    Like Cuckoo Chanel, I was about to start getting this pattern ready to work on the blouse this weekend! I’m glad that I did a quick google search to see if any other sewers had encountered problems with this top. I’m considering moving on to another top, or possibly trying it out a a silk or rayon. What about the pants pattern? Has anyone tried it?
    Thank you soooo much for blogging about your pleat of doom! You are a great resource!

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  23. Colleen says:

    newsflash! when I purchased 1783, I also (must have been a good pattern sale) picked up Simplicity 1692 which is a vintage pattern (1940s). The top is cute and somewhat similar to the 1783 top, without the POD… it has gathers at the neck and a nice, feminine shape. There are also some positive online reviews from folks who have finished it, including some nice photos. So… 1692, here I come! thank you again for saving me what would likely be some frustration this weekend!

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