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Simplicity 1690

Pattern Review: Simplicity 1690

A quick glance at my reader survey (have you filled it out yet?!) results so far tells me that you guys want MORE PATTERN REVIEWS! Well, I am happy to deliver that. And luckily, this recent finish of mine turned great, so I’m happy to share.

In an effort to standardize my pattern review posts a little bit and also give myself some accountability for telling you guys the details, I’m going to start using a template. I’ll be rating each pattern I share on the following criteria:

  • Instructions
  • Pattern pieces
  • Sizing/fit
  • Modifications I made
  • Things I’d change next time
  • Fabric choice
  • Wearability
  • Overall impression

So, here we go!

Simplicity 1690


The instructions were good. This is kind of a no-nonsense, quick-sew pattern, so it would be pretty hard to mess these up. My one complaint with this (and pretty much all Big-4 patterns) is that they didn’t include any seam finishing instructions. So, if a beginner were to sew this garment exactly as instructed, they’d have a lot of raw edges everywhere. I do with the pattern companies would give a better indication of a preferred seam finishing method (serging, French seams, clean finish, etc.).

Pattern Pieces

No problems. Everything fit together nicely.

Simplicity 1690


Here’s where things get tricky. My measurements are 34-27-36 (at the time of this post) which suggest a size 12. Using the finished garment measurements noted on the pattern pieces, I decided to go with a size 10 instead. I’m glad I did because the fit is perfect.

I did a narrow hem at the bottom instead of the wider hem suggested by the pattern. The top would have been entirely too short had I not done this. For reference, I am 5’6″ with a long torso.

Simplicity 1690

Modifications I Made

I cut the pieces as drafted. For the sides and shoulders, I did French seams. I omitted the vents at the hips, but this was probably a mistake as the shirt rides up a tiny bit if I am sitting. It’s not a problem if I am standing. As mentioned previously, I did a narrow hem to make it a little longer.

Things I’d Change Next Time

Next time, I’ll probably leave the side vents at the hips. I’ll do everything else the same.

Simplicity 1690

Fabric Choice

I used a lovely cotton voile from A Fashionable Stitch here in Salt Lake City for this project. The fabric choice was perfect, and it only took 1 3/8 yards. At about $14 a yard, this top comes to around $20.

Simplicity 1690


This top certainly isn’t something I’d wear everyday for working around the house or playing with the kids, but it’s definitely on the comfortable side for a dressier top. I think this would make an excellent wardrobe builder for anyone who works in an office or needs to look put-together. I also love that it would work well for any season depending on the fabric. In fact, I think the colors in this particular garment make it even more suitable for fall with maybe a gray cardigan, skirt and boots.

Overall Impression

A great top that I’m sure I’ll make again and again. I’d ike to try doing some modifications to the back – perhaps some color-blocking or re-shaping the hem. I highly recommend it to anyone that wants a quick, satisfying yet nice-looking sew.


  • Jodi Bonjour

    I love your new format! It makes for easy reading and is incredibly informative!

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thanks, Jodi!! :) I think I will add a section – how long it took to sew.

  • Inder

    Yes, I’d wear this all the time with suits or a cardigan at work. A very cute basic! I have been considering doing more formal (rather than narrative) reviews on my blog, I can’t decide! I do really love reading pattern reviews that lay everything out very clearly like yours does, I don’t know why I’m still on the fence. :-)

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thanks, Inder! I think there’s a balance…you can still be conversational while getting the info across. :)

  • Shaffer Sisters

    cute. I love this!!

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thank you!

  • Charity

    That’s a cute top! I love the new format.

    • Lauren Dahl

      Thanks, Charity! I hope it’s helpful.

  • Emily

    This just got moved up on my to sew list!

  • Gabrielle Corbett

    That’s such a cute top! I haven’t sewn any Simplicity patterns apart from one wadder, many years ago – but this looks very office appropriate so I think I need to reconsider :). I like your new review format too. I think I need to shift from my own very informal pattern reviews to something like this – when it’s very informal, it’s too easy to forget to mention sonething!