Simplicity 8138 ~ Second Time Around

Last summer I made up Simplicity 8138, a simple hi-lo top. Now that summer is almost here, I’m wearing it more. So I decided to make it again!


Simplicity 8138, also sold as Simplicity S0683 in Summer 2015

Simplicity 8138 makes up a top, tunic, long tunic and pants.  Super simple pattern. I made view C because it would allow me to make best use of the border pattern on my fabric.


Pastel batik with a border print, purchased at a booth at the Sewing Expo in March. I bought 2 yards (45″ wide).


I wanted to catch the border print along the hemline

When I made this top last year I didn’t alter the pattern at all. Granted, I used a fabric with a slight stretch, so that made up for the lack of bust darts.

This particular pattern adjustment is going to become second nature

But now I’ve started down the fitting road and I want to fit everything!

For this pattern there were really only 2 changes: Adding a dart/doing an FBA, and removing 1.75″ off the length of the bodice above the waist on both the front and back pieces. Pretty quick changes.


After making the alterations to the pattern, I laid it out to take advantage of the border print. So I wound up turning the pattern pieces 90 degrees and placing the front and back hems on the selvage. This fabric has zero stretch or give, so this change shouldn’t make any difference.



Back hem ungraded


The only place where I had any head scratching was the hem on the back. The back dips down, and because I cut with the intent of using the selvedge for the hem, the back didn’t align at the sides – it is rounded up to the side seams. So the center of the back didn’t need hemming, but the tapering did.


Grading of back hem

I placed the pattern piece on the back fabric sections, then moved my French curve around until I found a nice line for cutting and hemming, keeping in mind that I wanted to preserve as much of the selvedge as possible. Once I found a nice line I trimmed the fabric, pressed under with a piece of fusible interfacing, then stitched those sections by hand. It turned out well. There is just a very small demarcation, but I’ll probably be the only one to notice it.

Batik is really nice to work with. It has enough body to make it easy to cut, and it holds pressing well. (I’m guessing that’s the residue of the wax?)

This project stitched up very quickly. The only thing that takes any time is finishing the neck and sleeves. The pattern calls for purchased bias tape for the neck opening, but I made self-bias. This made beautiful bias tape.

Time Required

Fast! Pattern adjustments – 1 hour + Cutting, Sewing, Hand stitching hem section – 3 hours = about 4 hours!


Here’s this version with the pattern alterations in the batik (woven with no stretch)

Batik version with FBA
Batik version hangs better in the back with the shortening of the bodice. Excuse the creases! (And do I ever need a hair cut or color!)

And for comparison, here’s the previous version in the stretch charmeuse, photo taken last summer.

Simplicity Top
Last Summer’s version in stretch charmeuse

I do like the woven, mainly because of the print. But it hangs a bit differently – maybe more tent-like – because the fabric has more body (the charmeuse is lighter and softer), and I can tell that I’ve put on a couple of pounds because the sleeves are tighter! The Batik version fits so much better in the back – it doesn’t bunch up on my butt. Shortening the bodice by just a bit has made a big difference!

Would I make it again? Yes – but in a lighter weight fabric, and probably in something with just a bit of stretch. I’ve got lots of suitable fabrics in my stash, so can see this as a, “I need something new tomorrow” top.

What do you think? Heavier weight woven, or lighter weight with a touch of stretch?


9 thoughts on “Simplicity 8138 ~ Second Time Around

  1. That would look cute as hell in a soft, super-light-weight pale blue denim which you could pair with scarves and cardigans by fall. I bought a whole pile of the stuff last winter but I’ve been losing weight so I’m loathe to cut it into anything just yet.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! Yeah, I bought many yards of a light, soft, powder blue denim with the intention of making stuff for this summer but I’ve been altering clothes non-stop and it’s dampened my creative spirits. There’s only so much time you can spend in front of the sewing machine before you need to get out of the house!

        Your top kinda reminds me of a comfy one I found last year called the Tessuti Fave Top. You can download the pattern for free but I’d just read the instructions and draw your own. It’s fantastic in a drapey rayon and looks good with a t-shirt layered underneath.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Just downloaded, printed & taped Deer+Doe’s Plantain top, but will definitely look at the Tessuti. I’m always in search of the perfect top!


  2. Love both of them, and am liking the looks of that dartless FBA, too! 🙂 I’m always a fan of a bit of stretch, but a nice cotton top is always so breezy in the Summer.


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