Simplicity 1589 – a polka dot peekaboo top!


I’ve been churning out tops recently. I had a lack of ‘summer separates’ so I decided to take action – amazing! Practical sewing by me!

To start off the sewing binge, I made Simplicity 1589 – a ‘learn to sew’ pattern.

Simplicity 1589, view A

Simplicity 1589, view A. Our Christmas weather has been rubbish – so much rain!

I had always been drawn to the peekaboo and lapped backs of this pattern – so when a pattern sale came along, I decided to buy it. I don’t particularly mind whether a pattern is advanced or easy – if it works, it works. I also love that this pattern is a fabric miser.

Simplicity 1589

Simplicity 1589

I made this with less than a metre of fabric – left over from my first Grainline Alder (Jillian of Sew Unravelled… you were so right about not making a belt for the Alder – the fabric was perfect for a top). It’s a woven rayon – I love rayon, it straddles the divide of man-made and natural fibres. It’s perfect for my climate.

View A, which I have made here, takes just 90cm of 150cm wide fabric (or 1 yard at 60 inches wide) so it’s an absolute stash buster. View B takes slightly more 1.3m of 150cm wide fabric (or 1 3/8 yard at 60 inches wide).

These are easy, easy tops to make. If you are looking for a nice woven top pattern with a difference – then this might be an option. I also suspect it is a great option for fabric busting all those smaller pieces from bigger projects.

The armholes and neckline are finished with bias binding. I confess I do struggle to get my bias binding as neat as I would like – but it’s a challenge I’ll continue to embrace.

Simplicity 1589 - front view

Simplicity 1589 – front view

There are no bust darts. I suspect some may find the fabric in this top falls like a waterfall… I wouldn’t know and I don’t speak for FBA department of the sewing community – but if you have knowledge/advice to share, please comment below for others. What I can say is that it works for me. The side panels and back also cover up most bra straps which is a nice feature.

Due to the lack of bust darts I personally think a fabric with some drape will work best – otherwise it may be a little tentlike.

I made a size 4 – this top has A LOT of ease. About 5 inches of ease at the bust – which I just think is too much, even for a loose fitting top. If I had made this according to the sizing chart, I would have made size 8 – which would have been two more inches of ease than this one on me. I like the fit of this. The armholes are comfortable and the back sits nicely.

Simplicity 1589 - back view

Simplicity 1589 – back view

If you get stuck with what size to make, check the finished bust measurements at the bottom of the envelope back – put a tape measure around you and figure out how much ease seems reasonable. I do this with almost every make. This top isn’t meant to be tight or close fitting but I don’t think you need to swim in fabric either.

I also think this would be a nice pattern for teenagers. It is loose but has cute details that I think would appeal to many young girls I know. My daughters are too slight for this pattern at the moment although I think many of their friends would love it.

I absolutely struggled with my stitching with this make… the tension was all over the place and I could not for the life of me figure out why. It was funny that it happened on this make as it was supposed to be ‘easy’! As it turned out, a drunk monkey (or a small daughter) had fiddled with my machine tension at some point – it didn’t occur to me to check the tension dial because I hadn’t touched it. I thought it was a bobbin case screw issue which has happened once before. Oh well. At least I know not to make the assumption that no one else touches my machines 🙂

Once I found the source of my stitching woes, I unpicked the topstitching at the armholes and neckline then restitched the topstitching. It was too late for the back neck and side panels… thankfully the tension issues only shows on the inside – and it’s not that bad (suck it up Princess Lizzy).

Simplicity 1589 - side view

Simplicity 1589 – side view

I briefly considered throwing this out or not blogging it for a bunch of reasons… but it’s escaped the charity bag and made it to the blog.

To hell with imperfection.

Pattern: Simplicity 1589
Fabric: Rayon from Spotlight. I picked some more up at the 40% sale the other day to make a little dress for my youngest daughter.
Skirt: Target – I found this in the kids sale section for $10. It’s a bit ‘out there’ but I love it – I have a weakness for anything denim, especially skirts. It looks fab dressed up with a white shirt and heels. Plus I think it would be fun to copy the spray paint concept on a future make.

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34 thoughts on “Simplicity 1589 – a polka dot peekaboo top!

  1. That top looks good on you – and no-one is going to know about the tension issues are they? As a paid up member of the FBA club I would probably add a dart and extra front length to the front. However, the back peekaboo looks magnificent as it would still hide any underwear straps.
    I would love to see the other view made up. The wrap back looks lovely.

    • I think its a clever design as you have a sexy (and cool for summer) back but can wear ‘normal’ underwear. Its a great pattern. I will probably make the wrapped back sooner or later.

  2. I’ve never noticed this pattern before and I really like the back detail. The fit looks great. And I’m glad I convinced you not to go with that self-fabric belt. Two reasons: one, you got this awesome top out of the remains; and two, I still don’t think that version of the Alder should be belted 🙂 x

    • The basic Simplicity patterns are quite cute. There is a tunic with a yoke that I like, the envelope art is daggy but I think it would be a great hippy style top.
      I agree. The Alder doesn’t need a belt. 🙂

  3. Thumbs up from me too, the back looks great and the fabric seems a very good match for this pattern and stash busters are always welcome. 🙂 I like it a lot and will add it to my to sew list. Hope weather improves for a Happy New Year. x

  4. What’s not to love. Polka dots, peekaboos and rayon! Glad it didn’t end up in the charity bag. It looks too good on you! Wishing you a wonderfully happy and healthy new year sweetipops. And hope the sun gets his hat on for you soon x

  5. What a great summer top! I feel your pain with the tension knobs. One time one of my girls turned them, and like you, I know I hadn’t touched them so I didn’t think to check them at first! Ugh. Little fingers! ha ha

  6. My son loves the touchpad console of my machine. I have to hide the machine in its rolling case to keep him from playing with it. If he’s awake, I have to fork over my cell and laptop to keep him away from the machine if I want to sew! Beautiful top by the way. And that skirt suits you compared to the last one.

  7. So glad you rescued the top! I love tanks like these for year round wear. Perfect for warm weather, throw over a cardigan for cold weather. Looks great on you!

  8. I, too, am glad you saved and posted it! What a fun make, imperfections be damned. That just gives it the, uh, artisanal look. Yeah, artisanal. But seriously, it’s a very cute top and looks cool and comfy.

  9. Super cute top! As I looked at the envelope, I realized I had this pattern, but now I can’t find it! Drat! Must’ve given it away in a fit of feeling-too-overwhelmed-by-my-stash!

  10. Super cute – I dilemma-ed (that can’t be spelled correctly) about this in the last pattern sale and now wish I had bought it! Little tops like this are perfect for summer. Dammit, when is the next sale?!

  11. Pingback: Simpicity 1463 & WIPs… | Sew Busy Lizzy

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