Simplicity 1613 - The 'Bardot' Top

by - 5/08/2016

My finished Simplicity 1613 'Bardot' Top.

I spotted this pattern by chance whilst (dangerously) browsing online and I knew I had to have it. Like I've said in a couple of my previous posts, I'm trying to sew more wearable everyday items and I'm loving the popular 1960s style 'Bardot' style tops that are knocking around the shops right now. Which seem to be defined by jersey fabric with an off the shoulder style.

I knew the red and white polka dot jersey I picked up on my recent visit to Textile Express would be perfect for my top and would be a great way for me to break out from my navy & black comfort zone!

I don't have much experience sewing with jersey, so I did a little research on the subject so I know I'd be making a top that would last. I learnt a lot! I sewed all the seams with a mini stretch zip zag stitch and overlocked all my seams, ensuring my stitching would allow the jersey to stretch to fit without pulling the seams or puckering the stitching. I also did all my top stitching with the same mini zig zag.

Here's a peek at the pattern:

I don't like the t shirt versions with the neckline twist, but I knew I could make options D and E work for me. When I looked online for some reviews on the pattern it seemed, that options D and E were the most popular. Like a few other sewists, I decided to sew option D but leave out the little shoulder straps. I think removing them in-keeps with the retro style this top has, keeps it simple, and luckily it didn't effect the overall fit.

I did read a few comments about the top band not sitting right or riding up. But I really haven't found it as taxing as it seemed for others. I used a soft fold over elastic for a comfortable fit and didn't adjust the depth of the panel. Of course, if I wanted to wave my arms above my head, the band would roll up, but realistically I don't see it annoying me too much. Initially, I did a couple of concealed stitches to hold the band down, but I found it made the jersey want to roll up even more and I fiddled with it more than I did without them. So I removed them again and left the top to sit how it wanted.

Close up of the mini zig zag top stitch.

Like I previously said, I did all my top stitching with a mini zig zag stitch, common on most machines, I think this stitching has given my top a really professional finish and I'm so happy with how it looks. 

The instructions were very easy to follow with useful illustrations, and in total the top only took me about an hour to knock up - my kind of sewing! One thing that I got confused with, yet again, was the sizing. The pattern is in American sizing, which I didn't realise, and I bought the 4 - 12 sized pattern. When I read the measurements, the size 12 seems like a UK 8. To rectify this, I just added 1cm around all the pattern pieces where a garment would normally be graded. However, I think I could of gotten away with cutting out the American size 12, as the top isn't as fitted as I would like it to be. But looking at the photos on the pattern, I think it was intended to be looser fitting. So next time I make this top again (because I love it) I'll cut out the standard 12.

Styled with my Hell Bunny circle skirt & western Boohoo belt.

Overall, I am in love with this top pattern. It's just what I wanted and it will be a fabulous edition for my everyday wardrobe. I'd also love to add a skirt the top pattern and make a sassy off the shoulder circle dress. And jersey is so easy to wear and surprisingly fun to sew with, I certainly see lots of versions of this top in my sewing horizon!

Get the pattern:

Have you tried this pattern? Are there any other 'Bardot' style sewing patterns I need to know about? Let me know!

Thanks for reading, pinups.

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  1. This Bardot style looks so elegantly relaxed on you, I wish I could wear off the shoulder but I fiddle too much when the rolling begins and then I'm irritable throughout the day. The red polka dot fabric is a great choice for a top like this, so many things to wear it with.

    1. Thank you!
      It certainly needs reminding where to sit after a bit of wearing, but the band is wide enough for it not to be too much of an issue. Unavoidable with this style!

      I can't wait to make more!

  2. This looks absolutely lovely on you!

    As for the sizing, I can absolutely understand the weirdness in having to double check between American and UK sizing- I've messed that part up myself before and it unfortunately didn't work out as nicely as it did for you!

    Either way, love this top on you. Polka dots are ALWAYS fun!

    1. Thank you! I can't resist a polka dot.
      I hope one day I can cut out a US pattern without messing up sizing!!

  3. I am also planning on making this very soon, in the same style you did - I have the fabric pulled out and everything! Glad to hear you like it. I find their sizing to be inconsistent but that is usually easy to adjust with knits. I'm confused about the elastic in the fold over bit. Why is there elastic in there at all? I've never seen a shirt in this style with elastic set in there - usually the fabric's own stretch is plenty.

    1. Good to hear! It's a great make.
      There's a channel for elastic across the top band. I figure it's because if the band didn't have any, the whole fit of the top would have to be tighter. Which I don't think this pattern is intended to be when you look at the photo on the model on the pattern. I think if it were tighter without elastic, it would ping up off your shoulders more easily? That's my guess anyway. Having the elastic there makes me feel more secure though - it doesn't bother me.

      Can't wait to see your version!

  4. Wow, this looks fantastic on you. I would have to include the straps but might give it s go!

  5. Looks lush! I'm inspired to make another xox