#SimplicitySewingChallenge 2016 - Simplicity 1365 - Vintage Halterneck Top

by - 9/20/2016

My finished Simplicity 1365 top to dress pattern hack!

Since started my sewing blog in April, I've discovered so many wonderful sew-alongs and challenges, and have done my best to take part in as much as I can. I find it inspiring to see everyone's makes, whether it be with the same pattern or same fabric style. But it's also great to have a project to focus on, plan and share! So when I saw The Simplicity Sewing Challenge, the most exciting one yet, I just had to take part, especially when I saw there was a 'Best Vintage Make' category...

Here's a peek at the challenge and the gorgeous vintage pattern:

The Simplicity 1365 halterneck top pattern probably isn't a pattern I would have chosen myself. Firstly, 1970s is never an era I've been particularly interested in style wise (even though I wouldn't mind looking like a Charlie's Angel!) and I tend to look more for 1950s style dress patterns in the Summer. But I'm so glad I've now sewn with this pattern and my eyes have been opened to a whole new decade!

Even though the pattern is a vintage reproduction of a 1970s pattern, I knew I could give it a classic 50s twist which the simple halterneck option can easily lend itself to. But then I did have a little brain wave. A few months back I was trawling eBay for vintage fabric and I came across a gorgeous vintage 1970s (good condition & laundered) double bed sheet with a stunning floral stripe print. £10 later and watching like a hawk, it was mine!

So Simplicity 1365 from the 1970s plus my vintage 1970s bed sheet, sounded like it was meant to be for The Simplicity Sewing Challenge!

Here's a snap I shared on my Instagram mid-make!

Luckily, the bed sheet really was in good condition and I wanted to show off as much as I could of the beautiful retro print as possible. I decided my take on the halterneck top pattern would be turning it in to a dress! Another hack, I know. I used the pattern for version C - the simple, no collar halterneck with a high button up back.

Looking at the pattern design and having a good read through of the instructions, it seemed simple enough to attach a simple gathered skirt and insert a concealed zip down the back. Luckily I was right!

Tried a touch of pattern matching throughout!

So, let me tell you how I hacked this pattern! Along with the Simplicity 1365 pattern you'll need a self drafted gathered skirt pattern. I used this for my Lilou dress and my Gable dress. If you haven't made one for your patterns stash yet, you need to! I followed the instructions from Tilly and the Buttons Love at First Stitch book.

Once you're ready to sew...

Step 1:

Cut out all pieces for the C version halterneck top along with your self drafted gathered skirt.

Step 2:

Construct the top following all instructions as normal until:

  • Step 6 - no need to apply interfacing, move on to Step 7
  • Step 13 - leave bottom edge and center back as raw edges
  • Continue to Step 15 and finish at Step 19.

Step 3:

Sew skirt side seams and gather.

Step 4:

Lie the skirt over the bodice pattern and pin in place matching seams. Much like you would when attaching any skirt to a bodice in a dress pattern. Sew skirt to bodice.

Step 5:

Insert concealed zip down the center back using your preferred method.

Step 6:

Hem dress.

Tada! Pattern: hacked!

I'm so happy with how my pattern hack turned out! I tired to pattern match as much as possible and I like how it's worked out against the skirt and bodice waist seam. I think it really shows off the print of the fabric, just how I wanted.

It's 1970s meet 1950s!

I found the top reasonably easy to sew. The instructions and illustrations were pretty clear and it didn't take too long to whip up! I did have to take a bit out of the back to get it to fit nicely and securely, but over all I'm happy with the fit. I have quite a large bust so I wanted to make sure the cups of the halterneck were actually in the right place and not too short. So I cut out a generous size to enable me to alter the fit around my waist and back towards the end and it worked out fine.

Last of the Summer days and lovely lighting in the sewing room!

I just wish I had made this dress earlier on in the Summer so I could get more wear out of it! But it feels like Autumn is well and truly on it's way! (not that I'm complaining, it's my favourite season).

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: Simplicity 1365

Fabric: A vintage 1970s double bed sheet from eBay - £10.00

Notions: Interfacing and a 16" concealed zip.

Sewing time: A day, with tea breaks and trying on for altering the fit.

Modifications: Details above in my pattern hack instructions.

Fit: Great!

Difficulty: Pretty straight forward.

Watch out for: Getting the gathers even in the skirt. And making sure the halter neck tie is turned out neatly, and lots of ironing.

Make again?: I'd definitely try this again. I'd like to try the classic halterneck versions as I love the retro collar and peplum options and think they'd be great with skinny jeans.

Overall, I'm really happy with my Simplicity Sewing Challenge Vintage Make! The pattern is a very welcome edition to my stash and it lends itself perfectly to my 50s Summer dress style. Along with my vintage 1970s fabric, it was meant to be! And for a total of around £12 to make, I'm really happy with my dress.

Thank you so much to Simplicity for having such an awesome sewing challenge, it's been so great to see what everyone's done with the same patterns!

Did you take part in The Simplicity Sewing Challenge 2016? I hope you like my version!
Thank you for reading, and let me know if you try this pattern hack.


I had a little of my 1970s fabric left and decided to whip up a few eye masks as it seemed such a shame to throw it away! I managed to cut out about 10, so if anyone's interested, I'll make them available to purchase? I've been wearing mine nearly every night since I made it! The fabric looks perfect with the satin lilac bows and elastic.

Coming soon!

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  1. I love how you used the fabric and interpreted the pattern - perfect, looks so lovely on you too ;o)

  2. Vintage linens are great sources of fabric for vintage patterns, as they give such an authentic look! The pattern on that one is great, and the dress turned out really nice :)
    The Artyologist

  3. Gorgeous dress I love the pattern placement on the fabric, super hack, it's so flattering

  4. شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
    توفر شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل العديد من المميزات لكل العملاء كل ما عليهم هو التواصل مع الشركة التي تعمل على :-
    فك وتركيب الأثاث
    - يوجد العديد من أنواع الأثاث يكون باهظ الثمن ولا يمكن التعامل معه بواسطة العمالة العادية وعليه فأنه يجب اللجوء إلى العمالة المدربة حتى يتم الفك والتركيب ومن خلال شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل نعمل على توفير الفنيين من النجارين المهرة من مختلف الجنسيات للقيام بعملية فك وتركيب الأثاث .
    - يتم فك وتركيب الغرف الرئيسية للنوم جميع لكل طراز من الأخشاب سواء الأمريكي أو الغرف الشرقية أو الايطالية والتي تحتاج إلى حرفية كبيرة حتى لا يحدث خطئ في التطريز المتواجد على الغرفة .
    - فك وتركيب غرف الأطفال وما تحتويها من أشكال .
    - فك وتركيب مخازن الملابس .
    شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل
    - تستخدم شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل أدوات وآلات حديثة في عملية نقل العفش .
    - تقوم الشركة بتوفير الخدمة في أي وقت فنحن نعمل على مدار اليوم .
    - تقوم الشركة بتوفير العديد من الفروع حتى تسهل على العملاء البحث .
    - يمكن التواصل مع شركة نقل عفش بالجبيل من خلال الدعم الفني المتواجد على الموقع الالكتروني الخاص بنا أو من خلال أرقام الهاتف الموجودة .
    - تقوم شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل بتوفير خدمة رش الأثاث من الحشرات حتى تتجنب إصابة سياراتها بأي نوع من الحشرات وحماية المكان الجديد .
    - تقوم الشركة بتوفير خدمة صيانة المفروشات والعفش الذي يوجد فيه أي كسور ويمكن الاتفاق مع الشركة على عملية الصيانة والترميم .
    - تقوم الشركة بتوفير أقل الأسعار لكل الخدمات التي توفرها .