Simplicity 1160-A Cut-Out Tee

Hi all! After completing my denim skirt last week, I needed to find an easy, fun, ‘instant gratification’ project to cleanse my sewing palate.  This little tee was the answer, inspired by a recent visit to Anthropologie. I found so many wonderful tees to admire there. I’m always amazed at how they can take a simple, every day top and with a single detail, turn it into something special.  Here’s the Anthro tee:

Many of the tops I saw in RTW were ‘swing’ tees. It’s a great shape to wear for comfort and ease. I loved the back detail on this one (hated the color on me), although I thought the ties would drive me crazy.  Still, it started a bit of an obsession. I had to sew a tee with a back cut out!! After reviewing a zillion tee shirt patterns, I finally found one that was a decent match. Enter Simplicity 1160, a tee with a scoop neck, a swing shape and a cut-out back.

When I saw the line drawings, I expected that the cut-out would be tricky to sew. Here’s the good news. It’s really not.IMG_3480

The cut out detailing is faced with bias tape, the way you would finish a tee shirt neckline. It isn’t hard to do and the pattern instructions are pretty easy to follow.

The fabric I chose is a cotton jersey with moderate stretch and a soft drape. I think a ponte knit would be too stiff for this, but would love to try a flowy rayon knit next time.


This pattern seemed risky for me because I have a narrow-back.  I’m happy to report, fit wasn’t an issue at all. The only change I would probably make next time around is to raise the front neckline. It’s a bit low for me, although in the peak of summer, I may love it. Otherwise, this pattern is a winner and I will make it again. After all, I’m ‘all in’ when I find a fun project you can finish in an afternoon.

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Hey look! It goes with my new denim skirt, although it looks a bit wrinkled here…Hmmm, too many wardrobe changes in this photo shoot, I guess! Let’s see. I’ve made a top that goes with my skirt….Does this mean I can say I have a capsule wardrobe?? One thing is clear. If I keep buying blue fabric at my current rate, eventually, everything in my wardrobe will go together.

This tee was so fun to sew, I’m on the search for others with interesting shapes. Style Arc has quite a few; the Tamara, the Kylie and the Maris, but I’ve never sewn a Style Arc pattern before and have heard they’re a bit daunting as the instructions aren’t that great. Any experience to share with Style Arc?

Happy sewing, and thanks for stopping by!


18 thoughts on “Simplicity 1160-A Cut-Out Tee

  1. Style Arc patterns are fabulous! They’re so intelligently designed and the line drawings are so accurate. If you’re experienced enough with sewing (which you clearly are :-D) you should be fine assembling their garments with the instructions provided. Love this open-back top, it’s perfect for the warm weather.

  2. Your top is fab! I love the back, the shape and cross over look so great, it’s inspired me to have a try soon, I have the D&D plantain which could work. I’ve made one style arc pattern, I cardigan which was a a very basic design due to the lack of instructions.

    1. Thanks! The plantain is a great tee. It might have the same ‘swing’ shape? I saw the style arc cardigan choices…I do like them all. Just might have to take the risk and dive in!

  3. Cute top, glad you reviewed it at PR as I am now adding this one to my wishlist. I too like unusual back detailing.

    1. Thanks! I can’t wait to see your version! I’m considering making this again in a rayon…we’ll see if I actually get it done before summer is over:)

  4. I like that this top is plain in the front but has a suprise in the back, and yes you can deffinitely say you have a capsule wardrobe, i want to achieve that too but i really don’t think have two garments in the same colour:) some of them go together but only by chance 🙂

    1. Ha! I hear you! I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to sewing which leads to a bit of dilemma when it comes to matching separates. So glad to have a couple of things that actually go together:)

  5. I love it. I think your version is way prettier than the Anthro version. One website I check out a lot for ready to wear inspiration is

  6. Another awesome top from you! =)

    I will add another vote for Style Arc: their patterns are very fashion-forward and, apart from a few isolated issues, get great reviews for their drafting. The instructions are notorious for being sparse, but if you start with a simple pattern you should be just fine. (Plus you have lots of garment sewing experience, so I’m sure you’ll have no trouble working out how things go together!) I wish I sewed more of their patterns, honestly. I just never think of them until someone else reminds me! 😀

    1. Thanks! I do love the styles they have on their website. Maybe I’ll start with something easy like a top or tee. Even though I do a lot of sewing I love a good set of instructions, to keep me on track while I binge watch Game of Thrones etc. Perhaps a Style Arc adventure will make me focus as I sew….we’ll see 🙂

  7. Love the top. In fact I love all of your tops! The back interest on this one is great. I think sometimes there isn’t enough thought put into the backs of garments in general. I’m new to your blog and have been enjoying “researching” your past makes! Can’t help on the Style Arc question. I’ve purchased a pant pattern, but never made it up. Their styles are intriguing though!

    1. Thanks for checking out my makes! I totally agree with you about the back of garments. They are neglected and pretty boring. Since making this top, I’ve been perusing patterns with an eye to that detail. There aren’t very many that are interesting. I do love the Style Arc designs too, and am sure there will be one in my future very soon.

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