Simplicity is celebrating its 90th year which is just amazing that home sewing is still a thriving business. To celebrate they’ve set us UP folk the challenge to sew up one of their patterns by 15th September and blog about it. I chose the dressmaking challenge because I really loved the lines and shape of the pattern. Also with so many pieces to the bodice I though there was real room for interpretation.
In terms of fitting I originally cut a 16 to make a toile but joyfully found that was too large so graded down. I think I was more like a 12 by the time Id finishes fitting it. Check out my cracking 70s vibe toile.
After my toile came the real thing. Straight off I was thinking clean lines and a nautical theme. Having banned myself from polka dots last year (it got a bit out of hand) I’ve moved onto a striped fabric obsession.
To step it up from a standard off the rack dress I thought piping would be good-specifically neon piping! I bought 5m and I’m rather regretting not buying more. It’s flipping ace. It just lifts anything you add it to. I think it gives it a bit of a sports lux feel as well.
I used piping on the princess seam and the back seam and then added it to the straps. It lined up perfectly at the front but needed a bit of adapting to get the back to fit. I ended up cutting the arm cycle a bit wider at the back so the strap piping could line up perfectly with the back piping. I also had to significantly shorten the straps. Turns out as well as having narrow shoulders I have abnormally short shoulders.
Originally the skirt was to be a contrasting red striped fabric. Except when I cut it and pinned it….um it looked ridiculous. What looked fabulous as a Pinterest pin looked tragic on my mannequin. Grrrr.
So I went for a plain navy (slightly shiny) cotton. Instagram feedback suggested I needed to add some sort of piped pocket to tie the top and bottom together but personally it felt a bit twee when I tried it.
And here is the final result! Verdict? Bloody marvellous. It’s a forgiving dress pattern that hides the sins and makes you feel like dancing in. I wore it for the first time to my sister’s 40th birthday party and felt amazing.
Thank you for the challenge Simplicity. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.