Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

Simplicity Sewing Challenge – pattern 1458 

This dress was a hard make for me. Not in the actual sewing but the decision making process weirdly enough! I don’t know why I found it so hard! I literally couldn’t decide on anything from size to cut, to fabrics and trims… 

I’m lucky to have made it at all!

I ended up using a metallic brocade with an Aztec styled geometric print over the top. I thought it was an eye catching pattern and colour palette – definitely something I hadn’t seen before! I opted not to bother with piping for this one. I think it would’ve been way too much going on!

The pattern was an interesting one. It’s a simple design – a princess seamed knee length dress with options for short levels and a collar, nothing particularly out of the ordinary, you know? But it was the first pattern I’ve used which came with so many sizing options. You could choose between different cup sizes and hip widths which should ideally give you the best fit. I was debating whether to do a cup size bigger but after plenty of umm-ing and ah-I got and ended up just making a standard size in the bust and hip. I figured that since I have never had to do an FBA on any Simplicity pattern in the past, there’s no reason to believe that it would improve my fit here, right? 

My main concern fit wise was actually the length of the bodice itself and whether it would sit on my contours properly as that tends to be something I need to adjust. Luckily it pretty much fit on the first go, so very little tweaking was needed!

I opted for sleeves (no collar though) which were straightforward going in. I was a bit confused as to why the sleeve came in two pieces as I ended up just joining them in a straight seam and it’s exactly how it would’ve been if I’d cut it as one! I think I’m more annoyed that it messed up my pattern matching…

So what do you think of it? I think my fabric choice is a little off putting but I’m pleasantly surprised at the outcome. I think the dress fits well which is the important thing and definitely something I could use time and time again as a wardrobe basic. I could definitely have pressed it a bit better before taking these photos though!

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  1. You are right, the print works surprising well! Though matching would have been impossible, the horizontal aspect is not interrupted. WOO HOO!
    The finished dress is a winner; I’ve considered that pattern before, it’s great to see an actual photo!

    1. Thank you! Yeah, I had t make some hard decisions as to how to match the panels and opted to go horizontally. It took forever to place the pattern pieces correctly on the fabric!

  2. That looks great. I couldn’t get started on my dress entry… I wish I’d seen yours first; they should use your pic on the pattern, much more inspiring! 👍

    1. It’s definitely one that should be easy to fit. It includes large seam allowances for plenty of ease and the instructions give lots of good fitting tips. It’s a good one for practising fitting princess seams!

  3. OH Wow! This is stunning – I LOVE the fabric you choose. The prints I’ve chosen for dressmaking in the past just haven’t worked but I think this looks gorgeous – will be taking inspiration from you! I did the newcomer category for the Simplicity Sewing Challenge – a skirt. I just went for denim with silver buttons, so boring compared to your lovely choice!

    1. Thanks! There’s nothing wrong with classic colours! At least a denim skirt will get plenty of wear! That being said I love being playful with fabrics and tend to go for the funkiest stuff I can find…

  4. The pattern art and line drawing didn’t really draw me, but after seeing how it looks on you, I think this one is worth considering! I love your fabric choice as well.

  5. I love this and almost chose it recently, I wish I’d seen past the uninspiring photo on the packaging and gone loud and proud like you have! Now I’ve got a terrifying looking Burda pattern instead, fingers crossed for it!

    1. I’m sure you’ll be fine with the Burda pattern! Yeah, it’s hard sometimes to get past the sample photos on the cover. I try to focus on the technical drawings rather than the sample if I can rather than be swayed by the tastes of whoever chose the sample fabric! It’s hard though!

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