I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!
Recently I took advantage of a good pattern sale and picked up several modern dress patterns from Simplicity that I had my eye on. I just finished up this one from Simplicity 1872, from their Cynthia Rowley collection, and wore it yesterday.
The pattern itself if quite easy to sew- I would guess a beginner could sew this with little difficulty, especially since it is a slip on dress with no closures. The most challenging part of the dress for me was the sizing. I always have trouble picking a size for modern patterns by the large companies because so much ease is included. I usually go by finished measurements on the back of the envelope when selecting size, being sure to factor in ease, but this pattern had the finished bust measurement for the size I usually am about six inches larger than my actual measure. I then did the flat measurements of the waistline of the pattern pieces themselves (subtracting the seam allowances, of course), and since this was a dress to go on over the head I made sure the size I cut would have enough ease to go on over my shoulders and bust. In the end I cut one size smaller than the size indicated on the envelope, but I most likely could have cut two sizes smaller with no problem, as I did have to take it in a little more when I did my muslin. So, that being said, the most challenging part was figuring out what size would work for me- the rest of the sewing on this was a breeze.
The only changes I had to make were what probably are to become standard alterations for me when using modern patterns. This is the second modern pattern from a large company I have sewn in the last six months or so, and I found with both patterns (one McCall, one Simplicity), that I had gaping at the back armscye, which doesn’t happen for me with vintage patterns for the most part. I also had to shorten the bodice length since I am short waisted. The other change I made was based on preference- instead of doing a little hem at the bottom by machine I did a three thread rolled hem on my serger. This dress is already much shorter than what I usually wear, so that extra little 1/4″ length was something- plus I was lazy and didn’t want to do a curved hem ;)
In the end I can say I do really think the dress is cute and fun to wear. If I make it again I will probably lengthen the skirt a bit on each ruffle as it is quite shorter than I usually feel comfortable wearing. There is a bit of gap-o-sis at the front, so I will add a little tack there (I used a safety pin), and I did wear a cami underneath since it was lower cut than I usually wear. I would also probably add some elastic at the waist, as the original design calls for the dress to be belted in, which makes the gathering somewhat uneven, especially when you’re moving about- I had to keep repositioning my gathers.
The fabric I used for the dress was a vintage 60s/70s synthetic I thrifted, and the belt I’m wearing it with is vintage. I have the tie belt all cut out, but I liked the green buckle so much with the dress that I decided to wear it this way instead! The cost of the dress was quite low since the pattern was on sale for 99 cents and the fabric was only $6!
I know I’m being a total nerd in the photos, but it was such a nice sunny day and the field was so full of flowers- it made me happy :)