Simplicity SewSimple #1998. I saw this simple, inexpensive dress pattern at the store, thought it was adorable and was compelled to try it. No buttons or zippers. No darts or plackets. No set in sleeves. No hand sewing. Just a front center pleat.
I chose a large, bold print. I have lots of fun with large prints. Do they work for me? I don’t know, but it is fun to wear them.
It took me about 30 minutes to construct the entire dress, which unfortunately turned out to be huge. Then it took another few hours, off and on, to tailor it to my size, shape and taste.
I searched the internet for comments from others who had tried the pattern. I was inspired by this blog to keep going with my adjustments: http://montanachic.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/sew-simple-1998/ I loved her design and write up.
Like Montanachic, I too had to first tame the “cone of shame” that was the collar. In comparing the picture on the pattern envelope to my as-constructed collar, let me just say that “objects are larger than they appear.” The collar on my dress was huge and flamboyant. That might be a cool feature for an evening dress, but not for me and the simple wear-to-the-office-on-a-hot-day dress I was shooting for.
I took in the collar and dress by several inches in both the front and back. In the front I accomplished this by enlarging the center dress pleat, and constructing a right angle fold in the collar. Then I embellished the center front with a button.
In the back I added a center box pleat that took another 4 inches out of the collar. I extended the pleat on down to a spot between my shoulder blades. I stopped the pleat there so as to retain the fullness of the lower skirt, which was necessary because the skirt is not as wide as it looks on the pattern envelope.
The sleeves are almost too big and wing-like for my taste, but I think I can live with them. This design would be a great alternative for someone who does not like to wear sleeveless dresses. I would not want to use a stiffer fabric, though, as that would have made the sleeves stick out too much for me.
I can’t say this is the finished product. The hem is temporary; I will probably let it out an inch. I’m thinking a wide navy belt would also be an enhancement, which would necessitate letting the hem out a little more or wearing the dress as a tunic when it’s belted.
All in all, this dress won’t make my personal dress hall-of-fame. But it will be light and comfortable on hot days. I want to try another version that can be worn as a jumper in cold weather, with a blouse or turtleneck underneath, and tights. The jumper will likely be a tweed rather than a shockingly large print.
The Pattern: Simplicity Sew-Simple #1998
Another nice adaptation! http://www.sewcountrychick.com/2011/12/silver-grey-new-years-dress-simplicity.html
I wore the dress to work today. It was comfortable. On my way home I stopped at Dillons, and a few steps into the door, I was stopped by a cashier who told me she loved my dress. Yesss!