Great autumn dress

A review of Simplicity Dresses or Top S8983


Reviewed by Cathy on 15th November, 2020

I wouldn’t have picked out this pattern from the rack but must thank Julia from the Denim Company at this year’s Farnham Thread Festival for the inspiration. The fabric is their ‘Agatha’ and has the perfect weight and drape for this style. I set out to make view C; knee length with a three-quarter gathered sleeve. In RTW I generally wear a 10/12 and made a size 14 – the fit is fine although I did need to add a little length to the front hem – bust darts would have helped here but for a casual dress I don’t mind this.

It’s been a few years since I’ve made a dress but I really enjoyed making the half-placket and setting in the sleeves. Instructions were clear in the main; just a few places called for some careful thought and some extra pinning before proceeding.

Once assembled the flared skirt seemed a bit too ‘hills are alive’ for my liking so I ended up taking a straight line down from the underarm – there’s still plenty of fullness because of the pleats centre front and back. To add a bit of extra styling I also added 1″ tucks at the side hems to give a slight tulip profile, echoing the shape of the balloon sleeves. Oh, and of course, who wants a dress without pockets?! I added some into the side seams at hip level.

The interfacing I’d found buried in my sewing box was too stiff for the job really, and whilst I hope it may soften with washing, the placket holds up under its own steam and so I decided to do away with the fastenings – I quite like the slightly more contemporary feel of the button-free placket.

Overall, with a few modifications, an enjoyable and successful sew. Looks good also belted so think it will be a useful addition to the wardrobe.