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Monday, April 29, 2013

Simplicity 1803 in Flowers for Spring

It is spring in the northern hemisphere.  Time for flowers!  I chose Simplicity 1803 for my cotton flowered dress.
Here is the original pattern.  It is much more modern than the patterns I have been choosing -  although I love the 50's retro dress patterns, the modern ones use less fabric.  This one still has a retro look, although I did make some modifications.
The first thing I did was add 10 inches to the skirt.  I don't look good in skirts above the knee.  That turned out to be over-kill.  Eight inches would have actually been plenty - I ended cutting two off.
Next, I modified the sleeve.  The pattern calls for pleats, which makes a box shape on the shoulder.  I have never been a fan, so I took my sloper and used it instead.
The pattern has a gathered skirt but I wanted a little more fabric in the skirt (I guess I can't leave the 50's entirely behind). I sewed a size 12 bodice and a size 20 skirt and gathered the large skirt into the bodice. 
One thing I have been working on is to make the insides of my dresses nicer.  In the past, they have looked great on the outside, but I have left a war zone inside.  This one is lined in a cotton and hand-sewn into the dress.  All edges are serged.  The zipper is an invisible zipper.  I keep telling myself to get a better camera, but I swear it does look nice. 
I didn't put gathers in the lining because I didn't want more bulk at the waist than chocolate already deposits.  So, I used a smaller skirt size and put in some pleats to avoid the bulk.
I really run out of poses.
The only thing I would do differently is that the pattern calls for the front bodice to be in two pieces.  I think that cutting it on the fold would have been much better for the flowers on this to look right.  It looks a little off the way it is.

Overall, the result is a wearable dress that is a little less conspicuous than the 50's patterns I love.  I can wear this without so much attention.  I can get into a car without closing half of the skirt in the door.  I'll definitely be wearing it this summer. 

Next up: work on my invisible zipper skills.  I still hand-picked this one because every time I use a machine to put in a zipper, it turns out funny. 


  1. Lovely. Love the pose in last pic hehe.

  2. Thanks, Sassy. You are always so lovely to hear from.

  3. Gorgeous dress, I love the fabric! I always think that about patterns with the front in two pieces - usually there doesn't seem to be any reason for it and I end up cutting one piece on the fold. Or maybe I'm missing something?

    1. Thanks! I must be missing something, too because I can't work out why they would have made the bodice front two pieces on this one.


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