Little Black Dress
Pattern Review: Simplicity 1609
Last Autumn my mum and I ventured to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace for the first time. I didn't come away with any fabric but I did leave with a free pattern - Simplicity 1609.
As black is difficult to photograph and capture pattern details I have included a copy of the line drawings (courtesy of www.simplicitynewlook.com). I was initially very cautious about sewing this type of pattern as A-line shift dresses can end up looking tent like on me. However as this was a free pattern I decided I had nothing to lose and gave it a go.
I sewed this up in a size 14 and treated it as a wearable muslin. The pattern is unlined and I didn't bother with the facings for two reasons. Firstly I altered the neckline; I cut this as a V shaped neckline as I felt that the original design was too high on me. Secondly I was too lazy to cut a new facing pattern piece for a wearable muslin. Instead I finished the neckline and armholes with bias binding. The only other minor alterations I made were to omit the zipper (with my fabric choice it wasn't needed), remove 1" from the top centre back and to shorten the hemline by 3".
The fabric is a ponte knit purchased from Simply Fabrics in Brixton priced at £3 per metre. Using a knit fabric for this dress did mean that I didn't have to fuss about the fit and construction. If made in a woven I would have to insert a zipper and I am 100% sure I would need to grade out a size on the hips. My last comment is that the pattern has you cut the front out as two pieces with a centre front seam. I felt that this was totally necessary and cut the front piece out on the fold.
I actually have quite a soft spot for this dress. It is by far one of the least interesting items I have ever sewn in my life but I really like the shaping in the back and being a ponte knit it is so comfortable. Granted it is a bit tent shaped, but with a belt it ends up being quite flattering. This is in frequent rotation in my work wardrobe, often paired with my animal print cover up. In fact I already have some fabric earmarked for another version of this dress.
You can view my Pattern Review here.
I have another project to blog and another on the sewing table. It's so great to have my sewing mojo back!