Simplicity 1652: DIY fit and flare dress with cut out back
Nope, that is not me being camera shy. It is my sister, the mysterious “R”. I made a dress for R for her birthday from Simplicity 1652. It’s one of those “Amazing Fit” patterns. And that picture is, by the way, the only “decent” shot I got of R in the dress.
I personally found using this pattern a little frustrating because what they have you do is baste pretty much the entire dress together to check the fit, then pin out any alterations, then take the dress apart, make said alterations, and finally sew the dress back together. Question? Why? Why not just do a muslin? In fact, the directions state at the very beginning, and I quote “We suggest that you make a muslin fitting shell like the professionals do so that you can really get a great fit without the added stress of using your real fabric first. Have fun!” Errr….ok…then why go on to tell you to baste the whole thing together and include 1″ seam allowances at the sides to allow you to adjust? (That’s another pain; having to trim the seam allowances down). (To answer my own question, this pattern is probably aimed at lazy sewers like me who rarely do make muslins and just can’t wait to get cutting into their fashion fabric!)
Anywhoo, I made the dress from a floral patterned ponte. Here’s some shots on my wrong size dress form:
As some other reviewers have said, the cut out gapes. Obviously the Amazing Fit pattern doesn’t tell you/ allow you to adjust for this once cut. I ended up have to put tiny darts in which the ponte hides like a trooper. But next time around I would adjust the pattern for this.
Misses’ & Miss Petite Amazing Fit dress has back zipper, scoop neckline & full or peek-a-boo back. Go sleeveless, short or cap sleeves. Individual pattern pieces for A,B,C,D cup sizes ensure perfect fit.
6 – 22. I would say the sizing on this is pretty generous.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes. I made view B with the cap sleeves and cut out back, with the tabs from view A.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, BUT, note that the pattern pieces have 1″ seam allowances at the sides and the instructions have you baste virtually the whole dress together first, adjust the fit, then take the basted dress apart before making adjustments and sewing up finally and trimming down the seam allowances as required. I say, just make a muslin! In fact, the directions state at the very beginning, and I quote “We suggest that you make a muslin fitting shell like the professionals do so that you can really get a great fit without the added stress of using your real fabric first. Have fun!” ?!?! But, it does mean that for lazy sewers like me you get to cut into your fashion fabric and still adjust without doing a muslin. Argh, devil and deep blue sea….
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
See point above for dislike. Also, the cut out back gapes (other reviewers have noted the same thing) and I ended up sewing in darts to eliminate the gape. I am not sure about the usefulness of the pockets. I am not a pocket lover in general (for dresses); with these I think it is definitely a case of form over function.
Likes: I do like the casual wearability of the dress with its subtle gathers and waist emphasising button tabs.
A floral patterned ponte double knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I don’t know. Removed about a further 0.5″ from either side of the bodice following basting, shortened bodice by about 2″, pinched out about an inch from the back seam, 1″ sway back adjustment and shortened skirt by 4 inches. I also used a piece of navy elastic to form the button loop as I felt making a loop from the ponte would be too bulky. Note: I don’t know if the zip and button closure are really necessary; the neck is pretty large and unless you have a huge head I think you could easily pull this on and off.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Now that I have a feel for this pattern I might sew it again for myself. I don’t know if I would recommend it to others in terms of the instructions. I think there are other patterns out there which would give a similar effect in an easier manner.
I found the pattern frustrating, but now I have done it once I might well try and improve on a second one….
Until next time…!