Simplicity 8213: DIY Floral Scuba Sheath Dress

Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

Happy New Year Readers!

I am still trying to get caught up blogging the last of my 2016 projects: here is one of them. This is my version of Simplicity 8213, view B, made in a floral scuba fabric.

Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay
Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

So, I have slightly mixed feelings about this dress. I think it is a great, flattering shape for me. I like the fact it has the waist seam and the A-line shaped skirt. I also like the fun front overlay. But the fit is not perfect. I cannot decide if I need to do a FBA or if I need to add length all around the bodice (including at the back). It just seems to be riding a little high to me? I would have liked to have made the flouncy sleeves (from view A) but as this scuba fabric has a white backside I didn’t want that showing on the flounces.

The instructions have you doing a fair amount of hand sewing. I just machined everything, including the lining around the sleeve flanges – don’t know if that has thrown the neckline off a little because it is not sitting perfectly flat. I did interface the hems and back zipper area and I did handstitch the hems. Only the upper bodice part is lined. I used a stretch lining from my stash.

Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay – inside lining detail
Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay – inside lining detail
Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay – inside lining detail

Pattern Review

Pattern Description:
These Inspired by Project Runway dresses are designed to work with fashion’s hottest fabric–scuba knit. Dress can be made with or without a collar. Neckline on collarless version is boat neck. Sleeve options are sleeveless with optional cap and tabs or half sleeves with optional ruffle. Optional asymmetric skirt front featured on view B. Simplicity sewing pattern.

I made view B.
Pattern Sizing:
4 – 20
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I think this is a really flattering shape for me. I like the fact it has a waist seam and the A-line shape skirt with the overlay. There is nothing to dislike as such, but I need to make some alterations to the fit if I make this again: the bodice feels too short. I need to decide if I need a FBA or if I need to add length all around.
Fabric Used:
A floral printed scuba knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

  • Shortened bust dart by 1.5 inches. Note that I did not do a sway back adjustment.
  • Interfaced hems and back zipper area.
  • Ended up only taking 3/8ths inch at the back seams.
  • Machined lining at the arm holes and at the back zipper area. I don’t know if the machining has thrown the neckline out slightly because it is not sitting perfectly flat.
  • Handstitched the hems.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would like to tackle this one again after thinking about alterations. Yes, I would recommend. I think it has potential.

Despite me not being 100% in love with this dress I still wore it quite comfortably on New Years Eve. I was cooking a big meal at home and eating lots, and it coped admirably. I think it’s a great shape: it just needs some tweaking for me.

Here is a family snap taken on NYE – whatever you did I hope you had a wonderful time spent with those you care about.

My family – new years eve 2016

Until soon…

Simplicity 8213 Floral scuba sheath dress with front skirt overlay

Posted by

By day I work in the exciting world of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs, registering medicines (!), but by night I turn in to a sewing diva, making all manner of clothes in my beautiful sewing space (which you can tour using the link at the top of this blog). I love how sewing and sewing clothes that fit my curvy body continually challenges me. I enjoy working with all different types of fabric, and whilst I don't like to put restrictions on myself and say I won't buy RTW, the truth is that I probably rarely do buy it, preferring the fit of my own me-made clothes. I love to use natural fibres where ever possible and colourful coats are an obsession of mine! Sewing is both my addiction and my therapy. You can contact me at

32 thoughts on “Simplicity 8213: DIY Floral Scuba Sheath Dress

  1. I think it looks great on you. Wear it proudly. But if you feel uncomfortable with some of the fit, I would try that FBA as you are thinking. The back fit is perfect, but the front waist could be a tad lower, perhaps 1/2″ at the most. An FBA would give you that.

  2. I like this dress shape on you and agree that it is very flattering but think your intuition about needing a FBA is correct. It would, as Julie says, give you a bit more length on the front bodice. If you put a waist elastic around on top of the dress it would show you if it is correct and how much it needs to be altered – both back and front. It is a lovely dress and your family photo is to be cherished.

  3. This dress looks great! I might not have thought about getting this pattern, but now I am reconsidering. Some of your adjustments will probably make the next one a favorite. Thanks for sharing your review.

  4. I think your dress looks good, too! The silhouette does flatter you, and I like the sleeve detail. Happy New Year! You have a beautiful family!

  5. Lovely, I didn’t notice the fit until you mentioned it, it looks like the waist is a tad high at the front, wouldn’t an fba make the fit to big elsewhere. I have some scuba waiting and thinking of the capital chic scuba dress, but I am a bit nervous about putting a zip in.

  6. Manju I like this on you a lot. I think the fit looks good over the bust so perhaps just add a little to the length? It’s fairly high on my to do list so I shall consider lengthening the bodice a tad too; I’ve just looked at the pattern piece; it does look as if it would come up quite short on me too. But it is a lovely flattering dress on you. I like it a lot and your fabric choice is perfect.

    1. Thanks Sarah. Yeah I feel like I don’t necessarily need an FBA and don’t want extra length to the skirt either just to the bodice. I will think on it!

  7. Very pretty dress! I love everything about it! It probably was the lining thathat caused the slight issue around the neckline. I had the same issue on a different pattern. Also, you have a very lovely family…Happy New Year and blessings for a great one!

  8. Happy New Year – and love the colors on you. I always look forward to seeing what patterns you choose – so many good ones. happy sewing in 2017

  9. It looks great, as does everything you make, but I certainly understand not being 100% happy with things. But I have to ask – how did you hem it? I have read mixed things about how to hem scuba knits and don’t know what’s best.

    1. The pattern (which reckons it is designed exclusively for scuba/ neoprene knits) indicates doing a hand stitched hem (I think). So that’s what I did. I interfaced the hem area first to get a crisp edge, overlooked the edges, pressed and hand hemmed. I think there is nothing wrong with leaving a raw hem with scuba knits but my scuba is not that heavy weight so I didn’t. Machining is also an option if you don’t mind the look.

  10. I looks great, the fabric and style are very flattering. I had to go back once I read your comments on the first and only then noticed what you mean about it riding high on the waist. I’d not noticed before. I think a lot of dresses are styled like that nowadays, I made a vogue one a couple of years ago and it drives me made sitting an inch or so above my waste so I know what you mean, but that too looks ok. You could maybe try it on the next one, lengthening it but it really does look to fit lovely 😃

    1. I wish I could edit my comments sometimes, now bring one if then!! I meant it looks great not I!! I really should read when I’ve typed before sending, especially when using my phone! 😳

  11. You look gorgeous in this dress. I love the print and the colors look really pretty on you as well. Yes, it does look like you may need an FBA. As for this dress, would you be able to give yourself more room by letting out the front a little (maybe someone already suggested it…haven’t read all the comments.)

  12. I was thinking about your wanting more front bodice length and a thought occurred to me. Years ago, during a sewing course, the instructor showed us how to shorten a shoulder seam but she said then tape what you remove from the shoulder to the sleeve because they have to meet.
    So if you wish to add length to your front bodice, you are basically moving the waist seam lower. Perhaps you could remove that amount from the top of the skirt and tape it to the bodice. Since your hem is even, you don’t want to affect the skirt. And the fit of the bodice looks so good, you don’t want to mess with that.
    Perhaps 1/2 to 5/8″ at CF tapering to nothing by the side seam might be the fix.

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