Today I am sharing a dress I made using a vintage Simplicity pattern, Simplicity 8719. At the time of writing there does seem to be a few copies of this pattern available on various sites, for example, here. It’s amazing to me that this pattern was copyrighted 41 years ago but is still relevant today. It just shows how cyclical fashion is, and how some fashions never really go away.
Fabric wise, this is a polka dot printed viscose that I found on eBay. I love the swish factor with the ruffle at the bottom, and how light weight this dress is. I also love the peasant sleeves, with their narrow elasticated casing.
To make this dress work for me, and my proportions, I did make some alterations, which were as follows:
- I cut a size 18 through the bust, shoulder and arms, and graded out at the waist.
- I did a 5/8ths inch FBA. I think I also added some of that extra width into the front of the skirt?
- I shortened the sleeve by 1.5 inches.
- I did a 5/8ths inch full bum adjustment. Even on elasticated waist dresses like this one, there are some patterns which if I don’t do this alteration to give me extra length over the bum then the dress is shorter at the back.
- The dress as drafted is long! I cut the skirt at the lengthen/ shorten line with an extra 1 inch of length added.
- As drafted, this pattern is intended to have a zipper closure in the back. I eliminated the zipper and did a keyhole/ button fastening.
- I eliminated the centre back seam on the skirt and cut that on the fold.
- I cut the ruffle on the cross grain, and actually love the subtle change in polka dot spacing. I think it makes the dress more interesting and a little fresher.
- I used 4 lengths of ruffle, not the 3 as recommended by the pattern.
- I ended up lowering the front neckline by 1 inch. I also interfaced my facings, although the pattern doesn’t tell you to.
In conclusion, this is one of my favourite of-the-moment dresses. I would like to think I could also wear this in cooler weather with tights and boots. It certainly got a positive reaction from my work colleagues when I wore to work.
It’s a long weekend for us here in the UK (and also in the USA I believe)….hope you find some time to do some happy sewing!