Simplicity 1755 – The Red Lace Birthday dress


Hello lovely readers!

I’m so pleased to be posting the final version of my Simplicity 1755 which I made for my Birthday last week.

I was sent this pattern by the generous people at Simplicity in exchange for a review, which I’m happy to supply.

I had the perfect lace in my stash and plenty of inspiration on my Dresses Pinterest board.

lace 1
Lladybird Valentine’s Dress | Dorothy Perkins Lace Dress | Asos Lace Collar Dress

I really enjoyed working with a pattern designed for lace as previously I’ve just tried to adapt patterns with mixed results. I used a complimentary colour crepe for the lace underlining and a cotton in the closest shade possible for my bodice lining. I also managed to find a coordinating invisible zipper too (SCORE!).

There wasn’t any guidance on good lace matching techniques included though I guess this would be going above and beyond the call of duty! I managed to look up some techniques online, then came up with my own method.

It was a sort of hybrid between patching and sketching the lace design of my left side onto the reverse of my pattern piece to line up the right side of the bodice; so hard to explain but I am super stoked with the results.

lace matching

There were a couple of rounds of muslins to nail the fit of the pattern. First to shorten the bodice, but then I had to readjust a little to get the collar to sit at the right place on my neck (it’s weird not having shoulder seams to guide you).

The instructions were generally written for someone with a good understanding of construction as they were definitely concise. The pictorials were excellent help; for assembling the collar I actually found the pictures better than the descriptions.20130818_181037

I omitted the collar buttons (front and back) though I think I would add them to the back on future versions to stop the back collar from being too pointy! On the front it was just distracting my eye too much so I simply sewed down the button loop under the opposite collar.

I made my button loop by plaiting three chain stitches from my serger to keep the colours bang on and the band as thin as possible.

I probably should have made a coordinating waist tie (or even stepped it up and built one into the dress) just for a bit more waist definition and contrast.


(Grrr I don’t have a photo without shine on the back panel – my lace has this gorgeous sheen to it but it makes it rather difficult to photograph!)

I’d also like to say I think this is the best pattern envelope I have seen in a very long time. Perfect fabric choices on the samples, a beautiful sketch and big photos so you can really see all the details for the dresses.


It is GENIUS that Simplicity partnered up with Project Runway and taking it a step further to work with specific Project Runway designers has really paid off here. I appreciate the Cynthia Rowley patterns Simplicity offer (though I have yet to try the one in my collection) but I don’t know, something about this Leanne Marshall dress feels a lot younger and fresher while still keeping you covered up and looking classy! I think it will suit a range of ages and body sizes.

I totally recommend this dress to you. But be wary, you’re not getting your hand held through this one, Simplicity expect you to have a pretty darn good idea what you’re doing. If you’re planning to try this out as your FIRST dress you might need to step back and rethink.

Is there anything better than sewing yourself a gorgeous new dress for your birthday? I ended up with a really cool dress that feels both retro and modern.

Just look how smug I am!

2013-08-18 18.10.41

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  1. OMG you look divine! So impressed with your lace matching. And even more delighted that I now have some fantastic inspiration… for the same pattern I just ordered! Can’t wait to get my teeth into this one. Thanks for the heads up about shortening the bodice. Someone else has said that too x

  2. Wow, this is really gorgeous, a very ladylike party dress. I love the lace, so elegant. I also like the idea of Simplicity teaming up with designers, the envelope looks great. The collar and neckline are so unique!

  3. Oh WOW! That is an awesome dress Amy; feel as smug as you like! I know what you mean about the envelope too; it’s very inspiring and nothing like the envelopes we normally see!

    1. Oh I bet you’d make a lovely version! I can definitely recommend it. You’re fortunate to be a bit taller than me so you might need to shorten the bodice.

  4. looking good Amy – I was sooo close to buying that pattern the other day! funny! Looks like you did an amazing job on the lace..well done!

  5. This is gorgeous and so professional looking!
    Love the lace matching!
    I think the other version on the pattern envelope would be just as much fun to make. I’ll keep this pattern in mind in the future.
    And happy belated birthday!

    1. Thanks so much! Yeah I think the cute little raglan sleeves are a good look too. I’ll be keeping hold of this pattern for a future make.

    1. awww thanks! I can’t believe it all came together so well. And I had a fabulous birthday too. I’m a lucky girl

  6. Happy birthday! Your dress is fab! The colour and style are lovely on you. I love the lace and matching lining. I would love to give sewing with lace a try, but lacked the inspiration – until now!

    1. That means a lot! I think you’d suit a lovely deep red lace like this. Oooh or a deep green lace to go with your gorgeous hair!

  7. Ooo- I love your red lace dress!I have this pattern (but I have LOTS of patterns!) I am going to show my girls your dress and see which one of them wants a version of this for Christmas. It looks amazing on you! ~Laurie

  8. Soooo sorry for the late comment, BUT this is such a stunning make! I’m impressed with your lace matching and your fit is absolutely perfect. The shape of this dress is adorable – I love the bare shoulders! I hope you had a fab birthday too, you must have felt like a million dollars wearing this ;o)

  9. HELLO! at last I’ve visited your blog after forever liking your photos in Instagram. I am seriously impressed with this dress! simply loving this pattern and looks fabulous! I know what you mean with the instructions sometimes with some of the patterns they kinda expect you to know what’s going on….but i’m seriously considering ordering this pattern out yours look AMAZING! FABULOUS hun! well well done xxx

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