• Other stuff

    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

  • Other stuff

    What could make this Sunday better? I know, a Giveaway!

    Hello Everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend. Mine has been full of good food and drink, library books and some sewing.


    A Raspberry beret for the lady, two red stripe for the gent.101d5588e1b611e2ad6922000a1fa410_7

    New Look 6886 bodice awaiting skirt attachment.fae64852dd1c11e2a73b22000aa80571_71

    The velvet photograph cover of Daniel Vosovic’s lovely book8b66ef2ce0c311e28e2c22000a1fb747_7

    Final touches to my Sassy Librarian Blouse.

    There is also some good news to share. Last week the lovely people at Simplicity got in touch.

    They actually offered to send me a couple of their patterns which I was over the moon at.

    I generally find that New Look patterns fit me straight out of the envelope and Simplicity patterns only ever require a few tweaks.
    … Vogue, McCalls and Butterick are *ahem* another story.

    I picked two favourites out of a short list of many and I literally ripped open my parcel in glee when the patterns arrived!

    I’ve mentioned to a few people lately that I’m interested in making a shirtdress. This seems like the natural progression of my desire to conquer blouses. I chose the very popular Project Runway 1880. Ami’s version really made me believe this was the pattern for me so I requested this as my first choice.

    For my second choice I went with the Leanne Marshall 1755 party dress. Oh yes I’m making the lace version.

    I want this to be my Birthday party dress. I have a lovely maroon lace with maple leaf pattern and I’m eager to try a pattern where the instructions actually help you create a lace overlay, rather than trying to wing it alone.

    But wait! The good news doesn’t stop here.


    Simplicity also gave me two of their amazing fit patterns to give away — 1800 (sizes 10-18) and 1652 (sizes 6 – 14).

    Two dresses with princess seamed bodices and a variety of skirts, sleeves and special features to bring together and create your perfect garment.

    I’m actually kind of jealous one of you will get to try the cool cut out back of 1652.

    And hang on, there’s a little bit more!


    I’m also throwing in a lovely Sylko bobbin head button badge!

    When I saw these lovely badges I just had to get one and I picked out a second just for you my lovely readers.

    One reader will win both amazing fit patterns and the badge.

    All you have to do to win this lot is to leave a comment saying what your favourite Simplicity or New Look pattern is.

    I also think it’d be worth your while following Simplicity on twitter – @SewSimplicity – to gather inspiration, hear about other giveaways to enter, and laugh with them about some of the crazy pattern envelope imagery the company cooks up.

    The competition is open for a week, until Sunday July 7th at Midnight BST.

    Good luck!