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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

(60) Comments

  1. Oh love it!!!
    You did such a good job!!
    Yay you xx

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you! I’m in love with it ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  2. 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

    1. almondrock says:

      Oooh I can’t wait to see yours! Sure you won’t have any bother with this one.

  3. Such a beautiful dress, your smugness is well deserved! Hope you had a happy birthday.

    1. almondrock says:

      Aww you’re so kind. I did have a lovely day, thank you!

  4. This is absolutely bloody gorgeous! That lace matching is awesome, and this is such a good colour on you. It’s perfect. And belated Happy Birthday!.

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you! I’m so relieved my matching maths worked out!

  5. Gorgeous! Very sophisticated and a beautiful colour, you look fab.

    1. almondrock says:

      oooh sophisticated, I like it. Thank you!

  6. Omg! You look amazing!! Absolutely amazing.

    1. almondrock says:

      You are very kind. Making me feel a million bucks

  7. Looks amazing and very RTW!
    Happy Birthday!

  8. p.s. Actually it is better than RTW–that pattern matching in the front is AWESOME!!!

    1. almondrock says:

      haha thanks! I do hate it when I see terrible stripe, plaid or pattern matching in rtw. There’s just no need!

  9. 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!

    1. almondrock says:

      OOh I like being a lady! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks very much!

  10. This is such a great dress. You look great in it and I love how you managed to match the lace. Wonderful colour – perfect for birthday celebrations!

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you. Lace matching for the win!

  11. Gorgeous. I love the unusual colour and the way it shows off your shoulders.

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you. Good job I have good shoulders eh? ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. blown away with the lace matching! Fantastic dress.

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you! I can’t believe it actually came out okay!

  13. 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. almondrock says:

      Thank you! The power of a good envelope is a very inspiring thing. Shouldn’t be underestimated ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Perfect lace pattern matching! You should be smug! Samantha

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you! I just hope I remember how I did it?!

  15. Ooh, lovely!! I’ve been eyeing up this pattern for months now, as I love the raglan sleeves ( lack of) and collar…it looks fabulous in your red lace. Gorgeous make.

    1. almondrock says:

      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.

  16. Erica says:

    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!

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you! Oh you should totally get it. It gets my seal of approval!

  17. 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. almondrock says:

      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.

  18. Your dress looks amazing! Fabric, fit, style – just everything ๐Ÿ™‚ And you did such a great job in matching the back seams. You must have been such a pretty Birthday girl ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. almondrock says:

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

  19. Gorgeous! What a lovely dress! That red looks fantastic on you! Happy birthday!!!!!

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you! I think it’s more sassy red than street walker red lace don’tcha think?

  20. 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. almondrock says:

      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!

  21. Judy says:

    Very nice job! It looks fabulous on you.

    1. almondrock says:

      Thanks Judy! I felt fab in it.

  22. What a sweet pattern! Looks great on you. Happy Birthday!

    1. almondrock says:

      Thanks Elise! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Oh it’s lovely! And you look (justifiably) very happy for it! I hope you had a wonderful birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. almondrock says:

      Awww thanks I did have a wonderful birthday week (I kept the fun going for a few days!)

  24. […] First is seeing my red lace party dress. […]

  25. 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

    1. almondrock says:

      What a nice idea. You’re very generous sewing for your daughters!

  26. 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)

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you lovely. It reminds me a little of your cut out studded shirt!

  27. The dress looks amazing & very suitable for partying.

    1. almondrock says:

      Woooo party times! Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. This is simply stunning!

    1. almondrock says:

      Thank you my dear

  29. You look so cute! Amazing fabric choice and execution!

    1. almondrock says:

      Aww thank you!

  30. 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

    1. almondrock says:

      Wow. What a compliment. Thanks very much ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. […] 4. Simplicity 1755 […]

  32. […] Simplicity have donated three patterns (1755, 1696, 1873) and theirย Simply the Bestย Sewing Book. I’ve seen great versions of all three of these patterns online, including Amy’s version of 1755. […]

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