Simplicity 1354 in a vintage floral cotton

simplicity 1354 in floral cotton

It’s been some time since I’ve made a fitted dress. I’ve made several easy to make and wear pieces this summer, so this dress was a return to more difficult sewing. I’ve been working on it for the past three weeks. Ten minutes in the evening, or maybe a half hour in the morning. I had a hard time concentrating on this project, and kept making lots of really basic mistakes, like sewing the waistband side seam of the skirt to the princess seam instead of the side seam. I think I spent as much time ripping out seams as I did sewing.

. simplicity 1354 in floral cottonI used a newer Simplicity pattern, Amazing Fit 1354, and cut a size 10 with a D cup bodice. The fit was pretty good, except for the back, which was too large. I also didn’t choose the two views offered but chose a covered back with the cut away neckline. Since the neckline goes in at the shoulders, I figured my racer back bra would work, but I knew that the open back view would show the bra straps, so I chose the back view that was supposed to have sleeves. I did have to redraft the back yoke piece to fit the back bodice , which I redraped directly to my dress form, because something was really wrong with the fit back there. It had gaping issues, making the back armholes too lose. I didn’t bother making a muslin so I had to fix it on my fabric. Maybe it was because I didn’t use the sleeves that were supposed to go with the back. I’m thinking the back might have had some added ease for the raglan sleeve, but since I was going sleeveless, the ease threw the fit off.floral dress

I also could have added about an inch to the bodice length. It feels almost a little short, which is odd considering this pattern has seperate pattern pieces and i cut the D cup . It was already made longer. It must just run a little short.

simplicity 1354 in floral cotton

I used a vintage fabric from my stash purchased at an estate sale for about a dollar. It still had the shop tags on it, so I’m guessing from the look of them it’s from the 1960’s. It’s like a very lightweight cotton barkcloth. It has a nice crepey texture to it giving body, yet it’s very lightweight and semi sheer almost. I really loved this floral. My girls thought the print was dowdy but that didn’t sway me!

simplicity 1354 in floral cottonThe skirt is a little odd. It’s not quite gathered enough to be a real gathered skirt , but it’s not an A line either. I think the bodice would look better with either an A line skirt or a half circle skirt. I’m not a fan of full gathered waistlines anyway. I think they can look frumpy and make hips look wider. I do love the pockets , though! I also shortened the length of the skirt about 2 inches.

simplicity 1354 in floral cotton

I love the way the back cuts away. I designed a dress last year with a  similar neckline. The collar was made of suede and I beaded it. But silly me never bothered to make a pattern, since I draped it straight on my form….. As you can see it also had that opening in back like this pattern, so it’s pretty impossible to wear with a  bra and I’ve never actually worn this dress anywhere.DSC2061corr1-1024x1024

BeadecollarThat’s why I knew I wouldn’t be able to get away with that open back. I really need to wear this dress actually! But back to the dress at hand…….

simplicity 1354 in floral cottonThis pattern is a winner and I may make it again sometime. But crap, I forgot to adjust my paper pattern, so I’ll have to fit t all over again. Please readers, remember to adjust your pattern immediately after fitting so you don’t forget what you did!


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  1. says

    Very pretty dress and happy your stuck with the sewing and fitting issues. Sometimes it is just so frustrating, isn’t it. I love the open back maxi dress, hope you can wear it soon.

  2. says

    Justine, really cute dress. I like the cut out back too.. Fabric is so pretty.. Happy sewing.

  3. Colleen says

    Justine you look wonderful in this nicely fitted dress. Thanks for revealing all the mishaps and forgetting to adjust patterns. It makes me feel better about my silly goofs. Love your blog!

  4. says

    I enjoyed hearing your thoughts on this one. It’s a pattern I keep thinking of getting when Joann’s has their Simplicity sales. I really like the way the back came out. Beautiful dress and fabric too. 🙂