Are you the same as me right now? Wrapping up in layers and then peeling them off? At this time of year I need what I call a Winter Summer dress – otherwise known as the Simplicity 1801. The print suits winter, but the fabric is cool enough so that when I sit in an airless, overheated office I’m not fanning my face.
The success or failure of this dress is all in the fitting. It relies on fabric with drape and there are lots of gathers at the bust, waist and back. So, it’s a good job I remembered some advice given to me years ago: Always make Simplicity dresses two sizes smaller than the pattern measurements tell you.
According to the pattern’s body measurements, I should have cut out a size 18. I cut out a size 14, and had few fitting adjustments. I shaved a bit of depth off the shoulder width (common for me), took an inch off the sleeve length, shortened the skirt by 3.5 inches and took 3/4 inch off the depth of the back bodice. It’s worth knowing that there’s a very handy back yoke seam that allows you to adjust the back fit with no tears – as long as you address this before sleeve insertion.
There are pockets included in the pattern, but I didn’t use them. I thought they’d bag out with a fabric this full of drape. One other adjustment I must mention. I raised the V neckline by about 1.5 inches. Otherwise, I wouldn’t want to bend over in this dress. Not without revealing my bra!
The sleeves are voluminous, so I’d pause to consider if that’s a look you’re going to like. There’s a side seam invisible zip and … that’s about it.
I am very happy with this dress! I’d happily continue wearing it beyond winter months. Do you have to negotiate temperature chaos at this time of year? My house is freezing right now!