Simplicity 2215 – Definitely Not A Dress

Simplicity 2215

This is not a dress. Definitely not a dress. I don’t need any more dresses, right? It just looks like a dress. Okay, it’s the Simplicity 2215.

I received the cotton lawn last summer from The Village Haberdashery and it’s taken me this long to sew with it. Shame on me. If it looks familiar, it’s the same lawn that Handmade Jane used on this classic dress. It’s such a beautiful fabric that I put a lot of work into this dress. I’m not entirely sold on the pattern, truth be told, but the fabric. I couldn’t disrespect the fabric.

Simplicity 2215 Collage

Because the fabric had beaten me into submission, I set to work. I made two toiles of the bodice, including applying a split bust dart. I used both muslin and silk organza to line the dress – for the bodice and skirt, respectively. I used petersham ribbon to keep the innards of the waist seam neat and tidy. I even made a special trip to Liberty for the buttons. This was a labour of love. And yet, and yet…

I don’t love it. This type of bodice doesn’t particularly suit me. A round neckline only accentuates my round face. The lack of interesting detail on the bodice makes my chest look matronly. And I’m approaching an age when sleeves are my friend. At least sleeveless dresses lend themselves to the wearing of a cardigan!

Of course, I’m being over critical. My biggest success was lining the skirt section in silk organza. I didn’t have any suitable lining fabric in my stash on a rainy day. Out of sheer laziness, I reached for something more expensive. I’m really glad I did, and here’s a short video to explain why:

Talking of films, I’ve delved into the world of Periscope. If you fancy a chaotic, unedited and rambling tour around Walthamstow market, check this out. But be quick. Periscope videos only stay online for 24 hours. For which we may all be rather grateful.

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53 Responses to Simplicity 2215 – Definitely Not A Dress

  1. ellegeemakes says:

    I know what you mean about sleeves…I prefer a bit of coverage myself, however I love your dress! The fabric is gorgeous and from where I sit, the dress looks good on you! I can just imagine how great it feels to wear it with a lining of silk organza. Yummy. The ribbon is a nice touch too. Hopefully, you’ll grow to love it over time?

  2. I think it’s a very flattering dress and I loved your video! Gorgeous 😊

  3. Joyapple says:

    So sad I missed the periscope video by 3 hours – shucks – I love new techy stuff!
    Your dress is a lovely make shame you’re not happy with it. You’re just going to have sew a fridge magnet that says “no round necks!”

  4. sandra says:

    I’m a fan, and I read your lovely blog regularly. I hope you don’t take it amiss, but I’m going to agree with you about this dress. It’s beautifully made, the innards are fantastic, and I don’t think it’s the most flattering thing you’ve ever made. All the best to you and your sweet puppy (I love her!).

  5. What a great post – and the trip down Walthamstow market very interesting. I know what you mean about enjoying the making of a garment, loving the fabric – and then there’s something just not quite right. The organza lining, as you say, works a treat. And by the way, I think the dress looks great!

  6. I have some of that lovely fabric too. Bought online and had no idea of the scale of the print so it came as a surprise that it was so large. Yet to decide whether it will swamp me in the intended dress. Yours looks lovely.

  7. Heidi says:

    Those prices at Saeed’s are great even with the exchange rate! Thanks for the virtual shopping. 🙂

  8. Tanya says:

    How brilliant to watch your videos, put a voice to the words AND take a trip around the market to boot! Great video (never heard of Periscope…) and sitting her with my schnauzer on my lap, he was taking a keen interest in glimpses of Ella I can tell you!

  9. That is beautiful fabric… Cotton lawn is one of my favorite fabrics. 🙂

  10. Jan Carr says:

    I think the dress looks lovely with the cardi especially but if you’re not happy you could try re-cutting the neck so it’s still round but a few inches lower? I wouldn’t worry about sleeveless arms at all 🙂

    Also, sad i missed your perscope!

  11. Carol says:

    Wow I think you look lovely. I’ve just bought this pattern myself and have been thinking about what fabrics to use. That big bold print looks great. x

  12. Sam says:

    Lovely dress, colour is fantastic on you, and so well made. I am at that matronly age (LOL) but the bodice details actually dissolve in the fabric which is a shame for all the work you put into it. About the sleeves – yes I thought so to but I visit a hotter climate frequently to see the grandchildren. I think if I live to my 90s I will look back and think to myself, the arms weren’t too bad, why didn’t you just go for it and wear sleeveless. (Thought I was too skinny when younger and the bikini looked terrible – hindsight a great thing – I actually looked pretty ‘hot’.) Love your well written, interesting blog – thankyou.

    • Jen (NY) says:

      I tend to think that less is more in the middle years, and covering up is what leads to the matronly look. I’m going proudly sleeveless myself…!

  13. Gail says:

    Silk organza is a great choice for skirt lining as it helps support the garment – just like an underlining. I think the dress is lovely btw.

  14. Hilary says:

    Lovely dress! I need to get back into dress making! This blog is helping to inspire me!

  15. susan says:

    I think it looks really gorgeous.

  16. Jenny says:

    I love your dress. The fabric is gorgeous and it is perfect for our (not very many) hot days. BTW did you know that we had the hottest day ever recorded in July last month. I do vaguely remember it but then it got cold. I missed your video – shame – I would love to go to Walthamstow, even virtually would be good. And as a 70+ sewer I do avoid sleeveless mostly but when it’s hot you just have to ignore those upper arms. You are much too young to worry about it.

  17. Thimberlina says:

    You carry off that print so well, it looks stunning on you, and I bet it’s one of those dresses that can be easily dressed up or down. Love you video! 😀

  18. Lovely dress, I know what you mean about the neckline and bosom. I saved a similar bodice by adding a solid colour faux placket down the front and sewed on buttons, it completely changed the look as the eye is drawn down by the vertical line. There are many brands of high end rtw that use trims to add definition you could get inspiration from those and maybe after a respite a fix may not seem so daunting.

  19. Oh, silly me, there are buttons down the front, should’ve gone to spec savers. Still, you could add some definition with a ribbon trim and matching colour buttons, easily done by hand.

  20. The dress is beautiful, what a shame you don’t love it. Silk organza is a great idea for a skirt lining.

  21. I think that this dress looks fab with your lovely cardi. What a stunning fabric. The silk organza is a great choice to line it with. The shape is lovely. Xx

  22. Hélène says:

    I’m sorry but I have to disagree with you: this dress looks fantastic on you! The bold print, the vivid colour and the cute styling with running shoes, gosh!, you look stunning! Nothing to be ashamed of about your arms. And thanks for the visit to the market. Ella behaves cleverly like Milou in Tintin cartoon books – I wish my cocker would be as calm as her in the crowd!

  23. Jen (NY) says:

    Love your blouse-with-attached-skirt! About the neckline…I tend to agree. But, I don’t think the problem is the shape, but rather, it should be somewhat lower and broader. That would give it a bit more of a ‘sporty’ carefree look and balance out the full skirt a bit more, IMO.

  24. lisa g says:

    It may not be the absolute best bodice silhouette for you, but it’s such a beautiful dress I wouldn’t have thought anything of it! Wear a bold necklace to visually take up some of the high neckline space and you may have a completely different opinion. Love the gorgeously finished insides!

  25. Sheree says:

    So disappointed to miss the video.
    Please do not even think of needing to cover your arms. At your age, it is madness.
    I have an question about the silk organza. Recently I was tempted to use it myself as a lining, but was concerned that I seem to remember reading somewhere that it could not be washed. Not a fan of dry cleaning – I wash all my silk on the cold wash in my machine machine. Anyone shed any light on this? It does have lovely qualities as a lining.

  26. Hi, I would never have guessed that was the same fabric (I’ve also made a dress using it) – looks completely different in the blue colourways.

  27. Danielle says:

    I think it looks fantastic! And that is a very fun, perfect fabric pattern for the season!

  28. Katie M says:

    Karen, I think you need to ask one of your lovely readers to find out TMOS’ name. I’m sure someone heading down to Walthamstow would happily ask his name, and share it with you. It sure is awkward when you’ve known someone for ages, but never actually learnt their name.

  29. Very beautiful dress . I also am learning to sew. Here is my blog https://nataliapolyakova.wordpress.com/

  30. Silk organza is gonna loose all its “crispicity” if you wash it, according to Susan Khalje (BTW, her couture dress course in Craftsy is fantastic!). So no, you musn’t wash it. I think the problem with this dress is that it is cut at the waist. I have the same problem with cut at the waist dresses. You have to be thin as a paper or have a very pronounced waist to wear them well. But, what the heck? they are lovely, and I will go on making them! I think it would improve with a blue belt and high heels. Your arms are lovely, out with the cardigan. Maybe a denim jacket if cold. And high heel sandals. :-*

    • I think you’re right about cut at the waist. I must remember this when judging future patterns. Thanks! I’m still gonna do a wash test on the silk organza with a square of fabric. See what happens…

    • Lyric Joy says:

      Okay, then what do we do to clean a garment with SO? Ohh, you reminded me I need to complete that course. Thanks for the reminder.

  31. Gorgeous dress, it’s a shame it’s not working for you. Were you wearing it on Saturday? I think I spotted you at TMOS’s stall. Thanks for the silk organza tip. It does make the skirt hang nicely. Perhaps you could refashion the dress into a skirt if it’s still lying unworn in your wardrobe.

  32. Mai T says:

    I can’t believe that you don’t like it, I think you look awesome in this beautiful dress. 😀
    Anyway, thank you for the useful video. I learn a lot from it.

  33. Liz says:

    I share your misgivings with the dress. I’ve tried really hard to love it, but no, it just doesn’t work for me. The blouse I have made multiple times and love it (though the button holes seem too far away from the edge).

  34. Interesting. I would have not left the organza as a simple lining as I would fear sweating in a warmer climate. Maybe I’m totally wrong and it’s just the perception I get from the stiffness. Any ideas? BTW I really like your round face, nose and haircut…and I don’t think you need to hide your arms…I will go ahead and say it…I already have a history as a Didyoumakethat stalker ;o)

  35. joen says:

    I think you look fabulous in the dress, but if your unhappy with the bodice you could remove it and turn it into a great skirt!

  36. This a very pretty “not a dress” dress. 🙂

  37. Keep wearing it for a while and it might grow on you more – they are totally my colours so I love the dress. That style, with a gathered skirt, is one I only venture to every now and again because it is the skirt bit that makes me look short. I like the bodice, it is neat and tidy. Jo x

  38. Lyric Joy says:

    Weighing in here, I disagree about the round neckline and your round face. Perhaps I’m prejudiced ’cause I know you’re cute as a button. You and my 30+ year old daughter have got to be the only grown women looking good in Chuck Taylor’s (hmm, perhaps I should get at least one pair). I love your chosen fabric and think you are fetching in the dress. Someone above mentioned making a skirt from it versus your not loving it enough to wear it. Excellent suggestion. Yes, the bodice is neat and tidy now that she mentions it (above). I would like to learn more about the use of Fabersham at the waist area.

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