Simplicity 1881: ready for drinks on the forward deck

2 Apr


Pattern: Simplicity 1881, view A

Fabric: Cotton/lycra jersey from fashion fabrics club (long since sold out)

Notions: Bias hem binding tape


My husband was out of town all weekend at a Scrabble tournament.  As any of you with spouses know, a weekend alone can be a great time to hibernate and churn out some clothes in your private sweatshop (literally – my attic is hot!)  Before I knew it, I was finishing this up last night when he got home at midnight.

I bought this fabric a year or two ago.  Initially I was pretty excited by it, as it was a great deal (the same fabric was at Emma onesock for $18 a yard, and I paid considerably less!)  But then I was like “Self, what am I going to do with this crazy fabric?  I like colors, but I don’t want to look crazy!)  So I put it away in a bin and forgot about it until this year.  I’m seeing a lot of these big bold prints right now, so I thought why now?  I love a print maxi!

This is a new pattern – I haven’t seen any reviews yet.  I was attracted to the view with the mullet hem (long in back, short in front) but it wouldn’t work here as my fabric is white on the wrong side.  I almost made the high neckline, as I’ve always avoided halters.  I have always had a bony back and shoulders, and I don’t love exposing that part of me.  But I’ve been working out, and now I have actual muscle tone there (well, and I’m still bony, but that’s ok) so I decided to go for it and take a risk!

The pattern is pretty straightforward, but I do have a few notes.  The biggest is on the way the elastic is attached.  As I mentioned yesterday, it uses a bias hem tape to create a double casing for the elastic – pretty heavy duty!

Even with the elastic, I found that I needed to take the sides in a bit (keep in mind that I lost the elastic guide, so mine may have been too long.)  I cut a 6, which is smaller than I would usually cut, and then took it in more.  This is mostly a result of my desire to make the top secure – I wanted it to fit tightly!  I find that knits in general need to be cut small – the size guide doesn’t always take into account the stretch, and of course every knit is different (mine is pretty stretchy.)

I did not line the midriff.  I just cut an extra out of the fashion fabric and treated it as a sew in interfacing.  I don’t care how the inside looks enough to mess with three layers there!

Here is the back with the extra width taken out:

I am 5’8″ tall and the length is perfect for me without a hem (I don’t hem maxis, so long as they are hanging nicely.)  The cup size of the bodice is fine for my B cup, but would need adjusting for any larger size.  The straps could be longer – I would like a little of the tails to cover the big open space in the back.

I’m very pleased over all.  I can’t really review any of the other instructions because I didn’t use them (though I will say – a zipper?  Not needed.  I didn’t use one.)  I have no earthly clue where I’m going to wear this thing, but if anyone invites me to a tropical luau I am set!


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30 Responses to “Simplicity 1881: ready for drinks on the forward deck”

  1. Suzy April 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Looks great, I love that material too! I’ve been eyeing off this pattern and I think I might have to grab it now!

  2. Nancy April 2, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Thank you for the review. I was just reading the instructions for this pattern last night and was considering leaving out the zipper. Your dress looks stunning. I think this just moved to the top of my to do list.

  3. Elizabeth April 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    Great sewing notes on this pattern. I love your dress. It’s perfect for summer.

  4. little betty April 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    The drape of that fabric is just lovely. Perfect!

  5. ReadyThreadSew April 2, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    Perfect fabric choice with a perfect pattern – what could be better?

  6. velosewer April 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Fantastic. I hope you get a chance to wear this dress. It’s really beautiful. I do understand the need to make sure a halter dress stays put! Great work.

  7. Pam April 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    That maxi is terrific! Now all you have to do is purchase the yacht to go with it – it does count as an accessory, doesn’t it?

  8. BeccaA April 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    What a great maxi! I got some of this fabric, too, and I love it. I think you found the right pattern for it.

  9. Cynthia April 2, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    This is such a fun dress. That fabric was dying to be a maxi. Well played ma’am!

  10. Carolyn April 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    That is beautiforious!!! I love the print and the colors and the styling…oh my I just love it! Love it!

  11. Sue April 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Looks fab and the halter style looks good on you!

  12. theperfectnose April 3, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    That is awesome. The light fixture behind your head makes you look like some sort of stained glass/ deco painting.

  13. catherinedaze April 3, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    Lovely! The perfect pattern for that fabric.

  14. Neeno April 3, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    Bangin body! Good on u for having the motivation to work out. I’m so lazy, my membership expired as I didn’t bother renewing it :(

    This maxi dress is hot! The print is awesome!!!! Very pretty.

  15. ninakilbride April 3, 2012 at 3:19 am #

    I’m sewing that pattern right now! I’m doing the other bodice. Nice work!

  16. didyoumakethat April 3, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    I absolutely LOVE it! Wear it around the house, wear it to the beach, wear it to a cocktail party – just WEAR it!!!! Have I made myself clear?

  17. Fashionable Stitcher April 3, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Oh I love it! The fabric is so fabulous and it definitely sets the mood for something islandy. Oh to be in Hawaii! You look great in it and what’s all this about your bony back – nonsense! Your back looks marvelous in this dress! Love it all round!
    xoxo, Sunni

  18. gingermakes April 3, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    Gorgeous dress! It’s so fun and tropical, and you look great in a halter top! Nice job!

  19. Magpie Mimi April 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    What a beautiful dress! It’s such a good fit on you and the colours are just right for this time of year. Thanks for the review.

  20. longredthread April 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    IMHO the dress is amazing. I like colourful stuff – the bolder the better :).

  21. Cornelia Lehane April 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    I had the same fabric, bought from EOS. I made a cowl neck top, which worked out brilliantly and doesn’t look too garish. I did not reinforce anywhere, and the neck has stretched out. I almost reveal my bra when I’m wearing it now! I’d like to know how your wears.

  22. Shirley April 4, 2012 at 5:29 am #

    Love it! You look stunning wearing it. :)

  23. Cennetta April 5, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Beautiful and perfect for a tropical luau.

  24. Janice April 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    I love it! It looks gorgeous.

  25. elizabeth (aka Lady K) April 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    You know, I had this exact fabric and made a halter dress out of it too. Its the perfect thing to use for that fabric!

  26. Carol April 10, 2012 at 5:22 am #

    You look fabulous in that dress. I hope you wear it all summer long! Thanks for the nice detail photos on the elastic.

  27. Angie April 11, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    Wow! So cool and fun! Love it! Maybe hubby should play more scrabble?!

  28. Victoria Baylor April 16, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Gorgeous!!! Love this color fabric and it’s perfect for a maxi! You look great:)

  29. Jennifer August 31, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Thanks so much for this review ~ I’m working on this tonight for this weekend :) Your version is beautiful and looks gorgeous on you!


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