Tag Archives: simplicity 1913

Finished: Simplicity 1913, the long time coming dress

27 Feb

This dress really was a long time coming – I really need to get better at actually finishing things! I think I started cutting it out when I was still doing my dressmaking course, which was probably sometime back in May. I then took a day off work to do some Sewing in August, and got it all done, other than the zip and the hem. I finally got round to putting the zip in sometime after that, but didn’t finish the top of it off, a friend who came to visit tried it on, and told me that if I didn’t finish it soon she was going to take it, and banned me from starting another sewing project until I’d finished it. I then made a Kelly skirt. Finally, sometime probably November/December, I finished off the zip and the hem. Seriously, why did it take me so long?! I could have had an extra 4 months or so wear out of it! I’ll learn, one day I’ll learn!


Squinty-squinty photos again. These pics aren’t the best, but if I wait til I can get some more, you’ll probably be waiting another 8 months to see this dress!

Anyway, it’s done now, and I wore it for the first time on Christmas day.

The pattern is Simplicity 1913, which came free with SEW magazine some months ago. The examples they showed in the magazine showed a couple of different looks for this dress – I was going for the more floaty, casual look, so I went for the flared skirt option.


I made it up in a size 12 (the smallest size of the one that came free), but what is odd is that the fit on this is nowhere near as big as my first dress (simplicity 1803) is. And I mean, there’s a huge difference – I took in 1803 quite a lot, and it’s still miles too big; on this one, there was actually a point when I thought it might be too small! Same pattern company, same amount of ease given for each pattern, no idea why!


The fabric I used is yet more stuff I got in my freecycle haul. I have no idea what it is. I’ll do a burn test when I get a chance. It’s very soft, and has a very slight stretch to it as well. The bodice is lined with some plain black cotton and the skirt is unlined.



When I sewed the skirt panels together, it turns out that I forgot to set my stitch length back to what it should be after basting the sleeves. As a result, the seams weren’t great as the stitches were too long. Probably one of the reasons it took me so long to finish! Eventually I went over the seams with a shorter stitch, which kind of worked. At that point I decided that no one was going to look at the seams too closely and just wanted to get the damn thing finished!


The hem was another thing I put off for a while. In the end, I decided to just do a rolled hem on my overlocked. It was much quicker, and I actually really like the look, it gives it more of a curvy shape at the bottom. I also tried overlocking the skirt seams to finish them, but try as I might, I could not get the tension right to create stitches that actually worked. In the end I gave up. The seams might still be unfinished. Maybe.

All in all, not my most perfectly executed dress, I think it just took me so long to actually finish that I stopped caring and just wanted to get it done! Another reason I should finish things when I start them!

The one thing I would like to learn how to do better though is finished off the top of the zip. I used an invisible zip and,because I don’t particularly like them (and am not very good at sewing them on), I opted not to put a hook and eye on, but just moved the zip up, so that it finished right at the top of the dress. I then had the tapes sticking out the top of the dress and wasn’t sure what to do with them. I couldn’t seem to find much help as to how to do it, and just ended up folding them over the top and stitching them down by hand, but I’m sure there must be a better way – do you have a neater way of doing it? Or do I just need to suck it up and sew the hook and eye onto dresses?!

On another note, I’m heading to Goldhawk Road on Saturday with some other sewing bloggers, and some non-blogger sewing friends. If you’re around and fancy joining us for a spot of fabric shopping, or a drink afterwards, then let me know :) it’s been way too long since I’ve been fabric shopping, I can’t wait!


Holiday time!

6 Jul

I finally finished my Bombshell swimsuit today, just in time for heading off on holiday! And it is now packed…in my hand luggage, because I don’t want to risk losing it should my luggage go AWOL!


Completely unavoidably I ended up with a whole list of post-holiday things that had to be done today, so it was a bit of a mad panic trying to get everything done, not helped by the fact that when I tried to use my sewing machine, it started growling at me. No idea what’s wrong with it, it was fine when I left off last weekend, but that will be something to sort out when I come back :( Due to it being a little rushed, I’m not entirely happy with how the bust has come out. I think it looks fine, it just doesn’t sit as well as I’d like. I’m sure once I’m lying on the beach with a cocktail I’ll forget about that though! I’ll do a full post on the bombshell when I get back, complete with actual photos – I wasn’t about to post photos of my pale pasty legs on the interwebs, I’ll wait til after the hol ;)

I also did a lovely rolled hem on the piece of chiffon I bought to make into a sarong – I think I actually love my overlocker!

I had written a blog post for today, but cleverly wrote it at work during lunch, and forgot to email it to myself! So that one will have to wait!

I’ve got a few little projects lined up for when I get back – a couple of presents for friends/colleagues who are getting married – even managed to fit in a quick run to Masons today to pick up what I needed for those, as I am going to have NO time after I get back and before I need them! And I’m really looking forward to getting started on my next item of clothing – have cut out the fabric for Simplicity 1913, so just need some time (and a happier sewing machine!) to get on with that!

Those of you who are in the UK, enjoy the (supposedly!) nice weather this week – for the second year in a row I’m out the country for pretty much the one week of summer we get, but actually, I think it would just drive me crazy being stuck in the office staring longingly at the sun! And I shall be hoping that my sewing holds up to the sea!


Post project blues, and my sewing to-do list

21 Jun

So, I finished my first dress, which was incredibly exciting, but now I’m suffering from a bit of post-project blues [edit: I started writing this post on Wednesday, when this was very much the case, but now I have decided on a new exciting project, the blues have abated :)]. It tends to happen – I get really caught up in the process of something, whether it be making something, or researching something to buy, and throw myself into completely, but then once the project is completed, or I’ve actually received the thing I bought, the excitement wears of. I guess it’s the thrill of the chase.

And I’m feeling a bit like that now I’ve finished my dress. I went along to my sewing course On Tuesday (wearing the dress of course!) with a couple of things to work on. One of them was the Simplicity 2415 disaster top. I worked on that a bit, but I really think the fabric is a bit too stiff for the style of the top, and it wasn’t really working out. I’d also taken along a pattern which I’d cut out, with the plan of cutting out the fabric for it at class – there are big tables there which makes it so much easier than trying to do it on our little table at home. But I got my pattern out to cut it and realised I’d picked up the wrong envelope! I’d taken along the pattern for the dress I’d just made, not the one I wanted to start making :( booo!

That kind of threw me a little bit, and I didn’t have anything else to get on with – for the first time, I found myself wishing for the end of the class, rather than being alarmed that it was going so quickly.

So I thought I’d do something that I’d been meaning to do for a while, and compile a list of projects that I want to complete – to give me something to go to when I’ve finished one project and need something new to get started on, and also so I remember which fabrics I was going to use for each pattern. I’m sure I’ll add to this list (in fact, I know I will), I already have some other ideas that I want to put into action, but I decided to only try and list items for which I have both the pattern and the fabric already lined up.

So, in no particular order…

Simplicity 3673 (view C), inspired by Molly’s green one, in the teal fabric I bought at Walthamstow Market

simplicity 3673 IMG_0019

Simplicity 1913 (free with last month’s Sew magazine), with this flower print fabric from my freecycle stash. I’m thinking of a more casual version, similar to the one they had on the cover.

simplicity 1913 IMG_0111

Simplicity 2444, inspired by Fiona’s lovely version, probably with this floral print from my Walthamstow haul. I’m really glad I came across hers because based on the pattern envelope, I probably wouldn’t have given the pattern a second glance.

simplicity 2444 IMG_0017

But I think I have found my winning next project…

I saw a couple of versions of this (such as Lauren’s and Katie’s), and completely fell in love.

The Bombshell swimsuit, by Heather Lou at Closet Case Files. Now, I have never had any desire to sew a swimsuit (I feel slightly odd saying that when I’ve always called it a swimming costume, but they sound like completely different things and let’s face it, swimsuit just sounds classier! Americanisms are slowly creeping into my language…)before, I’ve only ever sewn one item of clothing, and I rarely go swimming. But then yesterday, I booked a beach holiday! First beach holiday in a good few years (and Marcus’ first ever, he doesn’t really understand the concept) and I decided that if I was ever going to sew this swimsuit, now is the time! I have 15 days before I go on holiday, I have no swimsuit fabric (trip to Fabricland in Reading in order on Saturday I think!), and I have no idea whether it is even vaguely achievable for me, but I like a challenge, particularly a challenge with a deadline! It also helps that Heather Lou is doing a brilliant Sewalong for the Bombshell, and I may end up being a week behind, but, reading through her posts so far, the instructions are so clear that it’s really encouraged me to give it a go! I spent last night cutting and piecing together all the pattern sheets (harder than it should be I’m sure!), tomorrow I will go on a swimsuit fabric hunt (I’m thinking maybe some large red polka dot), and then we shall see what happens!

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter


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