Saturday, April 19, 2014

Simplicity 1801 ~ The Unpick Dress

Whew! I finished it!  I will call this the "unpick dress" because I had to unpick so many stitches.

Simplicity 1801 - View C (the bottom blue one)

My measurements (37-29-44) put me in a size 14 bodice, 16 waist, and 20 hip. However, looking at the handy finished garment measurements I opted for a size 12 bodice, 14 waist, and 18 hip. I was drawn to this pattern because of the waistband.  My waist being the smallest part of me I like to place some emphasis on it instead of my large hips ;-)

 Fabric: A pretty cotton I picked up from Hancock's sometime ago.  I stapled the receipt to the fabric so I know it was 44" wide, 3.75 yards and was $3.20 per yard (orig. $8/yd) or $12.00 total.  The selvage simply states Hancock Fabrics and the receipt lists it as "Patriotic flower."  All stash! Yay!  I was unable to cut both front and back midriff facings and 4 pocket pieces because I ran out of fabric (the pattern called for only 1/8 yard more of fabric but I'd get 1/4 yard more to be safe).  I cut those pieces from white cotton.  I might have squeaked out those pieces had I not been trying to match the medallions - I'm not sure.  I'm almost sorry I matched the midriff band to the bodice so well because it is hard to make out the band.

Instructions: The instructions were great - to be honest.  If you slow down and follow them exactly you will have no problems.  I had to keep stopping myself from skimming because that is when I made errors.  View C does not list pattern piece #5 as needed but this is the neckline facing and clearly is needed as you work through the directions - be sure to have it included.
The waistband facing attachment really got me - only because I couldn't visually grasp which side was meant to be left open (the left side of the dress is open for the zipper). After 2 failed attempts I laughed at my silliness and moved on.  Next time I will just lay the pieces on as they will end up and that will help me know which side to sew.

Before cutting into the fabric I completed these adjustments based on my body:
1/4" high round back
1/4" forward shoulder
1/4" square shoulder
If made again I need to also do a 1/4"-1/2" hollow chest adjustment and a swayback - on the bodice part in back.

I interfaced the zipper area on the wrong side of fabric. I only had a 12" invisible zipper not a 14" but it worked fine.
I stitched the midriff band in the ditch to catch the midriff facing on the backside. I didn't slip stitch this.
After I tried it on the bodice just hung on me and the cute underbust gathers were too low.  I unpicked the front yoke piece and shortened it by an inch. This seemed to help - it also raised the very low neckline to a more reasonable spot.

The bodice still poofs out in the bust area quite a bit so I will need to wear a tank top under this.  I'm not sure if I should attempt a 10 in the bodice or not.  I like the design and would like to try it again in a lighter fabric such as a voile or lawn.  The cotton I used is a bit heavy for the dress. The gathered skirt has quite a bit of fabric and swooshes when I walk.  Overall I like the dress and will get lots of wear out of it this summer. Oh, and the length - I'm 5'7" and I think the length was good. I serged the hem and folded it up 1/2" then coverstitched the hem. I didn't want to double fold and lose that extra 1/2" though.

April Totals:
Stash used: 6 yards
Fabric Out: 15 yards
Fabric In: 2

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 24 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 93 yards!
Fabric in 2014: 77.5 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~


  1. It's so cute! I love the fabric and it fits you so well!

  2. Such a pretty dress.Love the photos too..

    1. Thank you Judy, it was nice to get outside for once! ;-)

  3. Wow, this is a beautiful dress! If it was on the cover of the pattern, these would be flying off the shelves!

  4. That's a great dress! Love the bold print :)
    I am a total skimmer too, and get paid in unpicking :P
    Oh well, a bit extra work but when garments turn out great like this it is ok!

    1. Thanks Siri! I agree, when the garment turns out ok it is worth it.... it's when it doesn't turn out that I get frustrated! LOL

  5. I really do like this dress - a lot. It's very elegant and flattering and maybe a bit boho! To be honest it looks like a perfect fit in the photos and you aced the pattern matching. I love little details like that.

    1. Thanks Philippa - I love boho style so I'm sure it influenced me indirectly here :)

  6. The dress is pretty, Kristin! You did an ace job matching the design on the fabric. I have to confess I tend to skim directions too. More than once, I've spent an evening with my seam ripper because of it!

  7. This came out great! I really like it. I own this pattern and have been waiting on making it up, but this might give me a good push. I love the sleeveless look!

    1. Awesome Aleksandra! You should totally make it up - I'd love to see it!

  8. I agree with Shirley; your version would definitely sell the pattern better than the model photo! The fabric is gorgeous, too. It looks like it'll be a fun dress for summer.

  9. That fabric really makes it more fun!


Your comments really make my day! I read each and every one. Thank you!

Sorry for the word verification. I've had too many spammers lately.