Spring for Cotton: Simplicity 1459

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I started becoming obsessed with Simplicity 1459 when Tanya posted her two versions. The striped version got into my head and I basically just wanted to recreate that, but I restrained myself from buying a navy and white striped cotton and decided to sew from my stash like the good stashbuster I am (trying to be). I did, however, immediately find an etsy seller with the pattern and add it to my pattern hoard like a good little hoarding dragon.

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Replace Smaug with me and gold with patterns and this is a good depiction of my life

I got it around Christmas and planned out what I wanted to do: create a navy and white gingham sleeveless version with solid white collar and buttons. THAT’S TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM WHITE AND NAVY STRIPES EVERYONE! TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

Okay, so I am copy cat. One of my middle names is appropriately Katherine….so I am a Kat by name. 😉

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But the point is that I didn’t buuuuy fabric for this project, right? Right.

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Enough of that. I am going to talk about my dress now.

I did my usual fit adjustments for the flat pattern. I use my high bust measurement to determine the size I use and then adjust the bust with a full bust adjustment based on how much extra I need plus ease. I also did a small narrow shoulder adjustment and then just cut into my fabric, because that’s how I roll.

Technically, this is a wearable muslin. The fit isn’t perfect. The bust dart needs some tweaking as there are drag lines under the bust dart, possibly as a result of it being too high. I also need to do more of a narrow shoulder adjustment, because there is blousing above the bust, but also redraw the armhole a little larger.

I got the fabric at the thrift store, both the white cotton and the gingham, months ago on separate occasions. I managed to get *just* enough of the gingham to make it. I didn’t attempt to do any pattern matching on the skirt for two reasons: 1) lack of fabric and 2) the amount of gathers in the fabric make the pattern matching a little pointless. I did, however, do okay at pattern matching on the bodice. Not perfect, but good enough.

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Full disclosure: I actually really am not great at installing zippers in garments. So, please be kind at this detail of the zipper. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s getting there. I got better at skirt zippers with my dirndl skirts and better at jacket zippers with all the jackets I’ve been making lately, but dress zippers are a whole different thing and I don’t have a lot of practice at them. I hand-basted this one in place, which made a world of difference. But it was still difficult as there is so much fabric in this dress. I hope that by the time the summer ends I can be more of an expert in dress zippers. I have upped my skills in so many ways this year. Every time I see a gap in what I can do, I always want to get rid of it.

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I used my pinking shears for the first time with this project! My mom got them for me for Christmas along with a tailor’s ham. I requested both and she sent me her old iron, which I use constantly now. I love the pinking edges as a pretty inside finish. It really adds to the vintage feel of the dress for me.

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The pattern calls for facings on the collar, button, and on the sleeves. I found that the collar facing doesn’t sit very well at the back. I might need to make tweaks to the collar for future versions, because it sits awkwardly on me and not flat. Possibly as a result of the narrow shoulder adjustment? I am not sure. Any suggestions to fix that issue?

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The collar is also not perfectly sewn, but it’s good enough for me…this time…

I left the facings off the sleeve, because of the issue with the collar. I decided to make bias tape and finish the arms that way. I prefer that look.

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Here is my photoshoot:

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My next version is in this gorgeous fabric:

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Navy polkadot on white cotton fabric. It’s a silky soft medium weight cotton that I picked up in my favourite higher end fabric store a couple of years ago and have been hoarding along with two light weight rayons from the same store.

I wish you could feel this fabric! It’s so lovely to touch.

In other news, I am obsessed with this dress from Unique Vintage after seeing it on Migg Mag, one of my fav plus size fashion blogs:

She’s so fricken adorable.

I can see a mint cambie in my future! Come to me, my pretty.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Simplicity 1459
  • Pros: Vintage style, large gathered skirt, beautiful collar
  • Cons: Not a fan of the collar facing and find it flips up in the back. Took out the sleeve facing because I was worried about the flipping around there, as well.
  • Make again?: Absolutely! I plan on making it with a navy polkadot on white fabric, because I can’t get enough of the navy/white combo.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

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37 thoughts on “Spring for Cotton: Simplicity 1459

  1. Aaaah…navy and white always looks so fresh- one of my personal favourites. Zip looks fine, and fortunately the gingham hides it well 🙂

    • I agree about navy and white. So fresh. 🙂 Thank goodness the gingham hides the wonky sewing in some places. Still my best dress zipper. There’s a reason I like shirt dresses. 😉 No zippers!

  2. Love, love, LOVE! You can’t go wrong with a retro shirtwaist in gingham! I’m glad it worked out for you. So adorable! And a mint cambie? Splendid! I actually have a lime green gingham one planned, but don’t know when I will get to it. In all honesty, I have yet to wear my striped shirtwaist. I made it when it was cold and its been hanging in my closet. I think it’s going to have to come out for a stroll this weekend!

  3. I really enjoyed making my Cambie, so good luck! But DEFINITELY muslin it after your FBA, because at least when I made it, I end up having to make a lot of tweaks and would not have been that happy with the dress had I not muslined a few times. I kept the side-bust dart added by the FBA because rotating it all to the waist dart made it look odd. I also had to shorten the length of the side darts pretty significantly.

    • Thanks for the tips, Nicole. I definitely wouldn’t skip the muslin step with the cambie. I need to grade up the pattern and then do the FBA and narrow shoulder adjustment. I think it will be a three muslin job. So, not until after the wedding! 🙂

  4. I liked this dress even before it was finished, when you showed the fabric and buttons on IG, or have I dreamt it? I think it firs really well and I love the collar,I’ve said before but it amazes me how well this style of dresses fit you. It will look like a sack on me. I have the same problem with most of my back collars and haven’t managed to solve it. But still gorgeous you and the dress!! xxx

  5. Super cute and so you (you know, based on what I know about you from the interwebs ;)). Cant wait to see another version!

    • Thanks so much and it’s true! It’s definitely me. 😀 I’m not very different in real life than on the interwebs. Definitely more swearing in real life. 😉

  6. What a lovely dress! The gingham looks absolutely lovely. I also would not have bothered to match the stripes on the skirt- no point with how full and luscious the skirt is!

    As for the back facing, I would redraft because of the shoulder adjustment. I imagine it’s too big and causes bulk in the back neck.

    Annnddd for the zipper, I’m always disappointed in my own zipper insertions that I completely understand! It’s gotten to the point where I do hand-picked zippers only and have come to love that process instead. I don’t have time to insert and reinsert and REINSERT a zipper repeatedly because I mess it up on the sewing machine.

    Great job!

    • Thanks so much, Bianca! I just spied your Spring for Cotton dress. It’s so pretty! 🙂 😀 I’ll comment there shortly. I need to read the whole entry. 🙂

      You’re tip is perfect and makes so much more sense. I’ll adjust the back facing. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that. Definitely a SMH moment. 😉

      I go back and forth between handpicking, which I love and find so much easier, and sewing the zipper by machine. I just keep thinking sewing the zipper by machine should be easier, but really handpicking is far better!

      • I’m the exact same way about zippers! I go from “this should be a piece of cake!”– and then I see my results and have pouty face. I’ve just given up now!

        Can’t wait to see your next version of this pattern!

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