Simplicity Blog Hop!

I was contacted a bit ago by Simplicity to participate in a blog hop along with several other bloggers! (Hey guys, please excuse my yesterday’s post which wasn’t supposed to go up until today but which I accidently hit publish for and didn’t realize it until it was too late! Oi!) I was overjoyed and was sent 3 patterns from which I was to choose one to mock up and feature here at A Fashionable Stitch. There’s something of a Vintage Inspired Look celebration going on over at Simplicity and you can jump on over to enter to win a pack of the same 3 patterns I received and then choose one, like me, and make your own. You should also sign up for Simplicity’s newsletter while you’re at it (and get 15% off so you can buy those new Cynthia Rowley dresses like I did)!

Here I sit, eating a mouthful of oreo cookies, drinking whole milk and listening to Carmina Burana. This has been one of those projects where somehow my sewing mojo was off but now that the photos have been taken, I gave myself leave to celebrate with some sugar and fat. Originally, I told Mr. S to pick the pattern for me and he actually picked Simplicity 2282. Then we went fabric shopping and found some rather fantastic marigold colored silk charmeuse at Yellow Bird and from there we went home. When I got home, I put the silk up to my face and couldn’t imagine a worse color for my complexion! So a whole dress in that color would have looked rather interesting, I’m sure. So, since I blew a chunk of change on silk, I opted to go shopping in my stash and found this rust colored linen that I’ve had for years and have been needing to use for something. I thought about doing Simplicity 2282, but then I thought – No! I want Simplicity 1913!

Long story short I tried many of the pattern options for this dress, but found that my final version here, was the best suited for my shape and fashion sensibilities. I really wanted the version that had the sleeves, the carriers and sash and the collar. I had stitched the sleeves in and the collar and felt rather….off. Just wasn’t doin it for me. So I scrapped the collar, then I decided to scrap the sleeves too because they weren’t helping things.

I really wanted to keep the cute little gathers at the hips. But friends, let’s get some things straight with this here old Sunni Standing. I can’t do gathers at my waist. No seriously. I can’t. And what’s way weird is that I keep trying. And trying. And trying. So it’s now official – there will be no more trying to do gathers at my waist. No more! I love gathers at the waist too – especially when I see them all cute and darling on everyone else. But I can’t pull them off. I don’t even know why either. But I can’t. So to avert the gathers at Sunni’s waist (I did try them too – clearly my seam ripper and I are real tight now, real tight) I seam ripped and put in tucks. Even weirder, I can do tucks but not gathers. Totally don’t get it.

Let’s move onto some good stuff, OK? I now have a rather stylish and chic sheath dress, in a color that screams ME. Plus its linen and I LOOOOOVE linen. Yeah, I’m a fan of the wrinkle. Totally love that. So anyway, I’ve got this dress now and its fully lined! This was no easy feat, I tell you. The skirt section has a back vent and so I did my whole back vent thing (which I promise to show you soon). Let’s talk about comfort factor too. Real comfortable. I decided not to make this dress so fitted, but rather semi-fitted. Feels like pjs. Plus throw on a cardigan and a pair of flats and I’ve just turned this glamorous look into something that I can wear around crazy 14 year olds!

I used a trick from Gertie for the skirt section and tapered it in by 1 inch (4 inches total) at the hem (btw, I believe she usually does 2 inches – 8 inches total, but I wasn’t quite that brave). The result is more flattering I think, giving the illusion that my hips beautifully round down into my knees. Clever, clever! I adore the princess seams, which is not something I tend to gravitate to so I’m glad to be forced out of my comfort zone a little. My invisible zipper application was perfect and all of my seams align rather perfectly too. I was going to do the carriers and sash, but since the dress is semi fitted, putting a belt around my waist just kind of cinched the fabric all up weird. So I went for that tab with the buttons. I feel pretty mod in an updated 60’s sort of way. Simplicity 1913 – conquered!

Friends – don’t miss out on the giveaway! And don’t miss Susannah’s version of Simplicity 1913 which aired yesterday. And guess who’s coming up? Why Lavender’s got somethin somethin up her sleeve, Zoe’s going to turn heads and Tilly’s got some sweet stitchin coming your way too. Enjoy!


  • Sue - This looks simply adorable and the color is AMAZING on you! Your hard work was totally worth it. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Candace Duffy Jones - Love your dress! It looks great on you. I have been curious about the vintage fad and thinking of trying to make a vintage dress myself.

    Thanks for the details on how you made your dress.ReplyCancel

  • K-Line - That colour is perfect on you and the dress is just lovely. I can’t work with linen. The wrinkles just drive me up a wall. Strangely, though, when others wear it, I don’t even notice the wrinkles 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - I seriously can’t imagine a better color suited for you (and your amazing red hair). I love how this is definitely vintage-influenced without being costumey. I think you knocked this one outta the park, girl!ReplyCancel

  • Tanit-Isis - Oh, I love this! The tucks are great! I can’t do waist gathers either (it’s either my rectangular shape or my short waist, possibly the intersection of the two.) although I can do them with a slightly dropped waist. Which is not, of course, what most vintage patterns have.

    I love the front-waist tab, too. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Lavender - Your hotness! Totally smashing, Sunni!!! All I can say is that I’m glad I couldn’t find the perfect red linen, otherwise we’d be total twinsies 🙂 That pattern totally tempts you to throw every one of the features at it, doesn’t it?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - It’s true! I really really loved all the features too! But alas, there are times when I can pull off certain styles and times I can’t! Sigh. Still I’m unbelievably happy with how the dress turned out!ReplyCancel

  • rachel - I adore your dress. I love the grading toward the hem. It produces a super flattering silhouette. And I need to take note of your use of color and start using color too. It’s eye catching.ReplyCancel

  • Crystal - The dress looks beautiful, and I can see how just a bit of ease makes this straighter silhouette comfortable for everyday wear. The various waist tab styles of the sixties is one of my favorite design elements of that decade. I need to remember that tapering trick.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I too love the tab styles of the 60s! They just seem to “mod.”ReplyCancel

  • LM - OMG!! this is the prefect color for you! You look stunning!!! Gorgeous dress!ReplyCancel

  • Dana - It’s great to see this pattern made by a real person. I bought this pattern about a month ago and now I have great inspiration to make it! I love your version, maybe I’ll consider linen too.ReplyCancel

  • Erica - I love your pared-down version! The tapered skirt is great. I recently had to admit to myself that a particular RTW top I kept trying on just didn’t love me the way I loved it – such a bummer!ReplyCancel

  • Marie - What a lovely make!!! I really like this initiative from Simplicity, it must be pretty cool to be involved!ReplyCancel

  • Robyn - You look beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • CGCouture - Ooh! That is a great dress! I’m hoping to tackle my first ever linen dress this year, and I’m hoping that the wrinkles don’t drive me too crazy. And I’m in love with your shoes, but I have trouble walking in wedges….maybe it’s just my inner klutz?ReplyCancel

  • Emily - I love your version!! The linen, the lining, the tucks- so awesome! I can’t do gathers around my waist either and really need to stop trying.ReplyCancel

  • petite josette - So pretty! This color looks fabulous on you and this shape is perfect!
    I’m curious to see the silk you bought. I have simplicity 2282 and I was thinking of using it for a top with a peplum as it is quite in fashion right now…ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - It’s a rather gorgeous marigold/goldish silk charmeuse. I love the color, I really do and the fabric quality is lush too. I even purchased some lining to go underneath as it was a little on the see-throughish side. But when I got it home, it was just the wrong color for me, which is not usually something I run into. But I held it up to my face and it just looked really off. Don’t know why I didn’t do that at the store! Oh well! I’m morally against taking fabric back to the store, so I definitely intend to use it. I’m trying to work on a trench coat for spring and it will make a perfect lining, plus maybe a little left over for something like a slip.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - A very chic sheath! The color is stunning on you–like it was made for you.ReplyCancel

  • lakaribane - Great dress! I have it on my wish list. Great(er) shade of red on you. But your shoes are KILLING ME!!!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Why thank you! I do pride myself on my shoe selections as I’m a serious shoe fiend!ReplyCancel

  • Stacy @ Stacyverb - Gorgeous! That color looks spectacular. A nice autumn orange, but also great for summer since it’s linen. It’s tough sometimes to realize that certain design elements we love just DON’T work on us. But once we learn that lesson, we can quit wasting our time making those things. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kristin - Beautiful dress! It’s gorgeous! Hmmm….I can never do waist gathers that look good either. I was just assuming it was my sewing skills, but maybe not! And love the tip on tapering the skirt.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - The tapering on the skirt is really rather magical. I took a class that Gertie taught on “Getting a Perfect Vintage Fit” and this was one of the main tips I took away from the class! I think this little tip works particularly well on a pencil skirt that is semi-fitted like in this dress. I still get the illusion of a very slim fit but in something that doesn’t feel binding. Definitely give it try!ReplyCancel

  • Katy - I love this dress. Your version is far better than the pattern envelope!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Beautiful make! I love the colour, and the style suits you perfectly! Nice job! And thanks for the info on the Simplicity giveaway 😀ReplyCancel

  • Alessa - Great dress, I love the color on you and I love the button tab and tuck details! Actually, you are not alone: gathers look way unflattering on my waist, but tucks and pleats look fine!ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - It’s very good to know that I’m not the only one! I’ve seriously tried to make them work. This year alone I’ve made up 4 items where either the gathering at the waist was turned into a pleat or tuck and thereby success, or the whole project was sacked because I just can’t wear them in that area. I can usually pull off a gather below the natural waist, but even then I have to be careful.ReplyCancel

  • Casey - Beautiful!!! I think the modifications really make the dress “you”, and also are a great way to show that you don’t always have to copy the pattern exactly as the cover shows. I really adore the color and the pleating at the waist–such a pretty detail. Now this is making me want to whip something up in linen for the summer… lol.ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - I know you and I share that same love of linen with its wrinkle and all! You definitely need something for summer out of linen – can’t wait to see what you make!ReplyCancel

  • Ginger - Oh, Sunni… this is too cute! I can’t take it! This really looks great on you– you made all the right decisions in the end! And as everyone has said, the color really is so pretty on you! Great job!ReplyCancel

  • Sewing Princess - This is beautiful Sunni. Great pattern, great color, great fit on you. CongratulationsReplyCancel

  • Jan - Your dress looks great on you!ReplyCancel

  • Valerie - You look fabulous in your sheath! That’s just the sort of silhouette I’m fixing to draft from my bodice sloper and I’m wondering, how much ease makes your dress “semi-fitted”?ReplyCancel

    • Sunni - Well, usually I fit a waistline to about 1/2″ – 3/4″ worth of ease – which is the biggest factor I feel with this dress. I went with more like 2″ – 2 1/2″ of ease for the waistline of this dress. Still looks fitted though, right? The bustline has about 3″ of ease and the skirt/hipline section about 3″ – 4″. Hopefully that gives you an idea of the semi-fit. I normally go for a much more fitted fit, but my lifestyle is really calling for things that aren’t so fitted anymore. It makes this dress really really easy to wear. I just have to throw it on and decide what shoes and jewels I feel like coupling with it, yet I can still do things other than just sit in an office chair and feel “bound.”ReplyCancel

      • Valerie - That’s what I like about your dress–that it looks fitted but is, as you say, comfortable. I know that’s the sort of fit I’d actually end up wearing day to day. Thank you so much for your guidelines!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda S. - Very pretty dress on you! The fit looks spot on!ReplyCancel

  • Louella - You look sensational in your upbeat and sleek retro inspired dress!ReplyCancel

  • Zoe - This looks totally stunning!!!! It’s so simple and the fit is so great that it looks like a squillion bucks. I can’t imagine what skin tone would good in yellow, but you are so right, that rust was made for yours!


  • Lynne Brundage - Love, love, love! I have to come out of the shadows to say hello and let you know how much I have enjoyed your blog for the past several months! I always look forward to your Friday features and have found so many new ways to be inspired! Thanks for the Pattern Review comment on my Mad Men dress, too!ReplyCancel

  • Simplicity Blog Social & Giveaway « threadsquare - […] a red linen blend locally, in vain. Good thing that didn’t peter pan collar out, because Miss Sunni is so smashing in her rust 1913 dress. Prom drama avoided by lack of desired fabric! Though […]ReplyCancel

  • Chloe - I’m right there with you on the “no waist gathers”! Tucks are great. Your dress is fab!ReplyCancel

  • Gail - Great dress. The pattern is very (too) similar to the Amazing Fit dress which I’ve made with great success.ReplyCancel

  • Jules - Lovely! Think I’ll have a go.ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - Great dress, Sunni! It’s super cute and the color is fabulous on you. I love that hem trick! I’ll have to try that sometime. I’m such a jeans and tee girl, but the more I see sheath and wiggle dresses I want my own! You’ve definitely nailed glamorous, so if the dress if comfy too you get five stars. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • the Button Up Refashion Swap – My Dress - […] red shoes to go with a dress like this. Now, if you recall, I mentioned in my post on a certain sheath dress that I’ve tried and tried to do gathers at my waist and each time, I’ve found that the […]ReplyCancel