Pattern Review: Simplicity 1653 Amazing Fit Dress

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I really wish Simplicity would do something about their website. It is SO slow!

Pattern Description: From the website: Misses’ & Plus Size Amazing Fit knit dress in knee or calf length, surplice front with ties & 3/4, cap or flutter sleeves. Individual patterns for slim, average & curvy fit & B,C,D cup sizes for miss & C,D,DD cup sizes.

I made view B, the short sleeved version.

Sizing: 10-28W. I made a 12 D-Cup Average fit. I tapered out to 14 at the waist.

Fabric Used: Savannah Sunsets Rayon Jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics (of course!)

Machines and Tools Used: My Pfaff home machine and my Juki home serger.

Needle/Notions Used: Stretch 70/11 needles, ¼ inch elastic, thread.

Tips Used during Construction: Check the Grain on Knits, Get More Mileage From Your Fabric, Pretty Much Anything From The Pressinatrix.

Did it look like the photo or drawing when you got through? Yes

How were the instructions? They were okay. I didn’t really use them. Simplicity suggests basting the major seams wrong sides together to check the fit, then removing the basting after you make adjustments, then sewing your seams. I don’t like that approach. I would rather baste the seams right sides together and adjust from there. I think my way takes less time and gives equally good results.

There is an Error/Omission in the Pattern: Simplicity states in the instructions that seams are 5/8″ unless otherwise marked. In this pattern, they mark 1 inch seams for the sides, 3/8 inch seams for the shoulders and necklines. What they fail to mark, though, is the 1 inch seam for the front bodice and skirt. If you use a 5/8 inch seam, as you would assume from the instructions, your front and back won’t match up. Be sure to use a 1 inch seam when attaching the left front bodice to the front skirt.

Construction Notes: I lowered the bust dart on the left side. I used my serger to sew all the main seam lines.

It's hard to see, but the dart is pointing in the right place on me.

It’s hard to see, but the dart is pointing in the right place on me.

Pet peeve alert! For some reason, Simplicity has you purchase bias tape to make facings for the neckline. What the heck? Are we still in the 1970s? I swear, the Big 4 (V/B/M are guilty of this as well) cut and paste instructions that have been around since I was in high school. Talk about a Becky-Home-Ecky finishing technique. Grrrr…
End of rant.

What I did instead is cut a piece of ¼ inch elastic 2 inches shorter than the length of the entire neckline. I zigzagged that along the wrong side of the neckline edge, all the way around, then I folded the edge over and stitched in place, using a .5mm zigzag, 3.0 stitch length. The result hugs my neckline without any gapping, and gives a much better, more professional finish.

The elastic gives a nice snug finish.

The elastic gives a nice snug finish.

I used a narrow overlock stitch to finish the hems.

I actually kind of like this finish after all...

I actually kind of like this finish after all…

I didn’t get too wound around the axle about matching the print on the back. This print is busy enough that I didn’t want to make myself stir crazy.

Likes/Dislikes: This is a pretty, flattering design, and I love the multi-cup draft. And can I just say? I LOVE this fabric. It’s so comfortable and cool. I’m going to wear this dress when we go to dinner on the Boston Waterfront next weekend.

You already heard my rant.

Here are pictures of the dress on Shelley:



…and back

…and back

Would you do it again? Would you recommend it? I won’t make it again, but I would recommend it, with the caveats above.

Conclusion: This is a nice dress that looks gorgeous (natch) in this fabric. I think this would make a nice dressy-dress in a more formal fabrication.

Happy sewing!

10 thoughts on “Pattern Review: Simplicity 1653 Amazing Fit Dress”

  1. Elle Dechene says:

    Gorgeous! (natch)

  2. Linda K says:

    The dress looks great and I really like your how-to on the finishing of edges. One question: when you say you use the serger for all the main seams, do you mean only the serger? I was taught to sew the seam first with a straight stitch, to hold the shape, then serge to finish the SAs. But I see many bloggers imply they just serge away with no straight stitch first – is that what you do? Thanks!

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      Linda, I do a hybrid. I’ll often baste parts of serged seams, but not the entire thing, then I’ll serge and remove the basting. I feel another post coming on!

  3. Faye Lewis says:

    “Your dress IS gorgeous, love the print.

  4. Rhoda K says:

    I agree with all above and love the dress! I couldn’t imagine trying to match the print either. I agree with you on Simplicity problems. Their website problem has been ongoing for a while now.

  5. Jeanne Marie says:

    I bought this dress pattern when it was part of a full wardrobe pattern, then saw later that they had changed just the dress to be an Amazing Fit pattern. Darn. I’ll have to make my own full-bust adjustments. It looks like a very flattering pattern. Thanks for the inside scoop on how it worked for you.

  6. Linda L says:

    Gorgeous dress! Fabric is as well! (natch)

  7. Shannon says:

    This is beautiful! That fabric is gorgeous and works perfectly with this pattern. Thanks for the heads up about the seam allowances.

  8. Maris Olsen says:

    Pretty, pretty dress! LOVE the fabric, and the style is so flattering. Enjoy wearing it!

  9. MushyWear says:

    So pretty! Love the colors.

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