One Very Red Dress

by Erin on February 23, 2012

I tried Simplicity 6894 again, this time in a completely unforgiving, show-every-mistake solid red poplin: 

I'm not sure why I picked this red, other than that I started working on this dress around Valentine's Day, and I had the fabric hanging around. (I don't wear a lot of red.)  

I made the pockets (adding them was my main alteration to this pattern) a little deeper this time. I don't think I have it 100% right yet — the opening is still a little high.

This photo came out funny, but the zipper didn't: 


The wrinkles across the back are mostly due to my dress form not being set to my form any more. I changed the settings to take a picture of a much smaller vintage dress and still haven't gotten them back to "normal".  (The tangle of cords there on my computer desk is very much "normal".)


Whose advice was it to sew the tucks first, then cut out the bodice? It was great advice, made for very fast construction! 

The buttons here are vintage, have had 'em forever. They were my second choice — the first was a set of red, white, and blue buttons that I think I snagged in a fabric swap before I left Chicago. But the red was just a little off … this red is *perfect*. 

I gave this a test wear last Saturday — with gray Keds (see below). It was slightly too cold for bare legs in the San Francisco Mission in February, but as long as I sat in the sun (and had a copy of New Scientist to read) I felt fine … 


I'm pretty sure I'll make this again … maybe even in another solid color! 

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kalina February 24, 2012 at 12:28 am

Great result! respect for the perfect pleats – I wouldn’t even dare to think of making that :)


Karin T February 24, 2012 at 1:28 am

I am reading your book “the Secret Lifes of Dresses”. I Love it. I write at little bit about it in my blog Unfortunatly it is only in Swedish. So I wanted to tell you how much I like it here also.


Emily February 24, 2012 at 5:20 am

I’m so glad to see how well this turned out! I inherited this pattern over the holidays and, though it needs to be made smaller, I’ve been dying to see it in real life (slash blog world)! Looks great!


Sue February 24, 2012 at 6:07 am

What a perfect little dress. Love the red, too!

I’d love to try this pattern but am pretty intimidated by the pleating…yours came out lovely, though. :)


Steph A February 24, 2012 at 6:20 am

Lovely dress, the colour is terrific! And so are the pleats, I like the idea of sewing them before cutting out the pieces.
Nothing like sitting in the sun with a good mag to read, I love ‘New Scientist’ too.


MB@YarnUiPhoneAppv2.2 February 24, 2012 at 7:44 am

Mac Berg, sewist extraordinaire at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, is all about sewing fancy-schmancy pintucks first, and cutting out pattern pieces after. I think this approach holds for other design techniques too – free form shirring with elastic in the bobbin – is one that comes to mind.


Claire Jain February 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

So cute! I’m completely in love :-)


Mona Bayard February 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Love the thought of bright red Erin in the Mission in Feb!


Mica February 25, 2012 at 3:35 am

Such a nice dress – I really like that color of red!


velosewer February 26, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Cute dress. Such a classic style. I’ll keep in mind sewing the pleats before cutting our the blouse. Nice idea.


Lynn February 28, 2012 at 8:03 am

I love it! I’m so fascinated with interesting prints, I rarely think of sewing solids but I really should a little more often.


Carrie February 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I love this dress! I have not posted here before but I have just spent the last 8-10 months reading through your archives and have finally made it to the most recent post! I am not a sewer or really a dress wearer (I have a couple skirts I wear on rare occasion) but I love vintage jewelry and vintage style. I was actually inspired by this blog to buy a shirt dress when I saw one advertised in a Lane Bryant catalog last year. Haven’t worn it yet because it needs shortened (it is an awkward length, past my knees) but I did finally this past weekend fix the buttons that were loose before I bought it! Now for the challenge of shoes that fit…


LinB February 29, 2012 at 9:00 am

I think it was I who recommended that “sew the tucks first” tip to you. Glad to know it was a success. Love the red, love the shirtwaist style. Happy Leap Day!


Pam March 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I’ve noticed a lot (maybe nearly all) of your dresses have the zipper in the side seam. I could see that in a dress with sleeves, but on the sleeveless or nearly sleeveless ones, doesn’t the zipper pull dig into that soft inner upper-arm flesh??? If it doesn’t…I’ve got several patterns to try where that was the only issue stopping me from using them!


Eirlys March 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I LIKE the red! And like it with the blue Keds too. You’re all set for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games! – though knowing summer in Britain, the bare legs might be goose-bumpy. 😉


Polka Dot Dress March 10, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I luv a red dress!!


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