Sweet and Simple

simplicity 4982

I try not to post dress patterns that are already sold, but this one (which someone managed to snag off the thatperfectlittleblackdress.com site before I got there) is going to be an exception, because I want you all to note down the pattern number and put it on your watch lists.

This is an excellent pattern to have around. It's sweet, it's simple, and it really makes whatever wonderful fabric you've found the focus of the dress. It will have a completely different feel depending on whether you use heavy brocade, light silk, or flimsy cotton. I'd make it first in lined openwork lace, I think, and then in a silly quilting print. And I guarantee nobody would ever say "hey, isn't that the same pattern …?"

I have a couple of dress patterns like this — mostly dress bodices, which I keep out of their envelopes, pinned to a cork board in my sewing room. They're like "in case of emergency, put this on a circle skirt" patterns. It's reassuring to have quick bodices (which I know will fit) that can be matched with a quick skirt. Add pocket, finish hem & neck with premade seam binding, touch with hot iron — and you're out the door in a new dress.

0 thoughts on “Sweet and Simple

  1. That is lovely and simple. God, did I only have a waist.By the way, check this out. I know you don’t usually do shifts, but that’s an impeccable use of an interesting print.


  2. Gosh I wish I could make things that easily!! Maybe I’ll be able to get some practice this summer while I am looking for work…


  3. I have a pattern like this too.Typically, I move the side bust dart to the armhole, and convert from darts to a princess seam.Otherwise I get treacherous pointy-boobs, which I think was considered a GOODthing in the early 60’s.


  4. “finish hem & neck with premade seam binding”::Ding! A lightbulb appears above my head::Ah-ha! That’s the solution to neckline facings that I can never get to work! Now I need to find satin seam binding in black, and in pale pink. Ebay, here I come …


  5. Jonquil, that is a gorgeous dress! I have a couple nice shifts … my only grudge against them is the difficulty of getting them to accommodate pockets!


  6. okay, i don’t know much about sewing AT ALL (by the way – totally sweet dress) so with premade seam binding, do you see it on the front of the dress? like an edge band? if it’s what i’m thinking of, isn’t there a rather limited color/material range available?


  7. These type of dresses can look fabulous with patch pockets on the front of the skirt – Dior’s 1947 New Look Maxim dress has them and looks lovely! Mind you, those pockets are cut as one with the fabric, which makes it all a bit more complicated. But its so nice! I’ll put it on my blog as I can’t figure out how to put a link in here….


  8. Jilli, if you’re having trouble getting the neck edge of the neck facing to behave, try making it with a 3/8″ seam allowance instead of 5/8″ (the edge of your presser foot should be your guide along the edge). If you do this, you will need to trim 1/4″ off both the neck edge of the facing and the neck edge of the dress, or you might throttle yourself. So make a paper copy of the pieces first and trim those down so you can experiment with this technique. It works really well for setting sleeves, as well.


  9. The person who runs this Little black dress site does not do a decent job of keeping the site up to date. I bought Mccalls 9565 size 16 2 yrs ago from her and it is still on the site. Why does she not take the picture down and replace it with a new pattern loads of those patters were sold 2 yrs ago. Iam not sure about yours tho Erin. I also bought a hat from her and it is still there too posted as sold. Would be nice if she updated the website.


  10. Oh, I’m so confused. I sew, but I don’t sew-sew (i.e. wedding dresses, etc.). So are we talking about edging a neck & sleeves with binding? I don’t think my mother ever taught me that one…


  11. I don’t sew wedding dresses either. :-)I find seam binding easier than facings. I take the packaged kind and open up one side. Match the open edge of the seam binding to the raw edge of the garment, with the RIGHT SIDE UP. Sew in the ditch of the fold of seam binding. Then turn the seam binding to the inside — it should not show from the right side. Press it to the wrong side. You can either tack it down by hand, or topstitch it down from the right side. Does that make sense?


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