Paisley ♥

s3833My Simplicity 3833 pattern got its third outing this week, and was used to transform my friend Tracey’s donated maxi skirt into a new dress for me. This is a pattern from 1969, originally published as Simplicity 8498 with a maxi length option, which was re-issued in 2007 in its present form. It’s simple to make and very easy to wear. My first edition was made from cream polyester crepe for the bodice (front and back) and navy cotton with elastane for the skirt, and I love it. Second time around I used a dark brown mixed fibre remnant I’d had in my drawer for years for the bodice front, and a remnant of a seventies curtain fabric in oranges, reds and brown for the rest. Very, very retro, but my pattern matching could have been way better. Both dresses have been dancing wear.


This time my main fabric is a very soft cotton needlecord (soft because it’s a recycled fabric, washed many times already) with a vibrant paisley print in navy, turquoise, hot pink and lilac (among other colours). I didn’t have enough width in my fabric to cut the bodice front in one piece as required, so decided to use a contrast fabric for this but tied the two sections together with a large appliquéd heart cut from the paisley. I also decided to make sleeves for this dress, both the previous incarnations being sleeveless. I had to handle the needlecord carefully because it was inclined to stretch out of shape because of its age. I overcame this problem by stay stitching all the curved edges (neck, armhole and under bust). This is a line of straight stitching made just inside the seam allowance which stabilises the fabric edges and prevents any misshaping. I had a few trimmings which I used around the lower edges of the sleeves and skirt – happily the ribbon and ric-rac at the bottom has a slight stiffening effect and helps the skirt to keep its lovely A-line shape.This will definitely be a dress for standing or dancing as the seat will stretch out with sitting.   …click on a gallery pic to view large …


My next project goes back even further in time. It’s a 1957 Vogue pattern, V1044, and my fabric is an African wax print on cotton in emerald green, gold and purple.

About Bridget

observing; sometimes quietly View all posts by Bridget

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