Have you guys ever worked on a project that makes you feel like you’re hitting an obstacle at every turn?  Because I felt like that when I made the dress I’m filling you guys in on today.  Don’t get me wrong, I really liked the end result!  But the process… the process was long.  Today, we’re talking about my would-be Valentine’s Day dress: Simplicity 8014.

Simplicity 8014 >> MaddieMadeThis.com

Cutting out Simplicity 8014

Inspired by this pin, I made my dress out of a faux suede from JoAnn Fabrics.  I did View D, and did not put the cuffs on the sleeves or the pockets on the front.  My fabric is more olive than the photograph, which seems a little bluer.  I also wanted to recreate that differentiated hem that the original pin has.  I cut the Simplicity 8014 >> MaddieMadeThis.compattern out on a 12 to ensure a pretty blousy fit – normally I’m a 10 in Simplicity.  For the skirt, I lengthened the front by 2″ and the back by 4″ to get the two different lengths and also to ensure my butt was covered, because #sewingtall.  I also lengthened the sleeves by 1″ for the same reason.

As soon as I started cutting out my fabric, I noticed how fray-y it was.  I probably should have used pinking shears, since it would have saved me from putting bias tape on all my seams.  Alas, hindsight is 20-20, and it gave me a chance to actually finish my insides neatly for once!

Sewing up Simplicity 8014

I’ve made a fair amount of shirts in my day, plenty of dresses, and also a good number of shirt dresses.  So why was this one so annoying?  I’m not really sure.  I think part of it was the fabric: it’s so delicate that picking out mistakes took forever trying not to get any pulls.

Simplicity 8014 >> MaddieMadeThis.com

For some reason, my sleeves went in a little weird, too.  They were too big for the armscye, and instead of taking the time to figure out why, I just pin tucked them.  They’re a little poofy now but I think they contribute to a military-type feel nicely.

Because of the hem variation I did, the hem facings took a while to do nicely.  Instead of just going in as basically one piece, I had to do them all separately.  Once I figured out how to get them encased in the bias tape and in the dress nicely, it was easy, just time consuming.

Simplicity 8014 >> MaddieMadeThis.com

Lastly, the fact that I did put all the seams in bias tape made the process so much longer.  I am unapologetically a poor seam finisher.  We rarely finished them when I was in college since we took things apart constantly for new actors.  I really need to make an effort to change this habit, though.  They do look so much nicer, and I’ve had to go back and finish seams months after making a garment because of fraying.

Overall, though, I really like the dress.  I sewed on the buttons in a coppery thread, and now I wish I had done some of the topstitching in that color, because it’s such a nice contrast!  While I didn’t end up wearing this for a Valentine’s Day date (we never actually went on one…), I’m looking forward to wearing it to work and maybe a St. Patrick’s Day party or two.

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Simplicity 8014 >> MaddieMadeThis.com


Yardage needed: I used just under 2 yards.

Level: Beginner

Time: approximately 5 hours

General modifications: adjusted hem for high/low variation.

#SewingTall modifications: Added 2-4″ to hem, added 1″ to sleeves