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.
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 pattern 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.
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.
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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Yardage needed: I used just under 2 yards.
Time: approximately 5 hours
General modifications: adjusted hem for high/low variation.
#SewingTall modifications: Added 2-4″ to hem, added 1″ to sleeves