Simplicity 8014 >>

A Date Night Dress

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 >>

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 >>

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 >>

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.

ps – did you notice my shiny new newsletter signup at the bottom of the site? sign up for a fun semi-regular newsletter about sewing and other nice things! coming soon! 

Simplicity 8014 >>


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




  1. Absolutely love your seam binding. Makes for a fun surprise inside!

    1. Thanks, Rhonda! It motivates me to be a good sewist and finish seams on all my garments!

  2. Just found you and I am a fellow tall person learning to sew clothes which actually fit me (5’10” 36″ inseam), rather than trying to fit myself in clothes never intended for me. Your adventures in sewing are already helping me be braver!

    1. I’m so happy to hear that my posts are helping you on a journey to better clothes! definitely check out the #sewingtall hashtag on Instagram for more tall folks if you haven’t already! ❤️❤️❤️

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