Monday, November 18, 2013

Pattern Review for Simplicity 1787--A Dress

Pin It
Do you ever have a pattern that you sew up and in the end think..."I get it now" and then want to sew it up right away again?  For me this is one of those patterns.  I really like the pattern, but I don't quite like the end results (some of that is my own fault) and know I can do better the second time around.
What is the pattern you ask?
The pattern is this one:
It's Simplicity 1787 from the Project Runway line.  If you haven't worked with a Project Runway pattern, think of them as the precursor to pdfs. They give you a lot of options and you pick and chose how you want your outfit to turn out. I've liked all of the Project Runway patterns I've used so far. The directions are a little more vague than regular patterns because they give you a little more free rein of how you want the outfit to turn out. 
Source and why I picked this pattern: You can buy this pattern on line or at box stores like JoAnn's. I picked mine up for a dollar when JoAnn's had their Simplicity patterns on sale. I picked it up because 
I liked the clean modern lines of the dress.
Size: It comes in sizes 8-16 with a separate plus size version of each of those sizes. For Sophia I cut out a size 10 and used the size 12 length (thinking the finished measurements seemed a little short) and she has room to grow into it for sure.  However, I don't think it looks that bad for being a little big...she doesn't look like she's swimming in it.
Special Materials: You'll need a 16" zipper
Skill level: I would say an advanced beginner with some pattern reading experience. It's not that the pattern is confusing, but you have to pick and chose which directions to follow according to what you are or are not adding to the basic pattern. They don't give you version A, B,C, etc, but more of a blank slate that you start with.
Did I deviate from the pattern: Yes, I added an exposed zipper instead of a regular one and I didn't finish the arm hole seams with bias tape as called for, but rather finished the edge and folded it under. Everything else was following the pattern.
The Good: A relatively fast sew with not too many pattern pieces or complex instructions. I also like the clean lines of the dress and learned a different way of assembling things to achieve this look with the pockets. The other nice thing is that you can use a wide variety of fabrics for this dress, from light weights, to suiting, to corduroy, to wool blends. Definitely a versatile pattern when it comes to seasons.
The Bad: Runs a little larger than stated, but not too far off that it looks bad.
The Ugly: This is more my fault (have you notice the uglies always are?), but the "mock" piping does not work well with anything bulky. I used some left over maroon velvet I had, just because I liked the contrast, but it was too bulky and was hard to work with on the curves and on the back seam where you add the zipper. I think the pattern should have mentioned what materials to use for the "mock" piping. I think this is the reason why the front yoke looks a little funky...and the reason why I want to give this one another go, but use different fabric this time around.
I give this pattern and 1/2, but I might change that once I sew it up again...I'll keep you posted.


  1. I pulled this pattern out the other day and was thinking of sewing it up. Thanks for the review...I'll keep the mock piping fabrics tip in mind when I get around to making it. I like the exposed zipper and how the piping highlights the lines of the dress.:)

  2. I really like the lines on this dress.

  3. I really do like the lines of this dress's what drew me to the pattern in the first place. The piping really does a lot to add to those lines...which led to my folly in picking the velvet for the piping. I was going for bold and it didn't quite work out. It really is a great pattern though, with some new to me techniques.

  4. I think it looks great {and wouldn't have noticed the wonkiness described above}! LOVE the lines of the pattern....can't wait to see a 2nd creation using it!!

  5. I love the colour of this dress. I'm going through a bit of a piping thing myself.

    1. Thanks Amanda for stopping by and we are glad you found us! Piping is kind of fun and addicting...I think.

  6. Love that exposed zipper! Such a great touch to it. Can't wait to see how the second one turns out!


We love comments! How else would we know if we are being helpful or giving you the content you need and want? Also, if you have an idea on how to make custom pre-teen clothes, please tell us about it!