This pattern is one of Simplicity’s Amazing Fit Patterns which means it allows for three different cup sizes. I’m a 36 DD, but I’ve made several of these and have found that if I choose a pattern to fit my upper bust measurement (taken under arms above the bust) the D cup is pretty close to accurate for me. I made a size 14 with the D cup bodice pieces.
Sizing pattern before cutting.
There are many ways to customize patterns and everyone has to find the method that works for them. For me, the most important fit is around my neck and upper chest and back. So I start with a Size 14, and all the pieces that fit above my bust are a size 14. This includes my neckline, shoulder seams and sleeve openings. I do have larger upper arms than most Size 14’s so I adjust this below the midway dart on the sleeve openings. I cut this closer to a size 16 and adjust the sleeve pattern in the same way. If the pattern is sleeveless like this dress I start with a size 14 at the top of the armhole opening and gradually change to a Size 16 at the bottom of the armhole opening. The pattern piece looks like this:
This pattern has princess seams which allows you to let seams out or take them in later.
Short Waist Adjustment: One adjustment I always make is to Petite Size the bodice because I am extremely short waisted. I did this on this pattern and it came out closer to an empire waist, which it is not supposed to be. If I make this pattern again, I’ll put that 1/2” back into the pattern.
This is a picture of what I’m talking about. You may not be able to see the tape, but I brought the waistline up to accommodate my short waistedness (Is that a word?).
Gravity does things to your body as you age: my waistline is the same as my hips, which is 40 inches. So, making a pattern fit is actually kind of easy. I cut a size 16 which is for a 40” hip, then straighten out the line from right below my bust-line to my hip. Because this dress has Princess Seams I distributed this waist addition in four seams (front two seams and side seams) instead of only the two side seams. I left the back princess seams alone, because I don’t have much of a behind and didn’t need the extra room there.
I also intentionally wanted this dress to be loose around the waistline so I didn’t have to wear tight undergarments. If I had been willing to suck up everything with a corset the dress would have looked more polished, but I wanted to be comfortable. I’m a casual dresser. I realize many people would prefer a tighter fit and this is easy to do with princess seams. However this is definitely a reason to sew! If I buy a dress that fits my upper bodice I have to wear a corset to fit my waist.
I followed the directions for the pattern fairly closely and they are very good instructions. I recommend the Simplicity Amazing Fit Patterns if you are frustrated with bust fitting. This is the third one I’ve made.
I used an invisible zipper and managed to line it up well at the top, but the waistline seam is a bit off.
I ran out of time because this dress was for a wedding I was attending so I didn’t take it out.
The back of this dress has a peek-a-boo opening in the upper part of the bodice. Expect to have to figure out a bra for it. With the opening in the back a regular sports bra showed so I had to reconstruct one of my bras to work because at age 59 I am too old to deal with a strapless bra. In the picture of the back my bra strap is showing. I have to admit I kept worrying about it during the whole wedding and I kept asking my husband if my bra was showing. He kept telling me it wasn’t showing. He took this picture so you can see he is not observant about these things. Oh well….
I didn’t want to make fabric loops for the buttons, as the pattern calls for so I tried making loops with my serger instead. I won’t go into detail but this didn’t work out. Here’s a picture:
So I did make the fabric loops after all. However they called for three 3/8” buttons. Those are tiny buttons!! So I used two 1/2” buttons.
This pattern is not an easy one. If you are willing to put in the time though it is a very unique styled sundress. I like the directions and would recommend this pattern to others.
I wore this to an afternoon wedding and got a lot of compliments on it. I can definitely recommend this pattern to someone who has at least intermediate sewing skills. The sizing is true, and the instructions are clear and fairly detailed.
Size Range (1-5): 4
- I would rate the size range as a 4 because the lowest size available is a 10. The patterns are sized AA-10-12-14-16-18 and BB (10W-28W).
Instructions (1-5): 4
- I think the instructions are very good so I would rate it as a 4. I have seen more detailed instructions from designer patterns so I think a 5 would be too high.
Construction Process (1-5): 3
- The dress was a bit difficult. I don’t blame the instructions because they are clear, but the multiple bodice pieces can be confusing when constructing. The back band was also time consuming, but the outcome was worth the effort.
Final Fit (1-5): 4
- As noted above, the bodice turned out shorter than the pattern was intended to be, but I’m ok with the empire waist. Other than that I’m happy fit and outcome.
Overall Rating (1-5): 4
- This pattern has a creative back design. The Princess Seams allow for individual sizing. The different cup sizes are a wonderful help. Most patterns improve when made again and this was my first attempt with this dress. Made in a solid color it would have a completely different look and feel. I would definitely recommend this pattern to anyone who has passed the basics in sewing and are ready to move into a little more difficult pattern. The dress would look good on any body type. Cut in sleeveless dresses are always attractive and this dress is more comfortable to wear than a standard halter top, because it is a bit more loose around the neck.