Pattern Name: Simplicity Misses Dress and Cropped Jacket
Size Range: Simplicity (Big 4) sizes 6-22.
What size did you make? I sized up to a 28.
What are your…..
Body Shape: hourglass with a thick middle
Bra size: 42DDD
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take?
I replaced the bodice and graded up the skirt. I ended up not using this pattern for the jacket at all. This took about 10 hours of trial and error but only about 2 hours of actual sewing.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you?
I’m going to cut to the chase: this pattern is not for a curvy lady. In fact, I’d say anyone outside of the thin model-type body shown on the packaging for this pattern will struggle to make it fit. I can say without a doubt that this was the biggest struggle I’ve had with a pattern in ages.
To start: the bodice. The front bodice has neither darts nor princess seams, but instead two pleats at the bottom to gather it into the skirt. This is a frustrating situation for anyone with a bust. I tried many, many times to use the existing bodice and add the needed princess seams, but after 5 muslins I gave up. I’m sure it could be done, but I found it easier to go back to a bodice that I knew fit rather than struggle to adjust the existing bodice. I chose Cashmerette’s Upton dress bodice, which was almost exactly the same. For the sake of my costume (a dress based on Star Wars’ General Hux jacket) I turned the darts into princess seams using this tutorial.
I measured the gores of the skirt, added the extra 6 inches needed, and sewed it up. I added it onto the bodice and ended up with the below, with an extra 4 inches of skirt in the back:
Not my best work, but that’s what happens when you change the bodice. I tried pleating in the center of the skirt to make it fit but that ruined the line. Additionally, I have a bit of a belly, and this skirt wasn’t having it. Eventually, I moved the gores towards the back to make the line straighter, took out the pleats, and removed a dart on either side of the front side gores. This gave me a bit more room for my belly. The skirt is pretty simple, minus the multiple gores, so others may have less difficulty with this section. Here’s the pinned but final version:
No, I cannot explain to you why the skirt is so long. It’s meant to hit on the upper calves but is floor length on me. I did not lengthen the skirt or bodice from the original pattern. Maybe it’s a bit longer for a petticoat underneath? It’s still awfully long.
Finally, having thrown out the bodice all together and adjused the skirt quite a bit, I arrived at the jacket. To my despair, the jacket is all one piece, sleeves and bodice together. Unless you are a rectangular shaped person, I think you’ll have difficulty with this! Here’s what mine looked like:
I decided to use another pattern altogether (vogue 1266) for the jacket. Wish me luck!
Will you make this pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make?
No way! I basically ended up with just the skirt, altered. If you’re a curvy lady and want a look like the Simplicity 8187, Cashmerette’s Upton is very close and could be adjusted to have more gores in the skirt/lose the waistband. I wish I had started with that instead of Simplicty’s. However, the pattern also comes with instructions on how to create the Doctor Who Dalek or TARDIS look featured on the packaging, which would be the only reason to buy this pattern, in my opinion.
I’d also add that the instructions itself are more difficult than needed– the bodice instructions asks you to add the zipper and then finish the facing of the dress, which seems like a poor choice.
Pattern Rating (1-5):
- Size range: 4
- Instructions: 1
- Construction process: 2
- Final fit: 1
- Overall rating: 1
Sorry Simplicity, but this pattern’s not for the curvy set!