Simplicity 1652 {pattern review}

I’m a sucker for dresses and on most days you’ll find me in one. They hide a multitude of sins (I’m blaming you, M&Ms) and are just way comfier than a pair of jeans. So I’m always on the look-out for new patterns to try out. I stumbled onto this recently and held onto it until… well, until I needed a dress for a friend’s birthday party the next day. Yes, I’m still a glutton for punishment.

fleamarketfancyI had bought a few yards of Denyse Schmidt‘s Flea Market Fancy fabric earlier in the spring, thinking I’d use it for the Sew Serendipity Betty June dress, but plans changed.


Frankly, I didn’t want to deal with the buttonholes and I wanted to try something new. So I did.

The Simplicity 1652 is part of a new series of patterns they are calling Amazing Fit Patterns. Basically, they give some wiggle room in fitting that isn’t normally there:

  • Bodice pattern pieces in different cup sizes
  • One-inch side seam allowances for easy altering

To be completely honest, they made no difference to me. I’m pretty standard in the sizing and very rarely have to make bust alterations, plus I know what my measurements are and always cut it out at those sizes. But for folks who are building their apparel skills, it’s sure to be helpful; I know that bust adjustment can be a real PITA.

Overall the pattern is good, easy to put together. I’ve made it twice now: with and without the tabs, plus the sleeve variations. Here’s how mine worked and what I changed:

I moved the zipper from the back to the side. I prefer my zippers on the right side, so that is what I did. I simply folded the pattern at the seam line on the back bodice and skirt pieces, then cut them on the fold. I used a 9-inch zipper (invisible in the pumpkin dress, a metal zipper in the grey floral dress).

20130529-061749.jpgI did my little interfacing trick with it (RST, flip it), but I was out of interfacing at the house so I had to get creative. There are plenty of times when I get frustrated that my sewing stuff is in storage and this was one of them. Who wants to drive 10 minutes to go hunt for interfacing in a storage unit. Not me.

Instead I pieced two used dryer sheets together with a zig zag stitch and used it as interfacing. I can report back that after three washings, it’s still perfectly fine. Win!20130529-173055.jpg

I like the tabs, but they do want to wad up slightly in the wash. I left them off the second dress so I could easily do the invisible zip and like it just as much.

I love the pockets, hidden in the front skirt seams. The primer explains how to make them well and I only had a little tweaking to do to get them right.


Pattern Name: Simplicity 1652
Time Required: 6 hours
Rating: Advanced Beginner
Would I Make It Again?: Yes, I’ve already made it twice, will make another
What I Changed: Moved the zipper to side, widened the neckline by one inch, used bias for the neck and sleeve openings, lengthened the skirt two inches, removed tabs on second try.


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