Vintage Simplicity 8682: summer dress in a jiffy!

Monday, 29 January 2018
Apologies for all readers in the Northern Hemisphere, but here in Australia we are still sweltering through summer. It has been extremely hot and humid and will probably be really warm for at least another month or more, so it's a perfect time to whip out a new summer dress.

I used a vintage Simplicity pattern that has been in my stash for a long time, picked up in an op shop a long time ago. The pattern cover promises that this is an easy cut and easy sew Jiffy dress and it certainly was! I washed the fabric, hung it out to dry in the sunshine, cut it out and sewed it all in the SAME day!

The fabric I've used is such a fun print. It's a Sevenberry print that I bought from No Chintz of all places, last year during their sale (No Chintz is a decorater/upholstery shop). It's a substantial cotton drill so it didn't need any lining, and it doesn't have much drape which suits the a-line style of the dress. Even after washing and line drying it didn't lose any of it's vibrant colour, and it was a dream to sew and press.

The dress is quite a simple shape, but the curved French darts on the front and two vertical fish eye darts in the back give enough shaping that it doesn't look like a potato sack. I didn't even do a sway back adjustment yet look at the nice fit I achieved in the back:

I didn't make too many changes to the pattern: I added 1.5cm to the sides below the waist line to make sure the dress was roomy around my wide hips and took it in by about 1.5cm above the wais tat the side seams to make it fit better across the bust. It all seemed to balance out in the end! I also reduced the length by about 5cm and used an invisible zip because I find them faster than a lapped or centred zip.

I did lower that neckline slightly though at the front because it's quite a high jewel neckline and felt a little uncomfortable against my neck. Even lowering it at the front by almost 2cm you can see it still sits quite high:

The only change I would make for the next time I make this dress (and there will be a next time since it was so fast, easy and well fitting) is to convert the neckline and armhole facings into a single facing. You can see in the photo below that there isn't much gap between them, and I had to hand stitch the facings down to stop them flipping out. It's a pretty simple matter to do an all in one facing and makes it possible to cleanly finish the neckline and armhole as well.

And I hope you're all enjoying the change of scenery in my blog photos - I took the kids to Shark Beach at Nielsen Park which is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park in Sydney's east today and made my daughter take some photos for me. This is such a lovely harbour beach, with only gentle waves, white sand, clear water and the CBD as backdrop. Despite it's name, there were no sharks today and there is a shark netted area to swim in anyway! Ferries passing by, a rock shelf to explore and a great cafe for lunch - it has it all (except for ample parking, you need to get here early). 



  1. super cute dress and what great photos.

  2. As a northern hemisphere reader I appreciate the visual reminders (from my blankets with wool hat on) that it won't be cold and rainy/snowy for the rest of eternity! :) The dress looks great, too!