As you may know I’ve taken a bit of an unintentional break from sewing for myself since the purple lace dress I made for my brother-in-laws wedding. It’s almost a full three months since I stitched something other than baby leggings for the little un. I’m not sure why, but the idea of sewing just seemed exhausting to me and I needed a push to get my sewjo back. What better reason to get out of my sewing rut than sewing for a cause like Eve appeal?

It’s my turn on the Simplicity X Eve Appeal hack-along blog tour and I’m sharing my make!

But firstly- what is the Simplicity Hack-along? Simplicity have created a collection of nine different patterns which are made for hacking- the instructions actually walk you through how to make simple hacks, and to make it better the pattern pieces are there for you, ready to go for more complicated changes. And thoughtfully theres an extra bit of gridded pattern paper for you to make your hacks with!

During the Hack-along, Simplicity will be donating to the Eve appeal for every hack-along pattern sold. And on top of that, by sharing your makes using the hashtags you get a chance to WIN a Sewing or Coverstitch Machine from Janome and Goody Bags from Simplicity and their sister brands.

So onto the pattern and the hack I did….

Simplicity Hack-along pattern S8888

So this is the pattern I used to make my dress. It’s a simple princess seamed panelled dress with gathered side skirt panels. I really like the simple lines but interesting design details and being a simple kinda-girl, this was the pattern that drew my eye.

The fabric I used is a stunning Atelier Brunette viscose crepe from Minerva Crafts. Yup, you eagle eyed readers might have noticed it’s the exact same fabric, colour and pattern that Rachel (@thefoldline) used for her hack-along. What can I say, some people just have great taste! 😀

I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous about making this pattern. I was short for time and my last experience with princess seams straight out the pack (i.e. without a whoooole load of fitting) wasn’t so great. Plus, I can’t actually remember the last time I made a pattern using the Big 4 (most of the patterns I use are by indy pattern makers these days). And on top of that I’ve been exercising/stress-losing weight so my measurements are all over the place again. MSo yes, I wasn’t expecting this to go well, but I took a deep breath and started from the beginning. Measuring myself up, matching myself to the sizes on the pack- it put me between a S and M. But after checking the ease on the pattern I went with cutting a straight Small. Risky.

Draping the pattern pieces up on my dressform it was obvious that I needed to shorten the bodice length to make it sit on my natural waist, so I shortened it by 5cm. I actually cut the midi length skirt (it comes with two lengths: midi and maxi) but I wanted it to be longer midi so added 20cm to the skirt. The pattern comes with all the instructions to do this.

Not wanting to make life simple I made a bit of a boo-boo with my fabric choice. I was intending to colour block this dress (it is screaming out for some colour-blocking with those seamlines) but the colour I chose to colour block with just didn’t work. Which meant that I had to squeeze out all my pattern pieces from just 2m of fabric. And to make things worse I decided to make mine long sleeve.

So lets recap- I started making a dress after 3 month break in sewing, having lost weight, not made a toile, on a deadline, missing over 0.5m of fabric.  Going well, right?

For the sleeves I extended the included cap sleeves to a full length (but- full disclosure, I had to cut it on the crossgrain to fit it in!) At this point I was just happy to have been able to cut out all my pattern pieces (including one of the pockets) to even think about doing any more pattern hacking! But then I started inserting the sleeves and realised that there was a lot of ease. Rather than fiddling around trying to spread out the ease I decided to exaggerate it and bunch the ease to the sleeve head creating a gathered sleeve head. I’m not normally one for fussy sleeves but this is one of those those AHA! moments and I actually think it makes the dress by reflecting the gathers in the skirt.

So overall, I didn’t stray too far from the pattern but I really love the finished dress (I had to really resist the urge to wear it straight to work- but some dresses are too nice to expose to the workplace!) I liked the built in options for hacks which lets you create something each time. And you know what, the fit is pretty darn spot on. The only other changes I would make is leaving out the invisible zipper (I’m not a zip fan, plus can easily make it into a key-hole opening) plus a large bicep adjustment for extra comfort. And I really do want to make that dream colour-block pattern (will show my inspo for those on my Instagram!) So I’m sure I’ll be visiting this pattern again- the question is, will you recognise it?…

Many thanks to Simplicity Patterns for the pattern and Minerva Crafts for providing me with the fabric. All opinions are my own.

Don’t forget to use the hashtags to be in for a chance of winning those great prizes as well as raising money for a great cause!


For more inspiration check out the rest of the blogger tour:

1. Thursday 26th September

Juliet, Sew So Natural

2. Thursday 3rd October

Abi, Crafty Pinup

3. Thursday 10th October

Rachel, The Fold Line

4. Thursday 17th October

Susan, Susan Young Sewing

5. Thursday 24th October

Brittany, Brittany Jones

6. Thursday 31st October

Bianca, Sleepless in Bavaria

7. Thursday 7th November

Amy, Almond Rock

8. Thursday 14th November

Victoria, Victoria Lucille Anne

9. Thursday 21st November

Sara, The Sara Project

10. Thursday 28th November

Carolyn, Handmade By Carolyn

11. Thursday 5th December

Rumana, The Little Pomegranate

12. Thursday 12th December

Name: Emily, Self Assembly Required

13. Thursday 9th January

Marie, A Stitching Odyssey

14. Thursday 16th January

Portia, Makery

15. Thursday 23rd January

Barbara, Lisa and Louise, The Pattern Pals

16. Thursday 30th January

Jen, The Gingerthread Girl


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