I got dress-obsessed this spring and wanted to sew all the boho, ruffled, yoked, big-sleeved dresses. It’s one of my summer goals to wear more dresses, so after sifting through many, many patterns, I decided to revisit Simplicity 8689, my favorite dress pattern from last summer (in black and yellow here).
I had a beautiful cotton gauze border print from Pintuck & Purl that seemed perfect for this pattern, especially now that I had my colorful slips. While most of the fabric has numbers and symbols on it, one edge has gray and burgundy stripes.
I chose to make View A with the sleeves of View B.
While my size has changed a bit since last year, this dress has a nice amount of ease, so I used my previously traced pattern and sewed a 16 bust and 20 waist and hip. I found one issue that I had failed to address (or even remember) from last year. Due to some adjustments I made last time, my front and back bodice side seams were different lengths. I never think to walk my seams (i.e. compare the lengths of seams that are meant to be sewn together to make sure they are the same length) after adjusting things, and this time it came back to bite me. The back was 3/4″ shorter than the front. In the end, I cut the front shorter, but I made sure to adjust my pattern for next time.
I used a 70/10 Microtex needle to sew this gauze. I was a little worried that it would be really delicate, and while ripping out seams had to be done carefully, it wasn’t hard to sew. I used a combination of turning and stitching, French seams, mock French seams, and a small zigzag to finish various parts of the inside. I wanted to use French seams throughout, but that wasn’t possible in places like the center front bodice seam or along the side seams and pockets. I wanted everything to look nice on the inside since the gauze is actually somewhat sheer. You can really see this with the pockets, but since I had enough fabric for pockets, I didn’t want to omit them. No regrets on that choice!
One thing I might try some other time is lengthening the sleeve and adding an elastic casing and elastic instead of the cuff, but I need to wear the dress more to be sure. I did lengthen the cuff pattern piece to increase the cuff circumference and give my hand a little more room to go through (just to be safe), and I really like how it turned out. So far it’s pretty comfortable.
And I love the dress with the colored slips underneath.
I initially kept the front plain except for having used the striped border in the yoke, but the dress was just a bit boring and I wasn’t excited about it (see below).
Even though I can order sewing supplies, I have been taking the last few months to try to do a better job of using what I already have, which has been a fun challenge. After thinking it over for quite awhile, I added the ivory rickrack,
and then used hooks and eyes and embroidery floss to create removable silver cords to attach to the front.
I tried making a few different tassels, but none of them were right, so I did end up ordering some silver ones from the paper crafting department of Hobby Lobby and used jewelry-making supplies to attach them.
I like the dress so much better now and have already worn it a few times. I love having several fun, comfortable dresses that I really like.