Simplicity 1688


This dress was nowhere near my to-sew list, but when we got an invite in July for an August wedding I realized I would probably have enough time to make something and started looking through my stash for something that would be dressy enough, a little beyond work wear. I had 1.5 yards of this AMH linen print stashed for a skirt, but there is enough for this shift dress too, for a totally different look! the blue is the only solid I had that would somewhat coordinate in a heavier weight fabric, and it’s a Lisette twill from Joann’s. Thank goodness for pictures of finished objects made in the AMH print – most of the swatch photos I’ve seen online don’t really show the lime green grid very well. There was enough fabric for me to play with the placement, but obviously I didn’t realize the band would be around the widest point of my hips with a bullseye on my belly, or I might have shifted it a little!


There aren’t many pattern reviews for 1688, but everyone always complains about how there’s too much ease in big 4 patterns, and to look at the finished garment measurements. I don’t know if I based my measurements on the finished jacket instead of the dress, but I measure a 14 and made a 10 on top and 12 on the bottom, and had to eke out the seam allowance on the top with not a lot of room on the bottom either (but I didn’t change the seam allowance there). I feel like I could have made a straight 14 and had a little extra room to breath, although maybe the darts wouldn’t have been as spot-on. The other thing I would note is that I usually have to take out an inch or two in torso length to avoid pooling in the back. I didn’t adjust this pattern at all for that, and it fits well.
The lining is an orange linen-rayon blend. Not the softest on my skin, but about the same weight as the dress. If I’m not sure if I’ll finish a project, I definitely don’t want to buy new materials for it! I used to dislike any hand stitching on a garment as a sign of something being homemade, but I decided that it’s a feature because when do you get so much care and attention paid to store-bought goods. Beyond the fact that never would a store-bought dress be sewn to my exact measurements like this.
I was feeling pretty good about making the dress until the zipper. I installed an invisible zipper and it couldn’t hold the strain of holding that much of the seam together over my pear-shaped (I mean AWESOME shaped) hip-waist ratio, so I put in a hand stitched metal zipper instead, and it worked better, although the stitches at the bottom popped out when I wore it so I had to sport a safety pin that day, so there’s a repair to do already. Oh well, my next one will be better.


I’ve made myself a few skirts and easy tops recently, but it feels like a nice accomplishment to put together a dress, for some reason. Let’s hope there are more soon!

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