I have been wanting to sew Simplicity 8735 since it came out late last summer. With it’s classic shape and multiple variations, I knew it would be perfect for the Work to Weekend segment of my wrap dress project. I paired it with a foxy crepe. The neutral tones and black background are great for the office, but the little fox faces add a little whimsy. I think it’s great fit for this sassy wrap pattern to make a versatile transitional piece that’s perfect for work or drinks or errands. It’s the ultimate wardrobe workhorse pattern!
I was particularly drawn this pattern because it had princess seams and different cup sizes. In addition to princess seams, which are a bit of a rarity on a wrap dress, the skirt has some interesting details. In the line drawings, it appears that the waist sits on the natural waist, but it’s actually almost empire. Therefore the darts on the skirt start out as straight pleats that feather down into a dart. This creates a lovely, very fitted silhouette though the torso and the small of the back.
The variations on this patterns include sleeve, skirt and hem variations. For sleeves, there are options for short, three-quarter and long sleeves in both a regular set in and a puff sleeve. Both the straight and A-Line skirts have above and below the knee lengths. It can even be made up in both woven and stretch fabrics.
I love the elements of this dress. I think the pattern is really solid and I love the fabric I used. It’s a mystery crepe with little fox faces that I picked up from the market in Utrecht last year. It handled pretty well, but still frayed a bit. Since it was fraying, I used french seams. The french seams were really great except for the side where I pulled the tie through – that area is a bit ugly.
Sadly, my execution on this dress wasn’t the best. For starters, I simply chose the wrong size. Based on my measurements I chose to make an 18, and based on some tissue fitting I chose the 18D cup. It came out really big on me. I was able to take in the side seams and the princess seams. It worked well enough on the right side, but there was too much excess on the left side in the high bust. Then it effected the pitch of the sleeve when I tried to remove the extra fabric by increasing the seam allowance. I have some scrap fabric leftover and I may end up cutting a new left bodice. For now, it’s wearable, but a little awkward.
I made a couple other changes. I found I needed a swayback adjustment. I’ve never needed one before, but the fitted back of the skirt made it necessary. I simply pinched out about half inch of the pooling fabric on each side. I ended up topstitching the facing down. While I had under stitched it, the facing was still flipping out. Lastly, I swapped out the sleeve cuff for the cuff of McCall’s 7381. The slit cuff was a too flared and too long for me.
The Make Breakdown
Pattern: Simplicity 8735 View D sleeves & View C skirt
Fabric & Notions: 2.4 Meters Woven or Stretch Fabric; Lightweight interfacing
Design Modifications: Switched up the cuff with McCall’s 7381
Fit Alterations: Made the wrong size, so I had quite a few issues.
Difficulty: Confident Beginners
Future Plans: Yes! I really want to try again in a smaller size. I might make a short sleeved version in a nice summery fabric laster this year.
In summary, I really like the pattern and my fabric choice, but my sewing experience was pretty frustrating. I’ll have to try again. I’m determined to not be defeated!