An Overdue Posting

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Years ago when I first started this blog, I was searching for a perfect-fit shift dress. I made a few versions (not even going to link to them) from several different big 4 patterns which I wore for a while. Then I found Colette's Laurel and made five versions (two tops, three dresses) because I liked it so much and I thought it fit so well. While it did fit better than my first attempts at shift dresses, looking back, I've realized the fit isn't great.

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Most importantly, though, I've realized that this type of shift dress with minimal shaping achieved through bust darts and back fisheye darts only just isn't a style that I love to wear. I almost always throw on a cardigan because I feel self-conscious in this type of shift--the column shape doesn't do anything to flatter my assets (small waist, long legs) and can emphasize my slouching, besides being tricky to fit around my small bust and larger hips (a 14"-ish difference).

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Then when I pulled out a (very) old dress for my bridal shower (a symptom of having "nothing to wear") I realized that I had had a great shift dress all along. One of the very first things I made was a blue wool version of Simplicity 7737, a 1968 A-line dress with both bust and french darts and back shoulder and fisheye darts. I made this dress in maybe 2009(?) before I knew anything about fit (and barely anything about sewing) and although there were a lot of problems with it (a very visible invisible zipper, a tragic sleeve setting), it fit really well. I unpicked and resewed the zipper and fixed the most egregious puckers on the sleeves and, although it is far from perfect, I wore it to my bridal shower feeling great.

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Anyway, this is that dress, in advance of a new version, which I will share soon. (You'll notice this one looks nearly identical to version 3. My proclivity towards copying the envelope goes way back.)

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Obviously, this dress is imperfect, but for something I made five or more years ago, it looks pretty good, don't you think? Anyway, I was always taught to Strive for Excellence, not perfection.

simplicity 7737 in blue wool | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

xoxo,
allie

ps: shop this look! (fairy woods background not included.)

allie J.

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12 comments:

  1. That is a great color on you. It is so much fun to find a pattern that fits the first time. I seem to have to have to make so many adjustments. I am trying to be very organized and take notes for each pattern so that i can go back to the ones I like. Perhaps since this ones fits so well you can work off of this and change up the look. Make five of this pattern with different sleeves etc.

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    1. Thanks! I vaguely remember you saying something along the lines of "that looks surprisingly good on you" when I first made it! haha :)

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  2. thats a gorgeous dress. as a pear, the shift style seems to work nearly with a boat neck or shoulder detail to balance, and maybe pegging the skirt in a teeny tiny bit. the dress you made there, is the style I tend to go for more, and I seem to be always looking at and making different vintage patterns or the a-line shift!

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    1. The a-line shift is a lifesaver for pears! I think the tendancy in sewing is to think you can fit anything to work for you (that's sort of the point of sewing, right?) but wasted a lot of time trying to get a straight shift to fit my body when I could have been sewing a-line dresses this whole time! I now have a different thing to look for on etsy :)

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  3. Those boots are killer! I love the edge they give to the outfit. I don't like shift dresses either. I mean, like you, I really, really, really want to like them. They look so pretty on the old vintage pattern sleeves. But I have a tiny waist too and they do NOTHING for that...and I don't even have the long legs you do to fall back on!

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    1. Thank you! The tall, tall boots help when it comes to leg-lengthening ;) I think my new plan is to "borrow" the style details from shift dress patterns and stick them onto an a-line dress. May require a bit of drafting, but it's nice to have a tried and true shape, especially when the pattern is so easy to sew.

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  4. The dress is so cute! I love the idea of using lace trim and ribbon on sleeves:) xx

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    1. Thanks! I can't take credit for the idea--I just copied it from the envelope :)

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  5. I have to agree with Diana above, this colour looks great on you. Very lovely dress!

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    1. Thank you, Emily! Nice to know it's not just my mom (Diana) that thinks it looks good! haha ;)

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  6. i always pull out my old makes, but a lot of them dont fit me anymore! i like that you fixed your old sewing. i like doing that too to my old makes. it just makes your realise how far you've come and how much you've learnt!

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