Friday, July 12, 2013

Making it Fit: Simplicity 1651



I really like the design options of Simplicity 1651.  The peek-a-boo back panels can conceal a bra strap.  The soft gathering at the waist of the slim skirt, double layered sleeves, and the twist yoke bodice sold me on this pattern. 

 My first dress is like the green print dress at the bottom of the pattern envelope.  Early last month, I purchased "too much fabric" from the Fabric Mart.  One of the fabrics was perfect for this dress.  (My daughter absolutely hates this print and wonders why I like it. Tee Hee.) Anyway, this is a Dana Buchman taffeta, 60% rayon and 40% polyester.  It sewed up beautifully. 

Many of the colors can be found of the Pantone color palette for spring and fall 2013.  This fabric looks more like fall the summer.  It's a good transitional garment the can be worn alone or with a jacket on cooler days. 

I had to make a few adjustments.  The full bust adjustment was the first to tackle.  My biggest concern was excessive fabric at the center front bodice.  I wanted to ensure a good profile as well as a good front view of the dress. 

The Full Bust Adjustment probably looks weird, but it works for me.  After making a basic FBA for a princess seam side bodice, I had to reshape the center front edge and the seam line adjacent to it.  Adjusting the bodice center front was easy, I just added the length needed to match the added width of the bodice front.  Additionally, I trimmed about an 1/8" from the upper edge of the curved seam ending a zero at the first notch.  Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The prominent shoulder blade and sway back adjustments were super easy.  Instead of doing my usual PSB adjustment, I decided to follow the Palmer Pletsch method, which is to add width the length of the bodice; then ease or make a shoulder dart.  Finally, the excess below the shoulder blade can be adjusted as I sewed.  This method worked out just fine.

My mistake, though, was I didn't adjust the amount of ease in the sleeve cap.  So I used the excess to my advantage.  I made gathers along the cap.  This further accentuated the double sleeves, which I liked even more.

The dress has one slit on the left side.  I made a slit on both sides and added a few inches to the length of the skirt, not shown today. 

That completes today's installment.  Have a fantastic weekend.

Happy Sewing!


  1. Very pretty, Cennetta! I have some of this fabric and it would never have occurred to me to use it this way, with the twist. It looks really nice!

  2. I really like this print very muvh and I'm sure it suits you very wel,Cennetta.Your alterations are interesting and prove there is more than one way to skin a cat!8

  3. I like this dress with your modification to the sleeves very much

  4. that looks very pretty and I think you chose a good pattern, there is a similar Vogue that I just did some playing around with and I don't think it works. This Simplicity has those extra panels on the bodice that allow for more fitting.

  5. Lovely dress and thanks for sharing your adjustments. I find this helpful.

  6. I recognized that fabric right away! I guess that means I'm on Fabric Mart's site way too often?! *LOL* The top is pretty and looks like you!

  7. What a very pretty dress, C. Thanks for always sharing your adjustments. It really helps.



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