Saturday, July 11, 2015

Feathers and Flowers - Simplicity 1103

Feathers not flowers!  At first glance of this colorful summer print, you think flowers.  I liked the placement of the feathers and decided to order two colors of this print, with the second one being the black, teal, red, and green.  This stretch cotton twill is light and breezy.  It has a smooth hand and sews up with no problem; easy breezy.  Don't let the audacious print intimidate you.  It's perfect for summer dresses, tops, and pants.

Some people believe that less is more.  I believe it depends on how the "more" comes together to complete the desired look.   I'm always looking for new ways to add some interest to the garments I make; whether it's an inspired design or some sewing technique that I want to try.  In this case, I was first inspired by Andrea, a member of the Haute Couture Club of Chicago.  She made a beautiful floral print dress that she added some embroidery to add "more" interest.  I loved her idea and wanted to make something similar.  But I wasn't ready for the embroidery part. ;-)

In my search for more inspiration, I found several images of 3-dimensional floral applications.  So I decided to try adding silk flowers to my feathered dress.  I found the perfect flower, orange orchids, at JoAnn's Fabrics.  I pulled the flowers apart and tested where to place them on the dress.

I used Simplicity 1103, view D without the overlay.   This is a "V" neck princess seam drop waist dress with a half circle skirt.  It comes in sizes 6 -24.  Of course, I had to do my usual pattern adjustments before cutting out the dress:

  • FBA
  • Sway back adjustment
  • Prominent shoulder blades
  • Lengthen the skirt a few inches
My final sizing was between 14, 16 and 12.  I sometimes start with size 16, but find size 14 is closer to the size I need in most areas except the bust area.

Here are my initial pattern alteration photos:

My dress looks like the drawing minus the overlay and the placement of the appliques.  The instructions were typical; nothing confusing or hard about them.

My likes: 
  • drop waist princess seam bodice.  I don't have any dresses with a drop waist.
  • back closure (tip - I used stay tape along the upper edge of the lower back bodice to keep it from stretching out of shape.)
No dislikes

I'm not sure I will sew this again for myself, but I do recommend this pattern to others.  It's easy and stylish.

Parting shots: Here is Andrea and me at the Haute Couture Club of Chicago Annual June luncheon.  She is wearing a dress made with Mood Fabric. ;-)


  1. Party in the back - I love it!

    1. Tee hee. Yes, a party in the back. Thanks.

  2. Beautiful dress. I love the color orange! Such a great use of the added orchid flowers too. Thanks for an inspiring post. See me at

  3. Beautiful, just beautiful! (and a perfect fit)

  4. Love your dress! Perfect fit and the fabric is very summery looking!

    1. Thanks, Linda. Mood has a great selection of medium and light weight summery fabrics.

  5. Love your dress. The colors are beautiful and I like what you did with the flowers.

  6. Beautiful dress! That 3-D applique is seriously inspired and inspiring.

  7. This is so unique and so special! I really love it!



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