Simplicity 1653 wrap dress pattern

First, allow me to say don’t get fooled by the instructions of this pattern!   This is an easy dress to sew if you disregard parts of the instructions.

I rarely follow instructions of patterns to the dot but for this pattern I decided to humor it because I noticed a method I had never used before – basting with wrong sides together. Maybe this is a trick to make it easy for fitting (?). It made me wonder if I was missing out on something and I’m always up for learning something new.

Now that I’ve tried it, what the heck were they thinking! I don’t mean to sound negative about this pattern because it is a very flattering dress and quite easy to sew. However, there are much better methods to this and I would hate to see sewing enthusiasts get discouraged. So here are some things to consider before starting this project.

1 – Baste the conventional way for fitting, with right sides together. It will save you lots of time for the same result.

2 – The measurements seem to go on the larger size with an addition of a full inch seam allowances. It seems a bit excessive, especially for sewing with stretchy fabrics. I ended up reducing to a size and half smaller than the recommended and still wasted quite a bit of fabric on seam allowances.

3 – I’m not a fan of using bias tape for necklines.  It’s again a waste of fabric and it just doesn’t look right to me. There are better, easier ways to neatly finish a neckline without creating such a bulky look. My personal favorite is by using clear swimwear elastic. It’s very light and it gives the knit fabric a clean sharp edge.
– With a zigzag stitch the elastic to the edge of neckline on wrong side; fold fabric towards wrong side using the edge of the elastic as a guide; stitch in place with a double needle or a zigzag stitch.

Overall, I really like this pattern and will probably be making it again but will be tossing the instructions. I think there is a lesson learned here, and that is to follow my instincts! Pattern instructions are there to help as suggestions. If there is a particular way of sewing that you know works well for you, use it.

maxi-dress-2 maxi-dress-1


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna Marie says:

    Hi I plan to make this dress I’m interested in your technique for the neckline. Is it possible to see the neckline of your dress inside etc

    Love this dress

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nicole says:

      Thanks! This dress has been a popular one in my collection.
      Unfortunately, for this dress I followed the instructions of the pattern so you won’t be able to see the technique I described. But I’ll make sure to post pictures for all the steps next time, once I recover from all the jet leg!


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