Pattern Review: Simplicity 3803, Day Gown

Sunday phone call re-enactment

“Hi Nicegirl”
“Hey Cidell”
“So, I finished the Simplcity day gown in seersucker and I don’t know how long I should keep it. It feels really long.”
“Well, when is the last time you wore a floor length gown? Maybe you just need to get used to it.”

Truth be told, the last time I wore a floor length gown is when a girlfriend and I had too many mango margaritas over lunch and went to a bridal store to make fun of ugly wedding dresses.

Luckily, this is one floor length gown that is not ugly. I love my dress! I’m thrilled I have a party to wear it to this weekend.

I made two chanages from the pattern. The back is actually a key hole opening. I chose to ignore that design feature and just put a 22 inch invisible zip all the way up. I honestly didn’t realize it was keyhole until I saw the sewing diagram. I also put in a batist lining for the skirt. I thought the seersucker would be a little rough and worried about the skirt going between my legs.

Seersucker is big this year as are maxi dresses. I’m feeling very J.Crew in this. Like I just walked off the set of a modern Great Gatsby.

By the time I finished hemming tonight, it was 89 degrees in my house. Sweltering. But, with the cool batiste lining, I felt all sugar and light. That could have been the sewing high. Because when the dress came off I went and hauled my window unit up from the basement.

I can’t explain the goofy pose above. But, I think it’s rather funny. Plus, you can see the fabric a little better.

Alright. That’s my first of three seersucker summer things. Up next are some pants.

More detailed review at

Bodice Work

I chose to cut the bodice of Simplicity 3803 on the bias because I needed just a little give in the bust cup and was too lazy (read: don’t know how) to do a FBA. I also added 1/2 an inch to the bottom of the bodice front and back. I took the advice of Marji and the coaching of Dawn to stabilize the neckline and help it hug my chest.

I used some of the fashion fabric selvedge to stabilize the back neckline.

I used the fashion fabric as the inside lining for the waistband. I just think it looks more interesting this way.

To gather both the skirt and lining I stretched and stitched clear elastic. I HATE gathering with that two rows of thread nonsense. My bodice lining is a pink poly/cotton batiste from Joann’s.

This pattern does not call for a skirt lining but I highly recommend it. Otherwise you may find the skirt in between your legs while walking. I lined the skirt in a white 100% cotton Italian batiste (imagine the softest thinnest lightest bed sheet. That’s how good it feels) from Metro Textile‘s.

I then serged both sides of the bodice back so I could have a neat invisible zip insertion.

Fits like a dream in the front. I cut a 12 for the bodice. Next time (if there is a next time) I’ll make a 12 in the front and a 10 for the back. There’s a touch of extra space back there.

Skirt is constructed and attached, all that’s left is the hemming! Hopefully by this upcoming weekend and in time for a summer party it’ll be all done.

Cutting Fiend

Since I got more fitting than sewing done over the Memorial Day holiday, I’m cutting up a storm in preperation for sewing this weekend. Plus, I’m working almost every night next week so no time to sew then.

I’ve cut the Simplicity 3803 day gown / maxi dress out in a green and white seersucker. I realized in the muslin I made up Wednesday morning before work that I needed a little more space in the bust cup. So, what would any girl who has never done a FBA do? I cut it on the bias. This way I’ll get some give plus a neat design element. I haven’t started sewing yet because I need to buy lining.

Second, I’ve got the two tone Hot Patterns Cosmopolitan pinned and ready to cut. I’m doing a short sleeve version with a cuff like Christina at Assorted Notions did. The contrast will be a rose pink.

Tomorrow I’ll cut and thread trace the BWOF pleated dress that I blogged about all weekend. I talked with NiceGirl last night and she walked me through converting my long sleeve to a puffy short sleeve. I’ll try to show it when I get to that part.

Also, here is a pin cushion I pinched from my mom this weekend. As I’ve mentioned, the Colonel doesn’t sew, but she always had a sewing kit. I always loved this pin cushion because it was a pretty purple velvet and a neat Tiffany Blue metal. She’s had it since before I was born. Now, it’s mine.
Finally, my new camera came in today. You should see the brick I was using! It’s a luscious chocolate brown and I could not be more excited. Click on today’s photos — they are *crystal* clear!