Simplicity Sewing Challenge 2016: A 1365 Pattern Hack

Simplicity 1365 Hack

Doesn’t it feel like fate when you are looking at a beautiful vintage pattern, your mind whirring with possibilities of how to use it to make a dress you’ve been dreaming up, but couldn’t find the perfect pattern for, then you manage to get it for free?

It’s very much thanks to the lovely people at Simplicity choosing the 1365 pattern as one of the categories of their 2016 Sewing Challenge (and to the equally lovely Becca of Red W Sews for posting her pattern on Instagram and telling me about the challenge!) that I’m sharing this with you.

I love this pattern as it has the perfect gathered sweetheart neckline – nothing else I saw when I was trawling patterns even came close! I fell in love with view C and its beautiful halterneck.

During my trip to Abakhan back in June, I found some super soft 4oz anchor print denim, which I thought would set the pattern off perfectly. It’s beautiful fabric to work with and feels lovely to wear.

In terms of construction, the top is quite simple to assemble…that is if you don’t try using your lining pieces as your bodice front (cue: lots of unpicking and scolding myself for making such a silly error) – once I’d actually got my head in gear, it was fun to make. I love the gathering in the middle of the bodice front and at the top; it’s a really cute detail feature. As I was hacking my pattern into a dress, I paused the pattern when I was supposed to stitch the bottom and sides of the top, instead attaching the bodice to the skirt and adding the zip.
The skirt is the Tanya Whelan Sew Many dresses Sew Little Time Straight Skirt that you’ve seen on my Liberty Wrap Dress – it’s a beautiful cut and I thought it would be quite fitting to use with my vintage Simplicity 1365 top…it was! After sewing the darts and side seams I attached my bodice to the skirt, easing it slightly to fit. The side seams in the bodice and skirt don’t quite match up, although I couldn’t make my darts any bigger or else the skirt would be on the snug side so I ran with it. You can barely tell – you’d have to be looking very closely to notice so I think I’ve styled it out.

I used the seam allowance in the bodice and skirt to insert my zip – I chose a visible zip 1) because I wanted it as a detail and 2) because it was the only one that was the right length and the right colour when I was in Abakhan.

I had a little trouble matching up my halterneck band and ties to sew them together – if I’m honest I think I was so exhausted nothing would make sense; that said, as I was popping my dress back on the table for the following day, it clicked and I was able to pin it ready for the next day. Isn’t it amazing how the simplest things can feel so difficult when you’re tired?

You’ll also notice from the photo that I’ve turned the band in to show off the gathering in the bust – it gaped a little before so this fixed the problem. I think I must have stretched it out a little inadvertently during the fitting process.

So there you have it, my beautiful new denim halterneck sweetheart neck dress. The fit is absolutely perfect and I feel very much like I should be strolling along the sea front at the Riviera with a large wide brimmed sunhat and a pair of wedges…I’ll have to make do with strolling along the canal in leafy Staffordshire instead!
If you like this post, you’ll also love my Lily Dress – another summer wardrobe staple…and hopefully one I can squeeze another month out of before I have to pack it away until next year.

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4 thoughts on “Simplicity Sewing Challenge 2016: A 1365 Pattern Hack

  1. Emily says:

    Gorgeous dress! I was thinking of hacking that crop top to a dress as well – adding a full circle skirt rather than a pencil though. I was about to give up on the idea (due to lack of time and poor fabric options) but you’ve made it look so good!


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