Home Sewn by She – Simplicity 1908 – A Dress for a Wedding

Last week on Twitter, I saw a tweet from Claire-Louise Hardie who was impressed at the prospect of Nigel May calling the photos on pattern covers as “serving suggestions”! I had never thought of the images on pattern covers in that way, but I think many people see these images and find it hard to picture different ways that they could make the dress. I know I do!

CLH Tweet

So when the pattern for Simplicity 1908 was given as a “bonus” pattern in Sew Home & Style magazine, I thought it’d be perfect to use to make a dress for my brother’s wedding. Once I was home though, I found it hard to look past the images on the cover because, in my opinion, they looked more suitable for a school prom…

Simplicity 1908

Simplicity 1908

The fella talked me into it though, he liked the images on the front and saw the potential I guess. So I gave the pattern a proper look to see what would be involved and I realised the line drawings on the inside were much better to work with! I could imagine the final look of the dress better, and ideas started to flow!

Line drawings of each dress.

Line drawings of each dress.

From the images on the front, I knew I didn’t want the bodice to be a different fabric to the top skirt, and I wanted it to look summery so I decided a printed fabric would be much more suitable. The fabrics I chose were: 100% raw silk for the main base of the bodice and skirt, with a silk Liberty printed chiffon top layer and a cotton sateen bodice lining.

The Fabrics

The Fabrics

I made a toile of the bodice and skirt base in order to check the fit, and I was simply able to use the size 12 for the bodice and size 14 for the skirt – I just graded the skirt between the hips and the waist from a 14 to a 12. The pattern was clear and concise on what was needed for each view and the instructions were easy to follow (from what I’d read). I think I made things harder by not following the fabric suggestions and choosing a very lightweight, crinkly, printed silk chiffon but Oh My! does it look beautiful!!

The Finished Dress

The Finished Dress

This dress has just about everything: gathers, pleats, invisible zip, multiple layers, a lining, boning and French seams (this was a personal choice for the chiffon!). It was intense and, after some poor time-planning and a short fluey-type bug that hit me a couple of weeks ago, I had to make this in just over a week! Luckily, I work in the clothing industry and had (limited) access to industrial machines in order to achieve a professional finish, and I had a few friends to help me out when I got stumped or needed to hem the dress evenly and level!!

The Finished Dress!!

The Finished Dress – front, side and back views!

Here are some lovely detail shots:

The front

The gathered front

The not-so-invisible zip (but it's close enough cosidering I didn't have a concealed sipper foot for my machine)

The not-so-invisible zip (but it’s close enough cosidering I didn’t have a concealed sipper foot for my machine)

My Home-Sewn by She label and the lining and boning finish

My Home-Sewn by She label and the lining and boning finish

Anyhoo, the wedding was yesterday, and we had such a lovely day celebrating the future of my brother Jamie and his new wife, Cherryl, and the love that they share! Their’s is one of my favourite “How did you meet?” stories, and with the arrival of little Rose in February, I believe their love story is now well on track for their Happily Ever After! During the day, word spread that I’d made the dress myself and I received so many compliments. Even though this dress was difficult to make at times, I felt really proud of what I’d achieved and it’s made me excited for my 52 Weeks Challenge coming up in a couple of weeks!

I hope you’re all having a lovely weekend!! What have you been sewing lately?


4 thoughts on “Home Sewn by She – Simplicity 1908 – A Dress for a Wedding

  1. sewsincity says:

    Really cute dress! I always look at the back cover of patterns to see the line drawings. It makes it so much easier to use the pattern as a base or starting point rather than how the pattern company thinks it should look. I think a lot of people get discouraged because the styling on the envelope is always awful, but the patterns have potential!!


    • sheisthewildyouth says:

      Thanks! I totally agree with what you’re saying! On the big pattern companies, the covers are still as dated as they were 10 years ago when I started sewing!! I think it’s time they make these a little more modern!


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