Dresses, Front Page, Summer wear
Comments 12

On The Ball! Simplicity 1613

Being on the ball is not usually my forté but since my trip to the recent SewUpNorth meet up I’ve actually used 2 pieces of fabric I acquired at the swap and used a pattern that came free with the current issue of the Dressmaker magazine.

I’m not a regular of the Dressmaker magazine as I subscribe to Love Sewing and Sew Direct.  I think the hubby would raise an eyebrow at more sewing publications dropping on the mat, but I still have a peek at the others when I’m out shopping.

This pattern caught my eye immediately and I was drawn into buying the mag’ and I knew just which fabric would be a perfect match.

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This John Kaldor ITY knit which was kindly donated to the swap from RuthRuth at Ruth Creates.

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The pattern was a super simple make, I whizzed it up in a couple of hours (after cutting out) despite having to unpick the off the shoulder part – I’m not sure what it’s name is.  The shoulder band maybe?

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I’m not sure how it happened. Well, I supposed I am – I mustn’t have read the instructions properly!  It would have looked ok if I’d have wanted to wear it inside out.  I’d stitched the band on with a narrow zigzag which lead to a rather painful unpicking experience!

I still managed to get the dress finished in time to wear it for cricket.  A hot day was forecast and off the shoulder was going to be needed to top up the tan and minimise tan marks.   I also decided to lengthen the top to an above knee dress length.

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Where the band is attached to the dress it instructs you to sew a casing and insert narrow elastic.  I did but it just didn’t sit properly no matter how I messed about with it.


It gathered up very slightly at the front.  Not a great deal but enough to drive me bonkers when I wore it – though quite a lot of the time I had it all tucked under my arms to avoid tan marks.

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The back looked slightly better than the front but the elastic had to go!

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So the next day, whilst drinking anything fizzy that my sister had in the fridge, I sat and unpicked lots of overlocking stitches on her patio.

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Another painful experience but made easier by alcohol.

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Something i’d recommend – the alcohol.   Along with unpicking outside – no need to worry about the messy threads!

Once the elastic was removed the dress hung so much better.  I’m not really sure what purpose the elastic is supposed to serve.

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I’ve since hemmed the dress which a twin coverstitch and it looks fab and so RTW!

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I’d definitely use this pattern again if I needed a quick and easy summer dress or top.  Though next time I think I would shorten the length of the shoulder band – can you see how it hows off my shoulders more at one side…. Maybe it’s due to the heavier weight of an ITY knit?

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The fit across the bust is perfect, but I think I must have narrow shoulders in comparison to my back/chest.

Thanks Ruth for giving up this fabric to the swap – I love it and have some left which I’m contemplating making into some wide leg put on pants to wear with this top and give a jumpsuit sort of illusion!


  1. It looks fabulous made up, can’t wait to see the trousers! I think sew up north was definitely good for sewing mojo, I’ve done quite a lot this month, including using a pattern I picked up in the swap.

    • It was for me too….sometimes it’s hard to make time for it but there’s nothing like being with a group of sewers to get the creative juices flowing and spark some enthusiasm, and forget everything else!

  2. Dress looks fab w/o that elastic, and that pattern looks grand. Golly, you have sooo many sewing magazines over there. . . am green with envy. 😲

  3. I just had to unpick that machine stretch stitch (lightening stitch) – god it was nightmare! I feel your pain. End result is fab though!

  4. Pingback: Fankenpattern to the Races Simplicity 1613 and Newlook 6648 | T H I M B E R L I N A

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