Simplicity 1459 - The One With The Perfect, Gorgeous Shirtdress

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

You guys. I'm seriously impressed with myself! My construction is getting pretty damn good. See: Simplicity 1459.
I came across this pattern through the lovely Tanya Maile. I've always loved shirtdresses and have long quested for one that fit and flattered me. No such luck. This is why I sew. Combine the perfect pattern with the perfect fabric and you've got the perfect dress! I instantly knew I wanted to make this dress in a royal blue cotton sateen. This would make my eyes like POW! Enter, this gorgeous and perfect fabric:
(Now unavailable on Also, this is the true color. It's awfully hard to photograph.)
I found this on and it was exactly what I was looking for. The planets aligned and this dress was destined to beautifully grace my body. When I received my package I was even more thrilled. It has just the right amount of stretch and the color is incredible. Plus, tonal dots! Even more perfect.

Then... Life happened. I bought the pattern and fabric for my birthday, in August. In September I worked on my Princess Peach costume. Apparently it took the whole month. I was cautious because being the same brand, I was worried about picking the size of the garment. I finally got around to tracing the pattern and making a muslin. I didn't realize the sleeves had darts at the elbows, but I gave it a shot. The bodice fit fine, but the sleeves were way too tight. So I used sleeves from another pattern instead, since I didn't care about the elbow darts anyway.

One thing I hate doing is gathering, and the skirt requires lots of gathering. Luckily from my Princess Peach costume I had already practiced my work around! I think I picked up the tip from Gertie, but I sew a long and wide zig zag over a bit of string. I happen to have a ball of string in my stash! This trick is miraculous. Gathering is so much faster and honestly I think it actually does a better job too. Just pull the string when you're ready to gather, and blamo! You've got lovely gathers.
I was also quite impressed with how the collar turned out. My tips aren't perfect, but the collar as a whole looks pretty good. I worried the collar would overwhelm my small frame, but I didn't make any changes to it and I think it looks good. I hand picked the lapped zipper and am in love with how beautiful yet camouflaged the zipper is.
Sorry for the flash!
My biggest issue with the dress is the buttonholes. First though, yay for my first (non-bound) buttonholes on a garment! Go me! Anyway, I'm pretty sure I marked their placement correctly per the pattern but it seems they could be in better locations. I also would shorten the bodice a bit because the weight of the skirt brings it a bit low on me. I meant to use hem tape when finishing the skirt, but it seemed sooooo fiddley so I just pinked the edge and did a catch stitch hem. I like that better anyway.
All in all, I'm very proud of this dress and I'm totally in love with it. I wore it with my petticoat made last year. I'm ecstatic with how this dress turned out!


  1. Gorgeous dress and it is absolutely the perfect colour for you.

    1. Thank you! I should fill my closet with this color. Too bad I don't have more for a Bruyere. Can you imagine?!

  2. So gorgeous!!! This looks so beautiful on you!!! I'm actually making another one right now!


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