a blog about my adventures in dressmaking, crochet, knitting and anything else i try to make.

simplicity 1314 – workwear

hi sewing fans!

WELCOME TO OCTOBER!  finally, autumn is here and my soul is happy.  autumn is my absolute favourite season; those beautiful leaves, cosy jumpers and all important nights of knitting & crochet, curled up on the sofa with a blanket.  perfection!

i’ll drag myself out of my day dream now and tell you about my latest makes; two version of simplicity 1314.  it’s actually the only pattern number i can ever remember, for obvious numerical order reasons.

i have fancied upping my work wear game a bit recently; i got a taste for it after i made my “smarter” interview clothes… which i still haven’t blogged.  i should have taken pictures of those garments today too..!  i actually enjoyed looking smarter.  even though our office is smart casual, i want to be saving such wonderful creations like my cat moneta for fun weekend wear!

i had seen the fabric for these dresses in john lewis a little while ago and fell a bit in love; it’s a stretch suiting.  i thought it would be perfect as i sit down all day, i need that bit of give to keep comfortable.  i was lucky enough to get £70 of john lewis vouchers for my birthday, so i treated myself to the fabric (as it wasn’t cheap – £14 p/m!) , pattern and zips.  i didn’t actually know i wanted this pattern, i just fancied something smart looking with princess seams.  i flipped through the catalogue and bingo!  found this one straight away.


i considered doing a toile, but then you know, laziness got the better of me and i just cut straight into the black fabric.  i put it all together then basted the side seams to get an idea of the fit.  i decided to just use a 3/8th inch seam allowance on the side seams in the end.  i think this looks fine on the black version, however looking at the pictures of the grey version i think the top looks too bit. i used a size 14 for the front & back middle panels, then the 16 for the side seams and sleeves.  i thought it was a bit of a bodge at grading.

here’s another thing i have learned after photographing these – BLACK IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE DETAIL ON!   please bear with me, the design details are much better on the grey version a few photographs down!

i also learned both these dresses definitely definitley needed ironing.

i’m really pleased with how nicely the zip is at the top of this one.  it was a bit of a fluke but i’ll take it.

right, onto the grey one.  i’ve already mentioned it, but i think it’s too big now i’ve looked through these pictures.

i think the excess fabric in the bodice on the black version is needed for the ability to move with the sleeves in.  the binding that finishes these arm holes was okay, and i usually like binding, but i don’t like the way princess seams are bound in if that makes sense.  you can see the close up in the next picture, and also the disappointment on my face about it haha.

i also think that if i changed the angle of the shoulder seams it would take out some of the excess that’s making it too big at the moment – i only figured this out after seeing the picture above where i’m pulling it up a big with my thumbs!

annoyingly the top of the zip isn’t as perfect as the black one, gah!

you can see the detail of the dress a bit more here, and also how badly it needs an iron lol!  you can also see how big it is on the top.   the picture underneath shows some excess too.

it sounds like i don’t like the grey one – i actually really do, and until i can be bothered to get around to taking it in a bit, i’ll just wear it with a cardigan haha.

it’s a good job i made two of these for this post because you can actually see the design on the grey!

all in all, this is a really nice make and have perfectly fitted into the work wardrobe i have in my head. i bought 2m of each colour of fabric and i think i have enough left over for a skirt from each colour, bonus!

my top tip is to really make sure you’re pressing your seams so you get perfect joins.  the bodice/skirt join needs to be pressed open and finished properly before you do the side panels. i would also trim the princess seam excess more than i have so your seams lie flatter.

i’m thinking of trying the trousers from this pattern too, just need to find some nice ponte for them now.  i would definitely make this dress again, maybe i’d do a bit of colour blocking next time!

happy sewing everyone (and happy october!)



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