Simplicity 1356: Double Duty!

9:58 PM

Simplicity Misses' Jiffy® Reversible Wrap Dress 1356I have been working my way through a few dresses over the last few weeks. This one -- Simplicity 1356 -- was not on The List to make soon, but I got out some pink fabric to cut a lining for the skirt of another dress I'm working on (with fabric that was much too see-through for my comfort) and suddenly I was struck by inspiration.

I had tons of the pink fabric...in fact, it was a king-size Ikea cotton sheet that I picked up at the Goodwill recently. So I thought that it would great to trial this pattern.


This really was a Jiffy pattern; I was able to cut and sew it over the course of a couple of evenings. I was going to use a bright white sheet that had blue and pink stylized flowers for the other side, but my husband looked at it and suggested another one instead, that was a gentler contrast.

The second side (the floral one) was a surprise to me. I used it, thinking I would mostly wear it with the pink side anyhow. But when it was done, I loved the look of the floral side, and have worn it that side out far more often thus far. And strangers stop me to tell me what a pretty, spring-like dress I'm wearing ;)

It's funny how that happens -- when I bought the floral sheet originally, I thought it was a pretty retro look but a fabric I'd probably use for linings. I really like it in this dress though, even though I rarely wear things with a white/off-white base.

The first time I wore this new dress, I was at work. I wore the pink side out, and half-way through the day I nipped into the bathroom and flipped it to floral side out. Then I waited for people to notice. Small things, I tell you!



Anyhow, sewing details. It was very straightforward. I cut a size 16 on the top and added a bit of extra at the hip and below, which as it turned out was completely unnecessary and in fact means that there's a bit too much fabric in the area at which it's tied. A little too bulky. If I make it again I'm cutting a straight 16. Because there is too much fabric going around, the bottom fold over edges are also lower than the centre piece. It looks okay when I'm wearing it but next go around I'll try to eliminate the excess to make it nice and even.

The only other alteration I made was to add some extra width to the sleeve, trying to turn it into a cap sleeve, as I really don't like plain straps like the original. I was semi-successful. I curved the line from my shoulder extension a little too far back into the armhole, so my sleeve looks a little peaked. Again, next time I'll make the extension a little smoother so the sleeve is less angular.


But over all I really like this dress a lot more than I'd expected, having started it as an experiment. It feels cute and fun to wear. One thing to note is that when you walk, the skirt flaps do flow out a bit so the other side is clearly seen. So if you do make it, choose two fabrics that complement one another well, because you're going to be seeing both, no matter which side you're wearing facing out. I'd also suggest choosing lightweight fabrics, as the double layer could get heavy quickly if your fabric is too sturdy.

This dress is a bit of an outlier for me, seeing as I'm not a frequent wearer of hot pink or pale florals. But I like it. It is always fun to change things up a little, and this dress is a quick effort that gives a satisfying result.

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21 comments

  1. What a lovely dress. It is a bit like the Walkaway but the ability to reverse it is fun. Ha, I bet the response to you reversing your dress was very funny. It looks great both sides.

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    1. It was rather funny seeing people's double takes in the afternoon ;) I never thought of it but it IS similar to the Walkaway.

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  2. This dress looks lovely on you...either side. I particularly love the print. Perfect Spring time dress.

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    1. Thanks! I do love this floral print.

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  3. Thanks for the pics :) The dress looks lovely on you. I especially like the soft floral side.

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    1. You are welcome :) I am surprised by how much I enjoy wearing the floral side out.

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  4. What a wonderful idea -- reversible -- the floral looks perfect for a garden party!

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    1. Kind of a "two for one" effort with this dress ;) When I add some fancy jewellry I do feel as if I should be heading to a garden party!

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  5. Love it - and the sleeves are not too bad at all - I thought everything went well together. I'm familiar with the pattern and thought these were the sleeves - I had quite forgotten that the dress had straps :) . It looks lovely - and I love all the wearing variations this dress lends itself to.

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    1. Thanks Sarah Liz! I like this extended sleeve coverage a lot.

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  6. I love that you used sheets to make this dress. I have fabric to make this with and I am wondering if it really matters to cut it out crosswise versus on the natural grain line.

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    1. Hmm. I guess it would depend on your fabric -- will it hang well, whichever way you cut it? Test it out and see! Hope to see your make soon.

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  7. Hi there. I bought this pattern and am a bit confused as to assembly--it seems that instruction wise both right sides are together (contrast/solid) sewn and then final sewn one final garment...is that correct?

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    1. Yes, I think what you're saying is right -- the two sides are fully constructed and then sewn together, with an opening left to turn it rightside out. Be sure not to catch the loose ends of the ties in the side seams -- I pinned my onto the middle of the fabric so they'd be out of the way.

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  8. Thank you for your great review and helpful tips. The reviews on the Simplicity website were bad and not helpful at all. I bought this pattern today at JoAnn's and I'm looking forward to the variations I can come up with.

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    1. How do the ties on the inside work? Are they made of ribbon?

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    2. The outer ties are like attached sashes, but the inner ties (that tie around your back) are more of a solid tie. I used twill tape to make sure they are strong and secure - they do say you can use ribbon but I could imagine ribbon sliding out of a knot. Twill tape won't slide.

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  9. I must be dum I can't follow this Patton at all
    Not my favourite

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    1. No, don't say that about yourself! This is a confusing pattern with a construction style that only makes sense once you've sort of fiddled with it in real life - the instructions are confusing for everyone on first reading. Sometimes I cut a tiny version to play with to get the process down first.

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    2. I don't understand them at all.

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