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Monday, August 12, 2019

Simplicity 1358 Sleeveless Maxi Dress Review

You know how sometimes your style is altered by those around you?  I'm that way when I spend time with my sisters-in-law on my husband's side.  I always feel as though they are a little more fashion-forward than I am.  In the summer, my uniform is skirts and tank tops.  But sometimes when we are together I can feel a little frumpy - particularly if we are going out.  They always wear cute dresses and I'm usually in the same old stuff I wear every day.  We had a family reunion at the lake last week, and this year, I was determined to be fashion-ready for any occasion.

Simplicity 1358 sleeveless maxi dress in green rayon jersey.



This is Simplicity 1358. It's a simple knit tank dress with options for a v-neck/racer-back or a scoop neck/regular tank back in several different lengths.

I sewed view D, the v-neck, racer-back maxi dress with a slit up the front.  As is my habit, I read a bunch of reviews online before choosing my size.  Do you do this? When I read pattern reviews, I'm mostly looking for sizing information.  I really appreciate it when people include their measurements and detailed sizing information in their reviews, so I try to do the same.

Simplicity 1358 sleeveless maxi dress in green rayon jersey.

I'm a 39.5-31.5-41.5, which is in between the M and the L, but closer to the L. My high bust is 36", so I maybe should have cut the M shoulder and graded out, but I decided not to.  The reviews I read seemed to indicate that the pattern ran true to size, so I went ahead and cut the L.

I put the dress together and was completely dismayed.  The armscye was LOW.  I thought I had just ruined my precious green fabric.  I decided to add the bands as instructed, hoping that they would pull the armsyce in a little.  They did, but not enough. In these pictures below, I belted the dress to see if it was the weight of the rayon pulling down the armscye - but as you can see, the armscye was super low even with the weight supported.



I was determined to make it work.  I took in the side seams at the armscye a whopping 2 inches on each side, tapering to nothing a little below the waist.  I also raised the shoulders 3/4". This saved the dress, pattern-wise.

Simplicity 1358 sleeveless maxi dress in green rayon jersey.

Fabric-wise, this rayon was not the best choice.  I love how.it feels to wear, and I adore the color.  But it is so heavy that the weight of the skirt pulls the dress down a bit in front.  And it shows absolutely every bra strap, panty line, and tummy bulge.  

Well hello there, bra band!
I am not entirely certain what the best fabric would have been to use here.  An ITY with good recovery would have supported its own weight nicely, but I don't fancy swathing myself in poly during the summer.  Maybe a cotton/rayon/lycra blend.  I will be on the lookout for something suitable, because I would like to make another one of these.

Simplicity 1358 sleeveless maxi dress in green rayon jersey.

The dress has a front slit option.  I didn't pay attention to where the pattern told me to end the slit; I just put it where it made sense to me. I don't like when slits are too high, and expose my leg above the knee when I sit, so I made it a bit more conservative.

As you can see, the dress is quite long on me.  I'm 5'8" and I did not adjust the pattern length. I think the rayon is stretching out to make the dress longer than it is drafted, but I couldn't tell you how much. 

Simplicity 1358 sleeveless maxi dress in green rayon jersey.

I wore the dress to church earlier on our trip home, with a long cardigan which helped hide all the back bra lumpiness.  But as it turns out, I didn't get to wear it when I was with my sisters-in-law.  We ended up not going out except on an evening boat ride where we all wore swimsuits and the hats that one of them made for the trip.  I styled the dress in these photos with that hat.  It says, "Go Ask Your Dad."  

As always, thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time!

Simplicity 1358 sleeveless maxi dress in green rayon jersey.


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11 comments:

  1. You did such a great job on this dress! It would have been so easy to give up mid-way through when you noticed the armscye was all messed up, but you didn't! And you saved this lovely dress and beautiful fabric. Kudos! And I love the hat - so fun.

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  2. It looks great! I personally don't like rayon knits, in ready-to-wear or to make up as fabric. I think it just doesn't behave nicely. Maybe just look for a basic cotton/spandex blend like the Laguna jersey from Kaufman? Or a bamboo jersey? I dunno. It is a super cute pattern! I've been looking for a midi-length v-neck sleeveless knit dress for a while without success--a friend of mine wore one to a playdate recently and it just looked so effortlessly cool to me. I think hers might have been some kind of French terry, but not heavy weight.

    I also look for sizing information on pattern reviews, and I'm so glad you always include that information when you review stuff! It always helps me to evaluate a pattern and what size to make if I buy it. :)

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    1. Thanks! I do really like the drape of rayon, but when I think back over my most successful rayon garments, they are either not that fitted, or the fabric is actually a blend of rayon and something else (other than lycra). This rayon may also not have been the best quality - but the experience has been enough to make me think twice before purchasing another straight rayon/lycra jersey.

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  3. You look fantastic in this dress! And I adore the color.

    I'm similar in measurements to you - 36" high bust, 39.5" full bust and always sew a medium in s/m/l patterns. I have a full bust underbust is just under 33" so I do an FBA, but definitely a medium for the upper body and grade out to a L for the lower body. But my waist & hips are a bit larger than yours at 33" and 43".

    And yes, I'm always slightly disappointed when people don't include the size they used in a pattern.

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    1. Thanks N! I usually cut a smaller shoulder as well; I'm not sure why I decided not to do that this time. I wonder how much of a difference that would have made with the armscye, though.

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  4. When in doubt I think it works to go with the smaller size at neck and shoulders and grade out in the side seams as necessary. The color is absolutely beautiful on you! and the finished dress looks great. Love the hat!

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    1. Thanks! I definitely should have done that.

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  5. Gah, I just adore that color! That fabric looks so lovely, too. I have the same issue with knit maxi dresses - it's hard to find a fabric that doesn't show every lump and bump. I want something that glides over the bumps, rather than pooling on them, lol. Hrrrmmmm.

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  6. That looks so great on you, and I love the hat too!

    If you don’t mind a heavier fabric, I’ve had good luck with heavier bamboo jersey and also hemp jersey can be lovely. They don’t always have Lycra, but since you may want more drape than cling, they can be a great option for a dress or skirt. And hemp jersey lasts forever, it’s really strong. I have t-shirts that are 10 years old and still look great.

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  7. This is such a nice dress. I love the color and your fabric choice. Your adjustments turned out great.

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Hi! I am so happy you came by. Thanks for your comment!