A sewing blog about building a functional, cohesive handmade wardrobe, one garment at a time.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Simplicity 8641 pattern review

I picked up Simplicity 8641 during a JoAnn's pattern sale that occurred when I was home last summer. I had no plans to sew it before we left Bogota; actually, I had planned to cut out a new pair of jeans the day that I ended up taking it out of my pattern box.

And then it was just one of those things that came together perfectly. I had a perfect fabric for it in my stash, and a little bit of free time, and before I knew it, I had a new dress.

I sewed up a size 16. My measurements (40-31.5-41.5) put me into the size 18, but my fabric was quite stretchy. I'm glad I sized down; this fits exactly the way I want it to.

I made View B, the version with the zipper, interior pockets and side slit. I messed up and put the zipper on the wrong side. Not that that matters. And since my fabric is stretchy, I actually can get the jumper on without unzipping. If I'd known that, I would have skipped the zipper, but I feel like I can still use the zipper practice.

My zipper is navy, not black, because that's what I had on hand. But it's invisible, so who cares.

I used the double-fold method to sew my straps rather than sewing them into a tube and turning them.

I used up 2.5 yards of a linen/viscose/lycra woven that I bought from Fabric Mart last year. It is slightly slubby and quite crisp; it has almost the hand of a dupioni silk. It was not as easy to sew as I thought it would be; I found working with it at the mitered corners of the slits to be very fiddly. My corners are decidedly not mitered as a result.

It was also an interesting fabric in that the stretch is parallel to the selvages instead of perpendicular to them. I cut all my pieces, except the straps, on the cross-grain so they would be stretchy. I did not want the straps to stretch. But I didn't consider this while cutting, and when I got to the straps, I didn't have enough fabric to cut them in one piece. I ended up just cutting one strap slightly shorter than the other. I should have pieced it as I really did need the extra length.

I'm 5'8" and I did not lengthen the dress. In retrospect, I wish I had lengthened it an inch or two.

I tried the dress on when it was almost done and really loved it. After I had finished it, though, I put it on and thought "this just looks like I'm wearing an apron." I think I'm going to have to play with styling it to look less kitchen-esque. I do think I will wear it a lot in the summer though as I really love the feel, weight and stretch of the fabric. I also love how high-waisted it is in the back. I wore this outfit to church and had had it on for five hours when we took these pictures, and my shirt never came untucked.

Thanks for reading, and see you next time!


  1. I love this pattern! I don't think it looks like an apron! Maybe add a scarf or necklace??

    So, so cute. I have plans for this in either a navy or bright red-orange linen. We'll see :)

  2. I think it looks French chic, you look very handsome. Comfortable is a bonus.

  3. I thought cute and casual when I saw your dress. Definitely not "apron".


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