Pattern Review: Simplicity 1801

This Cynthia Rowley pattern has been in my stash for ages. I picked it up because I fell for the design (and it has pockets, which I love in a dress). About this time last year I picked up some fabulous flowered fabric in a charity shop, and thought it was just what I needed for this pattern. (I was thinking a kind of '70s vibe, flower power, hippies, that kind of thing). Not one to rush things it took me nearly a year to actually make the dress, but I'm glad I did finally get round to doing so last month.

(Apologies for the photo quality, I took it in a rush one morning during an early wave on enthusiasm for photographing my Me Made May outfits)

Pattern:      Simplicity 1801
Fabric:        About 2m of unknown vintage fabric, .5m of orange polycotton for the facing and pockets (Hickeys)
Notions:     7" zip (from stash)

Does it look like the picture on the envelope?  Yes, except for the sleeves, see below for my mods.

Where the instructions easy to follow? Yep 
Pattern alterations? I put in a lapped side zipper, I've fallen in love with them since discovering them working on my '40s vintage dress. The big change I made was to the sleeves. As the pattern is designed, they are some big sleeves, with a lot of fabric in them. I wasn't sure about them when I cut them out, but once I'd tacked one is place and tried it on I was convinced - they were awful. They made the dress really top heavy and unflattering.  My solution? I cut about 2 or 3 inches of the bottom of each sleeve. I then cut two small bands out of the waste fabric, and sewed each into a loop to fit comfortably around my upper arm. I gathered the bottom of the sleeve, and sewed the band on the bottom, and voila - cute little puffed sleeves. 
Would I make it again? I certainly would, its a great dress - comfortable, flattering and practical, what more could a girl want? 
What did I learn from this project? Not so many new techniques on this one. I think I perfected the lapped zipper, and I made probably my biggest pattern altration to date with the changes to the sleeves, which worked. 
Did it meet my sewing resolutions? Yes, I'm progessing with reducing that massive fabric stash, and this dress is already proving itself a valuable addition to my me made wardrobe!


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