Simplicity pattern #1059 is one of my all time favorites. It is a vintage pattern from 1969 that was re-released. What first attracted me to Simplicity’s Pattern 1059 was . . . well, it’s simplicity. It has very few seams and no complicated details. The clean lines of the pattern design made it very easy to adapt to multiple styles. And I absolutely love a deep v-neck so this pattern will continue to be in heavy rotation.
The Sweater Dress
The first dress I made with this pattern was a sweater dress using a sweater knit from the Nicole Miller collection at Joann fabrics. This was by far the easiest of the adaptations. To make the dress more form-fitting, I cut a size smaller than my measurements would have suggested and took in the seams to fit my shape. I also eliminated the front seam and made the sleeves short.
The second time around, I adapted the pattern for an LBD (Little Black Dress). I needed something that I could wear out when the weather was a bit chilly. Of all of the projects, this was by far the most difficult. I took the bodice from the original pattern and then blended the lines with a knit skirt sloper that I drafted. I added an exposed metal zipper in the back and a slit up the front. I debated for a while whether or not to keep the dress sleeveless but decided to make a cape sleeve. I took the original dress sleeve pattern and altered that to achieve the look. This dress was a whole lotta work but I was pretty happy with the end result.
The Summertime Maxi dress
This 3rd variation has a special spot in my heart because the fabric is from my grandmother’s stash. The fabric was probably made some time in the 1970s. I have no idea what the content is or where it was made but moment I saw it, I knew I needed to be draped in it. So I decided to make a maxi dress. However, with a 45 inch width and a scant 4 yards of length, the piece of fabric was a bit too small. I extended the pattern pieces so the dress would be floor length but that meant that I could not have the sleeves as originally designed by the pattern. I adapted the sleeves to be shorter but wider. I added a slit to the front of this one as well.
The Ankara Maxi Dress
For the 4th project, I used an ankara wax print to make a maxi dress with a cut-out in the back. I took the bodice from Simplicity 1059 and made a cut out in the back. The skirt was two long rectangles. The front had a slit in the center (are you seeing the theme here?). This was attached to a waistband with piping. I added pockets to the side.
One huge lesson from this dress: always make sure you have an adequate ‘exit plan’ for any garment. As much as I love this dress, it requires an amazing feat of acrobatics to get into and out of it. The next time I make something like this, I will definitely be more thoughtful about the zipper length and placement.