One Pattern, 4 Different Dresses

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. 

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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. 

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The LBD

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.

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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.

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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. 

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