Simplicity 1610 maxi dress and a giveaway!

maxi dress dForgive me but it has been over a week since my last post. It was sunny, we had guests and the beers and suncream distracted me from the important job of recording my makes. But I have been sewing.

One of the things I discovered through doing Me Made May was that I need more me made maxi dresses. On sunny days there is nothing easier to wear than a long dress that you can chuck on over a swimming costume and wear about town then on to the beach.  So when Simplicity contacted me to see if I wanted to try a pattern I immediately checked out their long dresses.  I selected either Simplicity 1610, one of the Project Runway patterns, or 1612, a knit dress, and when the package arrived they had very generously sent me both, plus an extra pattern to do a giveaway!

With the temperature rising I couldn’t wait to get started.  I used an African  Wax Woodin print from Empire Textiles.   Six yards cost me £18.00 and although postage was a little pricey it arrived the day after I ordered it. I didn’t use all of it, I have about two and a half metres left, but more about that later.

Anyway, the pattern:

Like all the Project Runway patterns this one is modular, so you can choose from two different bodices, with or without sleeves and cummerbund and with a  long or short skirt. And it has pockets!    I’m looking forward to making up the version with the short skirt and sleeves, I think it has the potential to be as good as the famous 2444.  However with the sun shining I really, really needed that halter neck bodice and long skirt.

Looking at the pattern pieces I was a tiny bit worried.  There are quite a lot of them to start of with. There was no need to worry. Not all of the pieces were for this version (of course – duh).   And this is actually a pretty quick, simple make with some nice touches. I’m still not too good at technical talk but it has princess seams that made it really easy to fit.  You put a bit of elastic along the back on both sides on the seam allowance, which stops it gaping and holds it up a bit more,  and I love the way you make each pocket out of one piece that folds over to also form the yoke(?) of the skirt. I missed out the button loops at the top of the straps and used a pale turquoise button and button hole instead because I was in a hurry to finish before the sun went in and turning those pesky little tubes inside out would have taken too long.

IMG_2190And yes, those pink dots are actually sparkly! They look fabulous when they catch the sun. I lined the bodice with a mauve sheet and stitched up the front pieces to avoid any gaping cleavage incidents.


IMG_2193I’m afraid I shied away from pattern matching. I know I should’ve made the effort but I really needed this dress finished quickly in case the sun didn’t last -I know those of you living in the UK will understand.  And to be honest too much time looking closely at this print was making my face hurt.  Okay, that might have been the sun. Or the beers in the sun. And I can’t possibly tell you my husbands first comment when he saw the dress. Okay, I might if you ask but but I’m hoping he has a unique way of looking at things and nobody else will see what he saw….

After my last zip disaster I intended to move it to the side but I got into the zone and totally forgot until I had already sewn in the lining so I did a lapped zipper on my machine and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. It’s a damned sight better than my last one anyway.

maxi dress eI persuaded the husband to take pictures in the garden. Then when he made me look like an Oompa Loompa I bribed my eldest daughter.

maxi dress cmaxi dress amaxi dress bmaxi dress fAs far as wearability goes this one has passed all the tests. It held up to a day on the beach which ended up as a barbecue and evening drinks. I started out with it over my halter neck bikini then later wore it with my detachable strapped bra with one strap on halter style, because my days of going bra-less are long behind me. As my boobs would be if I did try. There was no gaping or falling down, the bra remained hidden and the print means that any ketchup, beer or suncream stains just blend in.  Result.  I will definitely be making this again in this length and I also want to make the shorter skirt version so watch this space.

Anyway, did someone mention a giveaway?  As well as the two maxi dress patterns Simplicity also sent me a copy of this:

I absolutely love the little scalloped collar on the green one, and the bow on the blue one. If you want to see it in the wild Gertie has just made them both up here and here, and she’s also done a little tutorial on how to do the collar.   And as I love you all so much I’m also going to throw in the remaining two and a half-ish metres of the African Wax print I used for my maxi dress.

To enter leave me a comment below, I’ll give you until midnight next Monday the 22nd July and I’m happy to send it overseas. Good luck!


50 thoughts on “Simplicity 1610 maxi dress and a giveaway!

  1. Marie

    Jo, your maxi’s a real stunner! Love everything about it, I bet you’ll be getting a lot of compliments wearing it out and about! Just wanted to say that really, so no need to enter me for the giveaway as I already have more patterns than I can sew in a lifetime ;o)

  2. Shar

    I love this on you and the fabric is gorgeous! You’re right maxi dresses are so versatile. I had this pattern in my hand last week at the fabric store. Now I’m sorry I put it back. Do tell (you said you might if someone asked). Is it on the back bodice? I’ve never done a lapped zipper (only invisible zips). I really need to try it sometime.

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks! I think lapped zippers are now my favourite, they seem a lot more forgiving than other types, so do try. Okay – the comment from Mr T, made while pointing directly at the circle that is incorporated into the front pleat –
      ‘HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You made a dress with a fanny on it!’ .
      And he was using the English meaning of fanny, not the American meaning. Can you see now why I was hoping noone would notice 🙂 ?

      1. Shar

        I found out in one of Tasia’s Sewaholic posts that you have a waaaay different meaning for that word than we do, lol! I definitely did not see it, so it’s all good!

  3. Janaki

    Your dress looks fantastic! The fabric is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for summer. Hope that it stays warm so you can wear it more often!

  4. gingermakes

    Eeeeeeek! This dress is FABULOUS! I love this on you– I can see why you wanted to hurry up and finish it! You can leave me out of the giveaway as I’m trying my hardest to go through my stash before adding to it again. 🙂

  5. Molly

    Great dress on you, I really like the colors! And a great giveaway, I definitely put that 60s pattern on my wish list after seeing Gertie’s versions.

  6. Scruffybadger

    What a cool halter maxi dress and the fabric is awesome !! Kind of psychedelic!! Just my thing.
    That is a cute scalloped collar, but despite that, please could you leave me out of the giveaway as I too have so many patterns, cant justify the prospect of adding another just because of the collar!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks! I do love the fabric, despite Mr T’s comments (see above, my reply to Shar who is probably regretting asking) which have made me look at it in a whole new light. I think it was the unfortunate placing of the pleat that did it. Luckily noone else has noticed, or they’ve been too polite to say, and I love it so much I’m going to wear it anyway.

  7. melanie

    I think your dress is fabulous … You should definitely make it in a solid, then it can doubled as one of those little (long?) black dress …
    Been eyeing the 1609 since Gertie made it, thanks so much for the chance.

  8. grtescp

    T love your dress, the fabric is perfect, it is fun, summery and very flattering (and that it camouflages ketchup stains has to be a good thing too!). I do love African waxes… so I would love to be entered in the giveaway! Thank you.

  9. Sabs

    Your dress is wow! I just got back from Kenya – and couldn’t find any wax fabric, I was most disappointed! Would love to win the giveaway so thanks…

  10. Rebecca Morcombe

    Love how your maxi dress turned out, it is also nice to read about somebody else who had a plan but totally got carried away.

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers! I find that is usually the way, I start out with a plan but then it all kind of goes tits up. Luckily the results are usually pretty good, and often better than if I’d stuck to the plan, so I guess this way of working works for me.

  11. Helen

    This is gorgeous! I am not a wearer of maxi dresses (not sure why), but I do love them on everyone else, and this is a really lovely one.
    I love the 60’s style dress too – I spotted that one on Gertie’s blog recently. Thanks for the opportunity to win these!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Thanks! I think you’d look amazing in a maxi dress. This one used a lot less fabric than I expected too. Of course this pattern has the option of a short skirt so I’m going to try that too.

  12. Nela

    I love your dress. It’s so summery and fun. Thank you for the great giveaway, I’d love to be entered.

  13. Gjeometry

    Oh My Goodness, I am just in LOVE with your dress! It fits you beautifully, great job sewing it. And, the style, so 70’s!!! From me, that’s a huge compliment, I love 70’s fashions. The fabric, the colours, the style, straight out of an uber-fabulous 1970’s pool party! Did you see the video of the Soul Train line dancing to Jungle Boogie at the end of my swimsuit blogpost? The fashions, the dancing, too much greatness!! You’d fit right in with your smashing dress!!

    Oh, and of course, I’d love to enter your draw, what gorgeous patterns, thanks for hosting!

  14. zora read

    Hi Jo, I am not wanting to be entered in the give away, but wanted to comment. love the dress as ever. But I also wanted to say Simplicity Runway patterns are great. I have found they have little extra touches that make garments a little different to usual. The fitting on this is perfect, i may just have to buy the pattern.

  15. Kim

    I love your dress! I absolutely adore the fabric too, sparkles on a maxi dress, what’s not to like? Please count me in for the giveaway!

  16. Diane Hudson

    That’s a fabulous dress on you and the pattern matching doesn’t matter one bit – it all looks so right! Hope the hot weather lasts … I’m in a flap trying to find things to wear because I’m so not used to it. Will be doing lots of sewing on leave next week … Anyway, would love to go in the draw! Thanks for the chance!

  17. crowbird

    You’ve done Simplicity proud! Blues and greens are probably my favourite colourway so I love your fabric choice. The best thing about these multi-style patterns is their value for money, so much choice. I’m with you on the short dress with sleeves, I can’t wait to see your creation!
    I love your ‘giveaway’, so Jackie Kennedy. Thanks for the chance to win.

  18. Amanda

    This is such a rad summer frock! Love it!
    (I already have the Jiffy pattern so you can leave my name out- just wanted to say epic dress!)

  19. babygreens

    Rocking frock! That’s gorgeous, even remarked on by my husband as he went past. I’ve actually got both of those maxi dress patterns saved on the simplicity website! That said, I ended up with the ByhandLondon and Jamie Christina ones, but there’s always next year 🙂
    Generous giveaway too, thank you! Hope the sun stays out for us all.

  20. Josephine

    Oh please count me in for your lovely giveaway. I’m slightly addicted to vintage repro patterns. Probably because larger sized vintage patterns can be hard to find. I’d never say no to beautiful fabric either.

  21. Mary

    Wow, gorgeous dress! Love the fabric, if I don’t win it I might just have to go and buy some anyway… ;o)

  22. Kate

    Wow, that fabric is just lush! It is so not my usual style but it’s really calling to me…my fingers are itching to order some.

  23. Sandra

    I love your dress and the fabric you chose is fab! I’ve added this pattern to my summer sewing list and I most definitely need more maxi dresses but haven’t quite found one I like, but this one has tickled my fancy. Would love to also get my hands on the shift dress pattern – thanks 🙂

  24. Katie F

    Really loving the fabric you have used on this dress – it’s really unusual but so summery! I really must try to make some longer dresses and skirts too. I’d love to be entered into the giveaway if I’m in time.x

  25. Pingback: Sew Weekly Reunion with Simplicity 1612 | The Amazing Adventures of Taracat

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