Review | Simplicity 3785 Special Occasion Gown

Simplicity 3785

Pattern Description: Dresses in three lengths with a gathered band below the bust. View A: floor-length sleeveless gown; View B: floor-length gown with flared sleeves and drape; View C: knee-length sleeveless dress with band and drape; View D: knee-length capped-sleeved dress with band; View E: knee-length sleeveless dress with a drape and bubble skirt. I made View B.

Pattern sizing: 8-24. I made a size 14 (don’t ask me why!)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing? Yes, pretty much. But because I made my dress a size too large, it looks rather baggy on me. Unfortunately, in my zeal to shorten the dress, I cut off way too much at the bottom, so I no longer have a floor length dress, but it comes down to about my lower shin. It’s kind of a high-water dress now. photo

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were okay. There are a lot of pieces to keep track of and you have to be certain that you have cut out ALL of the pieces. Case in point: I made some significant mistakes with this dress. The first mistake I made was not paying close enough attention to the pattern layout. I usually buy so much fabric at a time that I never really have to pay attention to the layouts. I just cut and have a good amount left over. Well, this dress calls for at least 4 yds. I bought just enough for this dress and thought I had cut out all of the pieces when I looked again and realized that I had only cut out 2 of the side front/back pieces instead of 4. My heart almost dropped. I had to scavenge through the trash to find some selvage for which I could stitch together length-wise to create the extra two pieces I needed. To save time, I serged all of the skirt panels together and did a rolled-hem with the serger.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the whole 70s vibe of the dress and the long, flowing skirt. However, be warned. I does run a little big!

Fabric used: Discount varied brown embroidered crinkled polyester from a Hancock Fabrics that was going out of business. I think it was $2.00/yd. The lining was brown silk essence, which has such a nice, light weight and flow. The band and drape was some brown chiffon-like fabric with some glittery spots in it. Both the lining and band/drape fabric were from Jo-Ann’s. photo

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Oh goodness. Well first off, I chose a size 14 because it looked like by their measurements, that’s what I should have made. I guess I didn’t take into consideration how much ease was incorporated into the pattern. Originally, I had taken the waist in so it would have a nice fit, but then I “realized” that maybe taking the waist in would make my dress too tight. The only problem was that I had already serged the waist in, and I couldn’t take it out. So I scavenged for more left over fabric and added it to each side of the back seam to bring the waist back up to a size 14. And the waist ended up being too big after all, just like I had originally thought.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? After all of that, um, maybe not. If I do sew another one, I might make the bubble skirt, since I’ve never done one of those before.

Conclusion I wasn’t going to wear this dress to a wedding, but I may reconsider.

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  1. Hello… I came across your blog via Gold’s site. Your dresses are stunning… love the fabric choice. I’m new at sewing garments and look forward to learning techniques from all you Sewing Divas.

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