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Simplicity 1198 & Vogue 8379 Pattern Hack

What’s your favourite part of the sewing process? For me it’s often the matching of fabric and pattern. I’m usually inspired by the fabric first and then enjoy the process of finding the perfect pattern for it.
Once a while a fabric comes along that poses a little design challenge which I love. This Art Gallery Striped Jersey Fabric from the Fleet and Flourish collection caught my eyes with its unusual wide repeat and contrasting colour palette. Going with the collection's bohemian and romantic theme, the stripes are adorned with folk art inspired florals and arrows. Definitely out of my normal comfort zone but somehow I'm intrigued. 
While it certainly could make a fun maxi dress, I wanted to better show off the colourful wide stripes without overwhelming my petite figure. I remembered a Mccalls pattern featuring diagonally placed wide stripes from a while ago. 
It’s the M7121 fyi, and unfortunately out of print already. However besides the bias stripe placement, it’s just a basic jersey dress with A line skirt. I decided to hack one of my favourite jersey top/dress pattern, Simplicity 1198 for a similar effect.
I’ve used S1198 before with the variety neckline and sleeve options it offered. I especially like the view B - it’s v-neck and narrow sleeve bands are very well drafted and offer just the right amount of coverage for a comfy summer t-shirt dress. For this hack, I used the view B bodice pattern pieces by tapering it to my measurement at the waist.
I then used a standard A line skirt pattern for the bottom part. Mine is the Vogue Wrap Dress V8379, a timeless classic pattern that was already around when I started sewing in 2005 I believe. But you can use any A line skirt pattern piece really. 
To create the diagonal stripes, I simply added seam allowances to the center fold of both bodice and skirt pattern pieces and then placed them on the bias of the fabric. Do this for both the front and back of the dress. Cut each pattern piece single layer, instead of on the fold. To help align the stripes, I always cut one side first and then lay the cut piece face down on the fabric, matching stripes to cut the second side. For this geometric design, perfect stripe matching is NOT optional ;-) 
As with any sewing project involving stripes, placement is key in this design. Because of the wide repeat and the abundance of colours, you can really have some fun with this fabric to decide which colour/pattern to feature in the central X shape formed by stripes. Here's a trick to help you visualize the options. I took a photo of the fabric and used a photo layout app on my phone to create a 4-square layout of the same photo. With some rotating and flipping of each square, I could then easily visualize stripe placement options before actually cutting the fabric. 
I had fun playing with the options and eventually decided to feature the rust red and teal blue stripes in the center X.  I also cut the sleeve band in the teal blue, to carry the blue stripes all the way up the shoulders. The final effect is striking yet balanced, with a flattering figure slimming visual effect. 
The jersey fabric is a joy to work with, as all Art Gallery jerseys are. The cotton base is soft and supple, with a slight touch of spandex to give it excellent recovery. I also added clear elastic to the waist seam to give the A-line skirt some extra support. 
At the end of the day I coulnd't be more proud of this make. It is satisfying in every way sewing satisfies from the design idea, the creative process to the end result. I can't wait to wear this unique dress all summer long. 
Until next time, 

Comments (4)

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sarah whittaker said:

Very clever use of stripes & really suits you. Well done. · 14th Jul 2019 10:51pm

KnitLaceSew said:

Well done. Its beautiful and so flattering on you. I love it · 14th Jul 2019 06:37pm

Joyce Mussett said:

This is really lovely. Well done!!! · 14th Jul 2019 06:12pm

H T McCully said:

This is absolutely lovely. Beyond me I'm afraid. · 11th Jul 2019 10:41am