So, this year has meant that my dresses have stayed mainly in my wardrobe due to the pandemic, but that will all change with my versatile, classic Autumn dress in soft, gorgeous pink baby cord fabric.

I really wanted to make a dress this October that can adapt to any changes thrown my way. We can go out? Yes, I have a dress for that! An Autumn walk with the family, again yes, I have the same dress. Dress it up or stay casual and wear it like a pinafore, this is my dress for the season and I know it will get loads of wear.

I want to share in this post Simplicity 8292 and why I love it.

I’ve had this pattern on my wish list for about a year. I had it down as an occasion and when lockdown happened, I looked at the pattern in a new light. I realised it wasn’t just a celebration dress as the image on the packet suggests, but a classic to be dressed up or down and made in four different ways. Yes, four different dresses from just one pattern. Plus it’s 25 percent off at the moment too!

The dress has a fitted bodice with an empire line and both front and back side panels to provide a great fit. The back has a 22in zipper and you can choose a fitted or flared skirt, I personally used a shorter zip and it went over my hips fine. The bodice is lined and it doesn’t have additional facings which sometimes add bulk. The statement sleeves are amazing. The packet shows four different versions but you can put a capped sleeve or a cold should angel on a fitted bodice to add another two if you fancy.

I choose the angel sleeve on the flared skirt (view B). I had the idea I could wear it out for lunch with the family dressing it up with heels, or wear it like a pinafore with a long sleeve top underneath for Autumn walks with casual boots and leggings or thick tights.

I like the panel detail on the front and back over the empire line. The pattern had great notches so you can match them up to get those seams to match perfectly! No fussy fiddling with marching. I made a size 12 and the fit, particularly on the bodice was spot on.

I made the pattern to the instructions and love the skater style skirt. It was amazing that I only needed 1.5m of fabric to make my dress. Those sleeves possibly took half of the fabric as they are nearly full circles! I think this sleeve is the perfect statement design to add to this bodice. I actually slipped stitched the sleeve hem to get the perfect finish on my dress. This dress will definitely see me to Easter.

The baby cord was so soft and draped so well for this dress. I went for a pink so I could wear it with Autumn tones; plums, mustards and browns and still cling onto some of those Summer colours. Why not? I actually think it would look great with red for Christmas too.

I have to say I was really surprised with how soft the fabric was and I would use it for children’s clothes and even applique on quilts. I’ve in the past bought cord labelled baby cord from other retailers and it’s not been this soft and this great to work with. It doesn’t shed when you stitch it and washes and irons so well.

The pattern is one where you can’t fit it until it’s made, so do take care with the measurements. It is worth it. I didn’t make any changes to the pattern but do measure how long you want your skirt length as the model on the pattern isn’t very tall as she is wearing the hem on her knee. My hem is a good few inches about my knee and I’m 5’6”!

Pattern Summary

Pattern Simplicity 8292

Fabric Pink baby cord 1.5m (link to shop/fabric/dress-fabrics/jlc0083-beige-m-21-wale-needlecord-fabric )

Time to sew 3 evenings

Level Advance Beginners because of the empire seams and the concealed zipper.

Needle used Standard 80

Changes to pattern I changed the zip for a shorter zipper.

What would I change if I stitched it again? I would have 2m of fabric and make the dress straight to my knee.

This skater dress with statement sleeves is perfect for dressing up for Sunday lunch out or like me pairing it with thick tights in Autumn shades and ankle boots. I’m also going to wear a long sleeve RTW top under the dress when the weather turns a little chiller.

Thank you Minerva for such beautiful fabric and such an enjoyable make. This dress will be seeing me through the season and into Spring, no doubt. It’s so versatile, I’m sure I can make my wardrobe feel dressy, feminine and stylish in just one dress. Now which dress style from the pattern to choose next!

Samantha writes a creative craft blog and hosts Crafternoon Tea Parties and Events in the Midlands and beyond.