What’s a girl to do?

I’m stumped, y’all. Stumped. Simplicity 1998 is a head-scratcher to say the least. I am not sure if it’s meant to be a loose-fitting dress or if I cut the dress a size too big (even though I cut the size according to my bust). It doesn’t help that I am unsure as how kimono sleeves are meant to look or fit.

I apologize for the craptastic, unflattering photos I’m about to share but I didn’t think to grab a proper camera. Here you have the dress with an altered collar. The collar was just too big and floppy, and not in a good way.

Can not decide if this dress is meant to look baggy or if it's too big. Hmm...

I decided to take in the dress at the neckline, making another pleat in the back of the dress. Sadly the change produced drag lines along the shoulders and bodice. And the pleat is now misshapen.

Simplicity 1998

So I ask, what do you think my next step should be? Alter it back to how it looked in Picture 1? Take in the sides? I’m afraid taking in the sides might distort the pleat even more, maybe? I can always unpick the whole thing and make a Renfrew 🙂

So yeah. I’m stumped.


24 thoughts on “What’s a girl to do?

  1. The first view is definitely too big (unless you’re expecting an elephant). The second view doesn’t work either. Is there a seam down the back that could draw up the neckline by taking it in? You need to bring the shoulders up and then maybe baste the sides to see how it looks when taken in that way. Happy sewing – like the color.


  2. Maybe you would feel like it fits better if you do everything like the first picture, but redraft the neckline so it’s not so wide? I think you’ll want it blousier so there’s room as Baby gets bigger 🙂 The sleeves look good and kimono-y.


    • Hi Gail! Glad the sleeves are meant to be that way 🙂 Will definitely be working on making the dress smaller. Was hoping I didn’t have to redo the whole thing but it’s looking like I do. The fabric must not go to waste!

      Thanks for your advice!


  3. I like the pleat at the front but this too big for you. The first picture looks better- are you able to take the neckline in a bit and maybe baste the side slightly to give it some shape? Cute colour!


    • It was definitely big. I was kinda hoping I was wrong but it’s been confirmed. I’ve taken the whole thing apart and am hoping to cut a smaller size. Here’s hoping that works. Thanks for chiming in! I really appreciate it!


  4. Can you unpick and make a smaller size? For most dresses and tops I choose size by my high bust measurement, this gives me a better fit as my shoulders are quite narrow; I then add width to the waist area to cater for my tummy. From the pics it looks as though your shoulders are also quite a bit smaller in proportion to your bust so maybe this will work for you too?


  5. Go back to your flat pattern…. Measure the line from under arm to under arm in inches. It’s will give your shoulder pattern size . Ie. if you are 16 inc your pattern shoulder size it’s 16. Etc… I think the diagnose of the gaposis is because you are having excess fabric with a pattern too big on the shoulder… Then you just have to grade the rest.


  6. Um… personally I would make a Renfrew! 😉
    It is just too big.
    Unless you are completely head over heels about the style, in which case do what Rachel said! 😀


  7. I suspect the pattern was oversized any way. I really like the front pleat in the first photo. Suggest you keep that feature in future makes. Maybe next time choose the patten size based on your ‘High Bust’ measurement. I’m doing shorts ATM – 5 sets for me. Have made quite a few mistakes and adjustments. I think my leg width should have been a 12 and hips & waist a 18. Wondering if there’s a name for such adjustment. I just blended the cutting lines from 12 to 18 but it hasn’t worked well. I was feeling pretty disheartened earlier tonight but I made a commitment to carry on. Good luck with the next make. I’m looking forward to seeing as it will be better for sure and it will be helpful to learn along with you.


    • The pattern is definitely oversized. After measuring the flat pattern I discovered it had 7 inches of ease in it! Insane! I fall into a size 16 at the bust, not a 22, like I thought. Big difference. I will definitely start measuring the flat patterns from now on. I don’t always do, as it showed int he dress.

      Good luck with your shorts! I find the book ‘Fit for Real People’ very helpful when I am trying to alter a pattern. But yes, don’t give up! It’s just another learning process. By the end you’d gained a bunch more information 🙂


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