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Each week I try to bring you a new pattern that I have tried. This week I made the Simplicity 8147. It is a cute little girl dress with pockets.
A Little Girl Dress With Pockets
If you have read my blog before, you may know that I love finding ways to use up my fabric remnants and scraps. Whenever I make a dress for myself I inevitably end up with a fair few pieces that in the past have been large enough to use to make a dress for my little one.
However, as E grows (she is currently 3 and a half) it is becoming more difficult to make her a full dress out of my remnants. And this is why this pattern appealed to me. As you can see from the pattern cover, the dress consists of 2 panels to the front and back. BUT it has a contrast panel running down both sides, made from two pieces of coordinating fabric. Perfect for using up all those fabric bits that are just not big enough to get full dress panels out of.
The Simplicity 8147
Actually, if you look at the back of the pattern, it also states that it is for stretch fabrics. Not woven. But I decided that I could get around this small difference by widening the neckline and keeping to the shorter sleeve length. The pattern comes with a choice of 3 sleeve lengths, but as the longest sleeve is quite narrow, I think it would be quite difficult to make this fit with a woven fabric. But as the rest of the dress is a loose fit style, I was sure it would work quite well in some remnants I had.
Sure enough, once I had traced and cut out the pattern, I found that both the front and back panels were long and thin, and I had several remnants of a perfect size to cut these from. I made myself an Simple Sew Anneka Tunic Dress from this flamingo chambray last year.
The sleeve pieces were also quite small. And so easily cut from other small remnants of the chambray. And lastly from the chambray I had to cut some small pocket binding pieces.
For the contrast fabric I chose another remnant. This was actually some very cheap cotton fabric that I used to try out a shirt pattern for my OH last year. From this I had to cut two side panels and two pocket squares.
Sewing the Pattern Up
The pattern was incredibly easy to put together. The instructions are really clear. Firstly though, you have to join the shoulders of the front and back panels. This immediately makes up the neck hole of the garment. Which clearly isn’t large enough when made in woven fabric. So to get around this, I sewed a line of stitching at a 1cm distance all the way around the neck aperture using my magnetic seam guide, and then cut at this stitching line to give me a 1cm larger neck hole. I tried this on my little one to make sure it fitted, and it did.
Making up the rest of the garment was just following the instructions.
But then at the end I realised that I would need to finish the neckline slightly differently as it wasn’t a knit fabric, and so decided to make some bias binding from a thin strip of the contrast stripe fabric cut on the bias. I bound the neckline so that the bias binding only shows on the inside. i think that this gives the dress a lovely finish.
(FYI – the sewing instructions when using a knit fabric are to hem the neckline. I probably wouldn’t do this either. If I made this in a knit fabric I would prefer to add a neckband. See my guide here for how I would do that.)
I am so pleased with the finished result!
This pattern is a great scrap buster. I love the size and the gathered detail of the pockets, and the binding to the top. I adore the contrast panels, and the fact that I could squeeze this out of the remnants of other projects. This is definitely a pattern that I will be making again and again. The fact that I can make it out of knits AND woven fabrics makes it such a versatile and useful pattern to have. My little girl loves her little girl dress with pockets!
Find the pattern here.
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