Simplicity 1609, a Jiffy Pattern: A Shifty Shift Dress

I read about Simplicity 1609 on Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing and on the We Sew Retro website. I really liked the versions that I saw there; I had visions of myself looking sleek and mod in my own version. I believe I started this series in December 2013 and finished it in January 2014.

I made a muslin out of a polka-dotted sheet (no photo), using size 16 at the bust and 18 at the waist and hip. I didn’t put a zipper in it. It seemed fine, though loose.

I made a second version, complete with zipper, out of green paisley broadcloth. It had some fitting issues in the back, but the front looked good. (This was my first centered zipper! I hand-basted it in before sewing it in by machine.)

Simplicity 1609, shift dressI looked up “puffiness in upper back” on Google. I was surprised to have this, since my lower back dips in sharply…normally, I have pooling of fabric in the lower back. I believe I found that the back bodice was too long, so I shortened the back bodice above where the waistline was (approximately, since the back bodice and skirt are not separate). The fit in the upper back improved on the third version, made of linen from JoAnn’s, but the fit in front declined, becoming loose and giving the impression of a big belly.

Simplicity 1609 Front Modeled

Sorry about all of the background stuff–this was my one opportunity to get a photo, and it was dark and cold outside. Even though the fit isn’t perfect, I have worn it to work a lot…with a belt to control the puffiness in front. I like how breezy it is.

A sewing teacher suggested that I actually go down a size to 14, so I may try that on the next version of this. I find Simplicity 1609 easy to sew, and I like the silhouette in all the versions I’ve seen. I want to make it work for my figure.