My Sweet Bow Dress- Simplicity 2444

I couldn’t be happier with my latest make. After my birthday dress and another UFO, I’m glad to have something cute and that was simple to make.

The fabric was purchased from the Mill End (if you’re in the Portland area go there!!) It’s a very light and floaty Marc Jacobs’ cotton lawn. I recognized it as Marc Jacobs’ because I’m an obsessive blog lurker (I’m starting to comment more and be less of a creep, I swear) and remembered this adorable dress by the talented Suzanne. This fabric feels like second skin, it’s very soft and almost silky feeling. Oh and duhh, it’s covered in bows. Cute cute cute!

I took inspiration from this uber cute fabric and said , “What would Zooey Deschanel wear?” I decided this fabric was dying to be turned into a little retro dress with a full skirt and short sleeves. I was right ;)

I used Simplicity 2444, one of the Project Runway patterns, and I love it. The four angled darts in the bodice provide a nice shape and are unique. This will definitely become a “tried and true” pattern for me. In fact, I’ve already got another dress planned.

This is me asking Chris to make sure he takes a photo of the darts

I have had so much luck with Simplicity, it’s like their pattern designer took measurements of me one night while I was sleeping and said this will be our size 12. I made absolutely no modifications whatsoever to this pattern. Love that! It makes sewing a lot more fool proof and fun when you’re not worried about if your adjustments will work or not.

The instructions for the construction of this differed a little from typical dress instructions. It has you attach the front skirt to the front bodice, the back skirt to the back bodice, and THEN do the side seams. I thought that was a little bit weird, but it did make finishing with french seams very easy to do on a majority of the seams. I think I’m going to try to remember assembling this way the next time I want to use french seams.

Any of the raw edges that couldn’t be finished with french seams were bound with bias tape. I also used matching pink lace hem tape to finish the hem and I catch-stitched by hand. Instead of folding under the sleeve-hem and leaving a line of stitches, I used the bias tape as a facing and catch-stitched it into place as well.

The only change I think I’ll make to future versions is to make the pockets bigger. They feel a little too shallow to comfortably put my hands in. Also, you don’t need nearly as much fabric as the pattern envelope suggests. I bought 3 yards and still have nearly a whole yard left over AND I followed the “with nap” layout and nominally tried to match up the bows. If this was solid colored fabric I could have made this with a little less than 2 yards of fabric.

All in all, this dress gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me. It’s super wearable and is just precious enough for a girly girl like me.

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63 thoughts on “My Sweet Bow Dress- Simplicity 2444

  1. Loooooooooove it. I’m impressed with your seam finishes, too. I’ve never french-seamed or bound my seams with bias tape due to lack of patience. Kudos! Beautiful dress.

    • This dress took me a long time, but it was a nice break. I like to focus on minute details when I’m stressed, so I threw myself into seam finishing.

  2. Holy Cow. This is SO adorable. I am glad that you commented on truebias so that I could find your blog. I am especially impressed with your finishing of the seams.

    • Ha, that’s so funny. I promise I did not plagiarize. Or at least not on purpose, now I can’t recall if I read your review or not :-/ I’ll change my post if you’d like. I really like your gingham version. The petticoat really adds to the silhouette

      • Oh dear, Oh no! I didn’t mean that at all. I’m sorry if that’s what came across! Thanks for your offer but no, they are real observations and I thought it was cool someone else thought them too. LOL!

      • I didn’t take it that way, I just try hard to live my life without offending others. I noticed on your blog you mentioned a high hip, I have one as well. Maybe that is the key to why we have such luck with the fit of Simplicity patterns

  3. Ahhhhh so cute! My first thought upon seeing this was holy hell that’s adorable and it truly IS! You look lovely in these photos, the fit is spectacular, and WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE SHOES? And what are you going to do with that yard of fabric?

    • I was thinking of making a nice loose shell with the rest of the fabric (maybe Sorbetto). As for the shoes, they were a lucky find at my local Goodwill. I saw them through the window while walking my dogs and squealed when I saw how perfectly they matched the dress I was making.

  4. This is great! I have this same pattern and I scooped it up from JoAnn’s during their 99 cents sale. I want to rip it open to sew an Easter dress for myself, but I always get a bit scared. Now I have some courage! Thanks for sharing!

      • I was able to get rid of the puckers by using a metric shit ton of pins, ripping out the stitches where a pucker showed up and re-stitching that spot, and using a lot of steam. i hope this helps

  5. I’m attempting to make the same dress this week, but I think I want to add the bow to it. Did you shorten any of the pieces to cut down on the yardage? I will probably make a 16 since the finished bust on the 14 would be a bit snug. The pattern envelope says that I need 5 and 3/4 yards, which seems outrageous. I’m sure I’ll have to shorten it considerably since I’m only 5’1″ tall too. Maybe I’ll try 3 yards as well…

    Thanks for such a wonderful blog post!

    • I didn’t shorten any of the pieces. They list the yardage needed for each aspect of the dress individually which adds up to a lot left over. I would lay out all of the pieces on the ground to get a better estimate of the actual yardage needed, and go from there. I imagine 3.5 yards should be a safe amount, including the sash. I only ended up using 2 1/8 yards of my fabric (45″ wide)

  6. Oh wow – I’m so glad I saw this! I’m currently sewing up simplicity 1873 in the exact same fabric (that i found at bolt – yay Portland!). I stalled last weekend, doubting that all those bows would make a cute dress. My inspiration is renewed now though! Yours is adorable! Now I can’t wait to finish mine :)

  7. Eek!! This is absolutely adorable! I love love LOVE it! Aren’t those darts cool? I made this dress for my mom a while back, and the waist shaping from the darts is soooo flattering (plus, the little pleats are way cute)! The bows are way too sweet! Oh, and I love your fishnets! You look cool as sh*t in this dress!

  8. Could you possibly be any cuter? No, no you could not. I LOVE THIS DRESS! And the guts look as pretty as the skin! I am so lazy about finishing the insides really nicely because I’m always in a rush to get to the next thing and I have endless admiration for ladies who make such an effort to make it beautiful inside too!

  9. I absolutely LOVE this dress! It’s so cute – I have bought the Simplicity pattern right off the back of this post. Now off to peruse the rest of your blog! I’ve popped over from a link on A Sewing Odyssey and am so glad I did!

  10. So the only problem I have with this dress is that it isn’t chilling in my closet. Super cute and very nice job!

    And I agree its awesome when pattern companies fit great. Vogues are like that for me most of the time.

  11. This is adorable! I am just learning how to sew and Googled some of the patterns I picked up on sale, which brought me here. I showed your photos to my husband because learning to create dresses like this is the main reason I wanted to learn to sew! I have a store-bought Marc Jacobs dressed made of the same fabric in pink but honestly wish I had the one you made instead! It is really perfect on you.

  12. Hello, I was so inspired by this supercute dress (I also like Zooey) that I not only bought the pattern and decided to make a dress for myself, but your dress is so pretty on the inside I wanted mine to be too. So I’ve used French seams and bias tape to finish all the seams, like you. Thanks for the inspiration, and if you want to see my dress head over to my blog… Have a great day!

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  16. Olalala, This is a lovely dress. I am going to get that pattern so that I can make a dress like that for my bestfriend. I just started with blogging and I am very busy making my own pants and skirts at this moment.

  17. Pingback: Sewing Plans, Progress and Stuff « VickikateMakes

  18. This is gorgeous and I admire you so much for taking the time to finish all your seams in bias binding! One day I hope to become that kind of person too. :-) And your shoes are to die for! x

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