Simplicity 3673: It’s red, what more can I say?

17 Mar

It’s stunning. And apparently, so I have been told repeatedly whenever I wear this, red looks fantastic on me.

Hmmm. Looking at these photos, it looks a bit loose. I might check that out next time I wear it. It wouldn’t be much to take in the side seams a bit. And oh look! My new shoes. Naots, baby! My feet absolutely love them, even if my social conscience isn’t so sure about them (It’s an Isreali company with a factory in the settlers area of Palestine).

  • Pattern: 

  • Inspiration:

I’ve been having the time of my life on Pinterest. I don’t know about other people but I tend to have a few different distinct styles of clothing I really like, and Pinterest has been a great way of exploring this. One such style I called “Leafy Green” ended up with a whole lot more red than green, with pin after pin of plain red dresses in a variety of vintage styles.

But wait, I had 3m of red cotten/lycra satteen in my stash. And the above retro-repro pattern!

So I just put them together and love the outcome!

  • Fabric/notions/trim used:

Cotton/lycra satteen which because of the stretchy nature of it, needed no zip.


  • Construction notes:

I hadn’t used this red satteen before because I bought it to make a proper dress version of the Sense and Sensibility1940’s swing era dress pattern I muslined in a very wearable way. (oh LOL!!! I just realised the title for that post is the 1490’s swing era dress. I’m dyslexic. Honest! And it is worst with numbers. Honest! I think I’d better go change it … :-D) uh, were was I? Ok the swing era dress in red satteen never happened coz the fabric is fairly heavy compared to the usual stuff I wear, and I was worried it might be just too hot. But I made another dress out of some gorgeous soft sagey green satteen (not blogged yet) thinking “If it’s too bad it can be a dry-season-only dress (the dry season is what masquerades as a Winter in Darwin). It turned out to be fine, not too hot at all! So I was confident about using the red satteen for this dress.

As noted, no zip needed. I did the tie-thingy on the neckline because I like tie-thingies on necklines. I did my usual FBA combined with taking miles out between bust and waist because I’m not miles tall. Other people who’ve blogged about this pattern mentioned it ran big, so I measured carefully, but I think it might need to be taken in a bit more, based on those piccies above. Stretch-wovens can be quite hard to get a satisfactory fit due to the stretch, I’ve found.

I did a machine-blind hem on this and I feel very fancy for it. Usually I just sew the hem with straight stitch. Sacrilegious I know, but look how many RTW clothes have a straight stitched hem. And besides, it’s a strong finish and clothes get washed to hell and back here (tropical climates *sigh*). However I figured if the blind hem stitch came apart from washing, I could just redo it. And it does look very nice…

  • Cost

Hey, I bought the red satteen so long ago I can’t remember what it cost. Does that mean it’s free???

Oh ok, the satteen available in Spotlight at the moment is around $10 on special (They always have specials at Spotlight. NEVER buy anything full-price there, that’s my shopping advice.) So 3m @ $10 – $30

A reel of thread @ $3

Pattern: that must be free too, coz I can’t remember what I spent on it. Maybe $10? I do know I got it from Spotlight on sale…

Total $43-ish

  • Final word:

Eeeeek! Such a great dress and soooo easy to fit to my hourglass figure. (I totally LOVE vintagey patterns for that reason.) I have some lovely lovely blue roses satteen fabric I’m seriously considering doing in the straight style -or do I want to use the skirt part of the straight dress and turn it into a high-waisted blue rose dress? Decisions, decisions…

Oh, and apparently, red really suits me 😀

15 Responses to “Simplicity 3673: It’s red, what more can I say?”

  1. sewbusylizzy March 18, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    Great colour, in fact I’m off to check out the sateens today!


  2. Josie Brady March 18, 2013 at 6:02 am #

    Yes!!! Red does suit you, and the dress is a lovely style for your figure. I think though that the sandals are the stars. You were lucky to get them. As for social conscience, I think the Palestinians who are employed making them are probably very thankful to have a job.


    • Tropical Threads March 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

      I have no idea how they’d feel. This is the problem with having a social conscience, you never really know what things are like, you’re relying on other people and the media *sigh*. My feet really appreciate the shoes. And the look lovely with that dress 🙂


  3. Nikki March 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm #

    Love it, love the colour and love the shape! I have that pattern too and can’t wait to make it up. How did you make the sleeves – did you draft you’re own sleeves?


    • Tropical Threads March 18, 2013 at 9:35 pm #

      Hi Nikki!
      It came together very easily, if you don’t get too fazed by the er 12? darts. But oh they shape it beautifully.
      I totally forgot those sleeves didn’t come with the pattern! I used the cap sleeves from the Amy Butler Lotus Tunic, but I’ve got cap sleeves from other patterns I like to use too. The sun burns my shoulders if I don’t cover them, and cap sleeves are very cool and comfortable and do the job. If you want I can take a photo of the shape of the cap-sleeves for you so you can get an idea what they’re like?


  4. Amanda March 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm #

    Red is indeed rocking on you! This is super cute and well worth all the darting 😀 Epic work!


    • Tropical Threads March 20, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

      I’m really taken with this red thing 🙂
      Yep definitely worth all those darts! I’m seriously considering doing the straight version, but still haven’t worked out if I should do a skirt or dress! It’s a tough decision.


  5. Gjeometry March 21, 2013 at 6:18 am #

    OH, it is stunning! I love the colour (yes, red does look good on you, lol) and like that tie action at the collar. Nice job, just found your blog today and happy I did! 🙂 I’m also having a giveaway on my blog to celebrate the equinox (vernal or autumnal, depending on where you live), so feel free to enter if you are interested.


    • Tropical Threads March 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      Hello! Nice to meet you. I love meeting now sewing bloggers. Checking out your blog right now. I’m pretty pleased with that tie thingy too. And it was really easy to do as well, easier than a collar, not so much harder than a facing.
      Oooh giveaways are fun, thanks for the invite! It will be autumnal here. Well, er, the late wet-season equinox in tropical Australia where I am 🙂


  6. Cuckoo Chanel May 5, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    What a beautiful dress!! How did I miss this when you originally posted? Anyway, perfect color and fabric for this pattern, and looks lovely on you.
    Cool Naots too!


    • Tropical Threads June 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      Thanks! I really love wearing it too, and always get compliments on it and how it suits me, which is really nice!


  7. eumoronorio June 30, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    That is a great dress and it accents your figure so well! Lovely!


    • Tropical Threads July 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

      Thankyou! It’s on high-rotation in my wardrobe, and I always get complimented when I wear it. It’s definitely a win!



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