March 29, 2013

Unselfish sewing part 3 - Simplicity 1699 for my grandma

Recently I've been feeling that it is really OK to sew for others, something I wouldn't have done six months ago, I guess that's progress for you... :)

My grandma (on my mother's side), who is 86 years old, asked me a few months ago if I could make her a dress. She knows I sew a lot. She wanted it to be blue because that's her favourite colour.

I said I would do it, but not rush it. And now I finally felt like it was the right time for me to do this project. I found some cotton fabric, that I was going to use for curtains like 15 years ago, but never did. It's dark blue with big red and yellow flowers and green leaves on it. I thought that it would be good since I didn't know how much my gran would wear the dress anyway. So two birds with one stone: unselfish sewing AND stashbusting! Great!

I decided to use view A from Simplicity 1699 which I recently ordered from

The construction was pretty simple, but I changed the order of some things to make the dress more adjustable-friendly. The pattern called for putting together the bodice and then the skirt and then joining them. But I sewing up all the front pieces and then all the back pieces and then sewed them together at the sides. I don't know any of my gran's measurements so the dress needs to be easy to adjust. My gran doesn't live near my, but in the same town as my mum so she will be the one to make the adjustments if needed. And I wanted to make it easy for her.

Anyway, here's how it turned out...

The zipper wasn't long enough, so I put it in a bit lower and added a hook and eye at the top.

I overlocked all the pieces before sewing them together. The inside looks very neat!

I cut a size EU44 because it was the smallest size on the pattern. I can put on the dress and zip it up, but I can barely move in it. I thought I would make one for myself, but I think I have to go up a size then.

I like the sleeves because they're raglan sleeves and not set in sleeves, which I find hard to move in. The scalloped detail on the sleeves is very cute, but I'm not sure I would make them again because they were kind of hard to get even, we'll see... :)

I would recommend the pattern, the style is cute and not hard at all to put together. Other alterations I made was to cut the front skirt on fold instead of cutting two pieces. I put in the zipper another way than recommended. And for my next dress I would lower the neckline which is very high.

I hope to get photos of my gran wearing the dress, but we'll see.

Happy Easter everyone!!



  1. You have a lucky grandma, hope she will like the dress.

  2. Wow such a pretty dress I am sure she is going to love it.