Thursday, July 16, 2020

Simplicity 8051 in Bright Green - 4 Years to Complete 4 Patterns

Four years ago, in June of 2016 I shared this picture of four vintage reprint or vintage inspired patterns I intended to make. That summer, I successfully completed three of the four.

First, I made Simplicity 8085, and I loved it so much, I made it a second time. (And a third time last week!) Next, I made Butterick 5708. Finally, I made, and then fixed, Butterick 6322. All three dresses were wonderful additions to my wardrobe and still get worn regularly. What about Simplicity 8051? Well, it took me a while, but as of last month, that dress is finally completed too!

Summer 2016 came and went. I didn’t get around to making this pattern, and after that summer I pretty much forgot about it. Until last fall.

I was pondering the design of my bridesmaid’s dress for my brother’s wedding and I pulled out this pattern. The bodice had potential for a bridesmaid’s dress. I decided I might as well make up this sundress real quick, just to see how I liked the bodice on me.

I’d long since used the fabric initially ear marked for this dress on another project. So for this "quick sundress" I went through my stash and found 3 yards of a bright green fabric featuring white tropical flowers. A nice crisp piece of cotton given to me by my grandma a while back. It would do nicely for this design. 3 yards of fabric is a little on the short side for this particular pattern, but by using a different fabric for facings and pockets, I made it work.

I cut out the dress, then completely changed my mind about the design of my bridesmaid’s dress. The pieces of the green sundress got abandoned in the project basket next to my sewing machine for the next 8 months.

Finally, in May I decided I was not allowed to start any new modern projects until every single project in that project basket was completed! In June, I made it down to the green dress.

I put it together in the evenings after work, a little bit at a time. In less than a week, I had it done!

I added some fun decorative stitching around the yoke, because I happened to be making this during “Use a Fancy Stitch” week in the 52 Week Sewing Challenge Facebook group.

I finished off the back of the yoke with two little heart-shaped buttons, picked up at an antique mall at some point in my remembrance.

When I tried the dress on, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it fit! 

I’d added a little bit of extra length to the gathered section of the bodice when I cut the dress out, in hopes that the gathered section would end under the bust, the way it’s supposed to, rather than mid-bust, as things of this style are likely to do on me without alteration. Apparently, I guesstimated just the right amount of extra length!

The back of the dress is a little loose, but not too bad.

The only issue I found during that initial try-on was the fact the open back of this dress does not work well with a bra.

I solved that little problem by butchering an old strapless bra I hated, and sewing the cups into the front of the dress.

And with that, the last of the four patterns I intended to make summer of 2016 was completed.

Just like the dresses from the other three patterns, this one is a welcome addition to my closet.

Another cool, comfortable, easy to wear, summer dress.

A nice full skirt with pockets and a fun bodice - what more could I ask for?

The only problem? It took me 4 years to actually make this thing!


  1. It's very pretty. It's hard to get Simplicity patterns here ... yours are so lovely! Please don't make any more that I might crave to have in my sewing room!

    1. Thank you! Lol, I'll try to show some stuff made with McCall's and Butterick patterns if Simplicity is the problem!

  2. Cute! That's great summer fabric. I love the photos of you sitting in the grass with the skirt spread out.


    1. Thank you! It's so much fun to spread circle skirts out!

  3. Your dress turned out lovely. When you say you added a bit to the torso about how much? I have the same problem. I can look at a pattern and know that there is no way the waist/bust will be where it is supposed to be.

    1. Thank you! I think I added around an inch to the bust section of the bodice.

  4. I love reading your posts, both about the historical costuming and more "modern" patterns! I usually read them in my email so don't comment but thought I should let you know that I am a fan! Your stash is so extensive and you don't let procrastination get in your way. Yes, it took a few years to get to this project but you were working on many more in the meantime (and traveling, also). This is a lovely dress (as are the others) on with the fabric choice and the fit!

  5. i have the same bust problem you do. Dresses are drafted for B cup commercially. I am a DDD. What size are you and how much extra did you extend the bodice? Thanks.

    1. I'm a DD or DDD depending on the bra. I added around 1" to the length of the gathered section of the bodice.

  6. Really like this dress it says Summer! But then I like all the dresses from those patterns.