Friday, November 25, 2016

Simplicity 1366 Review : Bell-sleeve Striped Shift Dress.

Last summer I made the Vogue 1445 below and wondered why I avoided shift dresses for so long. They're actually very flattering and look great on various body types, including mine. I vowed to made more of them in the future.

When J Crew launched their spring collection this year, I was immediately drawn to their bell-sleeve striped top and dress. The entire collection is quite amazing!

I set out to replicate the dress with the leftover black and white ponte knit I had from the Vogue dress. I'm happy to report that I was able to squeeze this dress out of a little over a yard of fabric. As a result, it's a bit shorter than I would have liked but it's definitely not a deal breaker! I have been wearing it a lot.

I decided to look through my enormous pattern stash and found the Simplicity 1366 pattern by Cynthia Rowley. With its dropped sleeves and boat neck, it's the closest match for the inspiration dress. All I needed to do was to add some length to the front and back bodice and shorten the sleeve to incorporate the ruffle.

Easy peasy! About half way through though, I decided to add pockets. Out came my trusty snip-a-stitch scissors to the rescue! I quickly undid the sides seams in order to incorporate the pockets. I'm really glad I did because it's one of my favorite features on this dress apart from the sleeves.

What a great pattern this Simplicity 1366 is. No wonder it's so popular in the blogosphere! It's simple, stylish and last but not least it can be hacked easily! I mentioned earlier that I was short on fabric. I used a black ponte knit for the pockets and to bind the neck. Everything is a bit shorter since I had just enough fabric to make the entire dress.

This summer and late into fall, I wore it with flats and wedges. Now that the weather has cooled down a bit around here, I've been wearing it with tall boots or booties. I thing the length is no longer an issue for me.

I can't wait to sew this up again. I have wide stripe cream and navy knit that would be perfect to knock off the J Crew top version. I'm also thinking of making the top in lace with the view C cami. 

 While my goal in sewing is not to save money but rather to have clothes that fit and are well made, I am quite pleased with this low-cost project. This dress is probably one of the most inexpensive I've made. The J Crew one quickly sold out at the price tag of $98. Mine is less than $20.

I have completed a few stripe projects that I will be blogging about soon, so stay tuned!


  1. Your version looks just like the Jcrew version. Great job!

  2. fantastic, and I still have plans to copy your version of that Vogue dress :) by the way with your beautiful legs the length is fab!

  3. Great looking dress. I think you need to sew a few moreeeeee!

  4. Love this dress! What a great pattern hack!

  5. Great job!!! You are right, my red tote would look great with your dress!

  6. What a beautiful dress. It looks very much like your inspiration piece and I don't think it is too short at all.

  7. This is fabulous on you! Dramatic and elegant.

    1. Thanks Nancy! I wear it so much I've been thinking about making another one.