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It is Autumn here at the moment but it is chilly. It’s no UK winter, but it does make the idea of getting out of bed in the morning most unpleasant. Even Maisie goes straight back onto my bed after breakfast to stay warm amongst all the pillows. The hard life of a cat.

Despite the chilly conditions outside, I couldn’t help but be tempted by a darling Simplicity pattern released over the US summer. As soon as I saw pattern 1803 I pictured myself walking in the sunshine in a polka dot dress. I had longed to make a polka dot dress for a while now. I think the spots always take me back to the 50’s and lovely summery dresses. I quickly logged onto my favourite pattern buying website, Sewing Patterns.com and snapped it up. After some digging around the web for the perfect blue and white polka dot fabric I had imagined, I found it at Quilthome.com from Kaffe Fassett. Result!

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Here’s the low down on the dress:

Pattern Description: Pattern 1803, Misses' dress with bodice variations, gathered waist skirt and tie belt.

Pattern Sizing: The pattern comes in sizes 4-20. I cut out a size 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. There is always a little jumping back and forth when there are a number of variations to the bodice and sleeves, but if you are used to that, then this will be fine. It also came together like so many dresses, that if you’ve made a couple of dresses in your time before, you will run through this very easily. I did have a bit of a tough time fitting the bodice around the bust area, mainly because I fall between a size 10 and 12 and I needed to find the happy medium so it wouldn’t gape too much.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? The feature that grabbed me the most with this pattern was the bodice detail of having the cut out area above the bust. It’s a little bit different and makes the dress less prairie, which with this fabric was a concern! I also liked having the tie belt which is sewn into the bust so it stays in place. The other thing I loved about this pattern was the scoped back. I find a lot of dresses tend to have the whole back covered, so it was a nice change to see a bit of skin without jeopardising the ability to wear a bra.

The only part of the dress which is almost a dislike was that it does have the tendency to gape a bit at the bust depending how I sit or bend over. I am conscious that it isn’t a dress I can bend over in too easily. I don’t know if that’s the pattern style or I should be making an alteration to it for my figure – need to do some research on that!

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: The main change I made was omitting the pockets. I hadn’t realised until I got to that stage of the pattern that they sit within the side panels of the skirt front. Silly me assumed they would be within the side panels. Pays me to look at a dress pattern more closely! I knew for me these would never be functional and would probably add a bit of bulk to the front which I didn’t want either. Otherwise I followed the pattern to the letter!

Would you sew it again? My response to this question is generally no, as I don’t want more the one of the same thing in my wardrobe. Having said that, I could potentially see myself making another one of the dress variations of it in the future.

Conclusion: I’m really happy with how this dress turned out. When the dress matches the picture in your mind exactly, you can’t complain.  It is a style that would be really flattering on most figures and has a vintage flavour to it which I’m always after.

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