For the 19th post in my series, the letter S, I’ve sewn a Simplicity pattern, #7499.
I had A MULTITUDE of Simplicity patterns to choose from in my pattern stash. Judging from the number of Simplicity UFOs (unfinished objects) I have stored in my attic, apparently Simplicity was once my favorite pattern company. I’m actually embarrassed to admit to my UFO count.
Let’s just say it’s a good thing my attic is quite large.
I decided to get a jump start on finishing my UFOs by resurrecting one for this S post. The UFO I chose is Simplicity pattern 7499, published 17 years ago – it’s dated 1997! I didn’t buy it in 1997, but I’ve had it stashed for many years. I couldn’t pass it up when I found it, still uncut, for 10 cents
in a thrift store. Though dated, it’s a style that’s flattering on me: princess seams and a back tie to give definition to the waist, but loose over the derrière. I thought that in the right fabric it might look current enough to wear, and if not? Well, I’m not too worried about a ten cent investment not panning out.
As with most of my UFOs, I had already accomplished choosing the fabric and cutting out the pattern pieces. The fabric I’d chosen was also a thrift store purchase, originally an inexpensive rayon tablecloth. But did I cut out the correct pattern size years ago? I searched PatternReview.com to see if the size I’d already cut would work, but I found zero reviews on Simplicity 7499. Why were there no reviews? 7499 actually came out four years before PatternReview was created in 2001!
This pattern really does scream 1990’s. You may not be able to tell by the photos on the pattern envelope below, but 7499 calls for shoulder pads – yikes! Shoulder pads looked terrible on me even when they were in style back in the day. I already have square shoulders, adding shoulder pads makes me look like a football player.
Unfortunately I didn’t realize the pattern allowed space for shoulder pads I definitely would not be adding when I cut it out. That partially accounts for the hugely gaping neckline I ended up with. Shoulder pads would have taken up some of the extra length in the shoulder to bust area, allowing the V-neckline to lie flat. Exacerbating this problem is my A cup bust, which also requires less fabric in the shoulder to bust area. Another way to explain this concept: “You have hills and you have mountains – you are Christo and want to cover both with fabric, which will require more yardage?” Yes, you are correct, Miss Smartypants – the answer is the mountains. Sadly, I only need to cover hills.
To deal with the gaping I added four 1/2″ tucks to the neckline (I sewed the tucks down from the neckline to the princess seams). After reducing the neckline a total of four inches (!), the size 12 I originally cut turned out to be a good fit with my usual 1″ short torso adjustment at the waistline. Additional changes I made to the pattern included attaching the ties 2+1/2 inches higher than indicated and eliminating the hem allowance. (I cut the out the pattern by lining up the lower edge of the dress pattern pieces on the existing hemmed edge of the tablecloth). I also had to piece and seam the side back pieces at the waistline in order to fit all the pattern pieces on the available fabric.
Even with the polka dot fabric the dress looked plain to me when I finished it. So I went searching for embellishments to jazz it up at Joann Fabrics. I considered everything my local store had in stock that matched the lavender and purples in the print. I finally bought a package of 90 purple ombre buttons. Umm, I might not be the best person to entrust 90 buttons to. I think I may have gone a little overboard – I sewed 42 of the buttons to the top of the dress. Oops! On the bright side, with all that’s already going on at the neckline I won’t be needing to search for a matching necklace:)