Before I wore pinup and vintage clothes daily, I guess the closets description I could give my style was retro hipster. There were lots of fun prints, collars, cute sleeves and of course, I accessories with hats, long socks and cute brooches. Back then, this pattern would have been my absolute favourite “go-to” make and today, I am going back to my ‘young 20-something’ style. Simplicity X Lisette 1419 is a pattern that made my heart sing when I first saw it and then my heart cried when I found out I couldn’t get it here in Australia. However, thank goodness for the internet because here it is in my hot little hands.
I have a list of vintage and modern patterns that I regularly look for online and some evenings, I just make a big cup of tea, say “onwards my pretties” and down the internet we go. On this particular evening my search quest lead me to Amazon of all places where I found a copy of this pattern in both the smaller and larger size, hurray. I accidentally selected the larger size which said it would ship to Australia, great. I then changed the sizing to the smaller one and a message came up saying it cannot be delivered to Australia. Weird. I tried a few different browsers and items from the same seller and it seemed that this was the only pattern that wouldn’t ship to Australia and I couldn’t figure out why. I decided to message the seller who was also stumped and confused as to why this particular pattern was the only one that wouldn’t ship to me. Turns out, they had an Etsy store and after much thanks, the pattern was finally mine.
Pattern hunting tangent aside, let’s take a look at the Simplicity Lisette 1419 pattern. The pattern includes a dress with a full pleated skirt and can be made short sleeved with keyhole front or sleeveless with Peter Pan collar and keyhole front. The pattern also includes a gathered peplum jacket. For my first attempt, I will make my dress with short sleeves, the keyhole front and a Peter Pan collar. I will be mixing the two patterns together to make my ideal dress and I cannot wait to get started.
Now it’s time for fabric selection. I love aggressively floral fabrics especially with a retro vibe and bold colours. On a recent trip to Spotlight to get the extra few meters I needed for my Easter dress, I spotted a fabric that I fell head over heals for. It was a sweet retro floral print cotton made up of yellow, orange, white and green tones but the only problem was, I’m on a fabric buying ban. My dad saw how much I loved this fabric and surprised me with three meters the next day. Thanks dad! So this is the fabric I will be making my dress out of and I will be using plain white cotton for the Peter Pan collar. It’s going to be adorable.
I’m sticking to my theory that my ideal pattern size is one size smaller than the correct measurements so although I measure up to be a 14, I’m going to sew a 12. To begin, I cut out my pattern pieces, pinned them to my fabric, cut the pieces out and it was time to get sewing.
Sew, let’s get started! I began with the bodice which had 2 sets of darts. The pattern has a keyhole opening along the neckline and it’s held together at the top with a loop and button. After sewing the loop together and pinning it to my bodice, I realised I didn’t want a keyhole after all. I knew how I wanted my dress to look and unfortunately, for this version, there will be no keyhole. In saying this, I will make a keyhole version on my next attempt. Keyhole omitted, I attached the collar, facing and sleeves.
Sleeves can take a bit of time and for the life of me, I always seem to need to add a little gather or pleat whilst attaching them to the bodice as no matter what, I can’t make them fit without one. Alas, the sleeves were so cute and I couldn’t wait to make more sleeved dresses in the future.
The Simplicity X Lisette 1419 pattern has a pleated skirt which is super cute. However, for this particular version I will be omitting the pleated skirt pattern and making my normal 3 panelled, 28 inch long rectangle gathered skirt because I know it’s the perfect fullness and style. I gather my skirt using the dental floss method which entails sewing a zig zag stitch with dental floss in the middle along the top seam of the skirt. Once done, you just pull the gather along the dental floss and adjust as needed. It’s super easy especially for beginners and you can reuse the same piece of dental floss as long as you don’t cut it and of course, remove it from your garment after use.
The final things I needed to do with the dress was hem the skirt; I did a simple rolled hem and add my zip. The pattern asks for a back zip which I put in to the best of my ability. I wanted to add a little something special to this dress as I already loved it so much. Whilst sorting out my sewing things, I organised my buttons in a multi-tiered sorting box and I remembered I had some pretty white enamel flowers which were normally used as millinery decorations. As they didn’t have anything to anchor a thread with, I attached the flower by sewing on the longer petals individually a few times. Looking closely, the two flowers on the collar pieces are slightly uneven but I still love it not matter it’s imperfections.
My dress was done and I absolutely love it! She’s cute and adorable and sweet and gorgeous! I am still obsessed with my fabric choice and want to go back to Spotlight to get some more and maybe make a pillow, face mask or something like a table runner for my retro coffee table. Even whilst sewing I constantly smiled at how cute the fabric was and I almost broke my fabric shopping ban to get a few different types of retro florals.
The fit of the dress is absolutely perfect and I couldn’t be happier. I think I could make the underarm a little bit larger, no more than a quarter inch, just so I can flail around a bit easier. The bodice fit perfectly especially in the bust and waist sections.
This is a very beginner friendly pattern and the variations of styles between the two dress styles the pattern offers makes it a great patter for those who like to mix and match patterns. Adding a Peter Pan collar and sleeves was really easy to do and I honestly believe beginners could do it too. This is the kind of pattern I will be making many times over and I already want to make one again using some more retro floral fabric; I think this will become my new ‘go-to’ pattern.
As a perfectionist, I often find it difficult to like anything I make or create; this dress is not one of them regardless of the few minor flaws (I could have done a better job on the zip and the flower embellishments aren’t even) but I love it. I really want to add long sleeves to this pattern which is something I want to learn how to sew well. I have at least 2 or 3 versions of this dress already planned so when I make more, I will add them below and perhaps even write up an update for how I went either here, or a separate post.
Go ahead and hunt down this pattern. It’s easy, versatile and the final result is fun and whimsical. I think the addition of the recommended jacket the pattern has, or even a bolero would be a great little extra touch. Can you imagine a dark Christmas toned tartan version of this dress with a matching cape? How cute would that be? I’m looking forward to my next meeting with this pattern.
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