Simplicity 1872: Bahama Blue Dress

We scheduled our engagement photos for October, hoping desperately that it would be cooler in St. Louis. Then came the panic of, “Oh my god, what am I going to wear?” I’m not short of clothing, but do I have anything engagement photo worthy? I decided I should try to sew up something in two weeks, and if it didn’t work I could throw on a RTW dress instead!

One of the places we wanted to have pictures taken is at the Record Exchange in St. Louis. It is a St. Louis institution. My Dad has taken me there since I was a kid and Ian loves to get records there. I’m not much of a record collector but I am always happy to find things for Ian to take home! The store has a very distinctive look. It was formerly a public library built in the 1960’s and it is about 9,500 square feet. I’m not kidding when I say almost every square foot is jam packed with records, cds, laser discs, receivers, record players and other things!


When shopping for fabric I had to keep in mind that  floors are bright yellow and black checked linoleum and the walls are painted a matching yellow! I decided on Simplicity 1872 Cynthia Rowley’s tiered pull-over dress B in a Bahama blue polyester/spandex mix that is very soft and will have a nice drape! Of course I decided to add sleeves.

1872_DS_EN_H5_R5.indd 1872line

The sizing on this dress is a little strange. So the pattern goes up to a size 22 and I was pretty sure I would need a 24. So I sized up the top. This is not made for busty women. Every make I have seen has a camisole underneath. It will not sit flat and closed like the photo on me. I think the front could have used darts, but I didn’t put them in. Oh, well! Then the skirt ending up being enormous. I had sized it up, since it was a 22. I ended up taking it down to about a 20!


You will also notice that I added about 2″ in length to the waist by adding a waistband. The dress is supposed to be 35″ long. That is too short for my comfort, even at 5′ 3″! Dress C was supposed to be 39″ long so I decided to use those skirts and I even added an inch to each one! Guess what? After adding 1″ to the skirts, 2″ to the waistline to a finished dress whose length was supposedly 39″; mine ended up being 38.5″ long. How is this possible? This dress is the incredible shrinking dress! Next time I will add length to the top and the skirts as well. I also just did a rolled hem on all of the skirts! I recommend that for this dress as it is easier to hem 3 circle skirts and it leaves you as much length as possible!


So instead of my usual cell phone sewing room photos I have lovely professional engagement photos by Jaimie Nicole Krause Photography at! We really don’t like having our photos taken so this was a really unusual adventure for us! Jaimie was lovely and made it very easy and enjoyable.


Walking on camera is hard!


Superhero poses. Do you think a bust dart would fix that extra fabric on the side?




So overall, I love this dress. I think for the most part it is very flattering and a pretty quick make. I may make this dress again, but I think I would add bust darts and make it longer! Oh yeah, and I also panicked about my hair and cut my own bangs about an hour before this! I do that every couple of years. Thanks for making it to the end!



25 thoughts on “Simplicity 1872: Bahama Blue Dress

  1. That dress sounds like it was a trial to make but it’s turned out beautifully with your alterations to the pattern. And your engagement photos are fantastic. You both look wonderfully happy :)

    • Thank you! I am really happy with how the dress and photos turned out! Construction on the dress wasn’t that terrible, I just couldn’t believe how short it was! It was definitely designed with the tall, skinny model on the packet in mind.

  2. Lovely dress and the colour pops against your skin. Loving the tiers and feminine details. I have the pattern too, much more inspired because of your post! And great photoshoot, all the more special when you are wearing something you made! I’m sewing for mine too :)

  3. This is great! I am more of a 26/28 dress size and have to size up almost every pattern I have tried due to my apple body shape. I have had this pattern, because I love Cynthia Rowley and a good ruffle, in my collection for a while now! Yours turned out great in spite of all of the issues, but kudos for all of the smart adjustments. I think it’s time for me to give it a shot too!

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