Simplicity 3775 – a little autumn dress

Dear all,
I hope you’re having a lovely weekend!
Here’s a dress I made a couple of weeks ago.


I bought this pattern in June with plans of making it for summer. I even bought a lovely knit fabric with it in mind.

As this is a 4-way stretch, I wanted to play around with the stripes, have them horizontally at the midriff and vertically everywhere else. Wouldn’t it be pretty?
However, the weather had other plans for us in Western Europe. As many of you know, summer was nonexistent and there was no point in making a dress I wouldn’t be wearing. With a sigh, I decided to put away the pattern and fabric and save them for next year.

Then Adrienne, whose blog I had only just discovered thanks to her fantastic podcasts (I love them, Adrienne!), showed us a darling version of the same pattern. As I admired it in my comment, I told her how much I wished the weather had been kinder to us in France. Adrienne replied with a very sweet note and a smart idea: why not make it in a fall fabric?
And that’s what I did, thanks to Adrienne. Instead of the sleeveless version I had in mind, I made a long-sleeved version, with a scoop neck and a ruchéd midriff (the interesting midriff is what drew me to that pattern in the first place).

(this picture was lightened up to show the ruché better)


I used a Roberto Cavalli lightweight stretch velvet that I got for a great price from a German online store. Black with anthracite accents. It is, in fact, the black version of the brown fabric I used for my first very lame attempt at the Hot Patterns Cosmo dress. You see, I wanted to find a means to overcome this previous experience, and the feeling of failure and distress it was associated with. This is why I chose a very similar fabric – but not quite; took a pattern with similar details – though not the same pattern. I did lower the neckline slightly to make it closer to the Cosmo dress (although the original neckline on the Cosmo is very low).
I shall be making the Cosmo dress again some time – I’m just not quite ready yet.

You can read a more detailed and technical review of my experience with Simplicity 3775 here. This is a nice transitional dress for the beginning of autumn.


On a personal level (feel free to skip the next 2 paragraphs if you’re just interested in the sewing project!), I am happy this dress helped me overcome some of my feelings while working on the Cosmo Dress. I remember thinking I may never be able to sew again at that time. It was just a few days before my Mamie left us.
Sewing however remains a bitter-sweet experience since my Grandma’s passing. Keeping on sewing is essential to me because I know how interested and happy Mamie was in my sewing endeavours; those are the times when I remember her most – but also when her miss most.
I miss her so much. There is still hardly a day when I don’t have to fight back tears when thinking about her. Her absence still feels so unacceptable, you know? Saturdays are especially hard; she left us on a Saturday evening.

14 thoughts on “Simplicity 3775 – a little autumn dress

  1. Cathy says:

    Isabelle, the dress is lovely. Robin is adorable. Isn’t it funny how much children love to play with boxes?As far as taking a stitching/sewing/blogging break, don’t let anyone guilt you into using your time in anyway other than what is best for you! Take care.


  2. Cherie says:

    Isabelle, forging a career means some sacrifice, doesn’t it. But with your talent, you will inspire your students as you inspire us sewists with your sewing talent. And the relationship most of all, takes lots of time. Enjoy your new life changes, and post once in a while with lots of photos of your creations. If I had had a teacher who looked like you in that lovely ruched dress, I would definitely have kept on in literature also! Best to you and Seb.


  3. Michelle says:

    The dress is beautiful – what gorgeous fabric too! I am so glad it helped you regain some of your confidence with regard to the Cosmo dress and your sewing abilities. I know your grandmother is with you every moment at your sewing machine and otherwise!


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