Garment # 16 Simplicity 1612

10 Jun Garment # 16 Simplicity 1612


TGIF Dear Readers! Would you believe I never wore Maxis until I started sewing?

I just finished my ‘Weekend Maxi’, perfect for leisurely Saturday strolls through markets and poolside afternoons.

Here it is when I’m standing at attention.

The pattern is Simplicity 1612 , a very easy sew with some pizzazz thanks to the cute details.

www.goodbyevalentino.comI made View C which features a front twist, an open back and a flared skirt. What I love about this pattern besides the ease in which it is assembled, is the coverage of the bodice. The neckline is flattering and never gapes or slips open ~ ever. I apologize for no construction photos just to show you how easily the front twist goes together.

www.goodbyevalentino.comEven though I knew this was an easy pattern, I chose to make a muslin to avoid any unwelcome surprises and I’m glad I did.

In my muslin, I noticed a front bodice seam cut across the bust apex.

Simplicity 1612 muslin

The seam probably cups slightly under the bust for A & B cups. There were no textbook tutorials on this one so I guessed and lengthened the front bodice on the lower edge by 1 inch which did the trick.

Front Bodice

The cute back is simply twisted before being attached to the back skirt. An elasticized facing keeps the back nice and snug.

My fabric is from Spoonflower, the online customized fabric store which offers 20 types of fabrics using your own designs, and also provides a huge selection of designs submitted by artists and fabric designers. In other words you could upload any design to the site and print it on the fabric of your choice, be it cotton, silk, woven, knit etc….

It’s a fascinating concept but one I haven’t mastered. Nonetheless my fabric is fine. I chose from a Spoonflower design, then selected my fabric, a cotton spandex jersey. The fabric arrived perfectly printed on grain. Samples are available for $5.00/swatch.  I bought my fabric and have no affiliation with Spoonflower.

www.goodbyevalentino.comThough this pattern is a few years old, I missed it and only recently discovered it on the Pattern Review website through some of my favorite reviewers. In my Ready-to-Wear days, I wouldn’t dare copy a friend by buying the same dress, but in sewing it’s different 🙂

We encourage our sewing friends to make the same patterns and try the same fabrics!

Speaking of sewing friends, I want to thank The Pattern Review Website for featuring me as its June Member-in-Focus. I love the collage that was created for the PR page and didn’t realize that I had reviewed 130 patterns since I joined!


I stumbled upon this wonderful site in September 2o11, only a few days after I started my blog, and have been a dedicated member since. With over 300,000 members offering reviews on all things sewing, the Pattern Review Website is my go-to place for checking out pattern reviews, book reviews, classes and more. Best of all, many of my close sewing friendships were formed through the Pattern Review Website, something hard to explain to my non-sewing friends 😉 It is a true gem!


Best wishes to all for a great weekend!

  • Becky Bagwell
    Posted at 18:18h, 10 June Reply

    Another perfect fit! And you look great in that dress! I love maxis and you rock that one!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:28h, 11 June Reply

      Thank you, Becky, however you’re the maxi queen! You should give it a try 🙂

  • chris johnson
    Posted at 18:56h, 10 June Reply

    You look so tall in your perfect maxi dress! The surprise back is a great detail and adds interest, for sure. Congrats on your PR focus – so well deserved. And yes, I too count on PRers for info on patterns I am considering and for posting outfits made with patterns I had not considered until seeing their inspiring creations.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:29h, 11 June Reply

      Did you say I look TALL? I may never wear anything other than this pattern! Thank you, Chris 🙂

  • Amanda S.
    Posted at 19:02h, 10 June Reply

    I love it! Perfect summer dress!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:29h, 11 June Reply

      Thank you so much, Amanda!

  • Art Attack
    Posted at 19:24h, 10 June Reply

    Super cute maxi, Sarah. I had the exact same issue with the bodice seam cutting right across the wrong area. Glad you were able to draft that out. I can spend hours on Spoonflower! You chose a great one for this dress. xo

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:32h, 11 June Reply

      Thank you, Dorcas! Did you make a bust adjustment on the bodice? Indeed Spoonflower is a perfect website for people with lots and lots of time 😉

  • Eileen
    Posted at 19:26h, 10 June Reply

    Super cute on you!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:32h, 11 June Reply

      Thank you Eileen!

  • Megan Olhasque
    Posted at 19:40h, 10 June Reply

    Absolutely darling, and I love the neckline and back you chose. Perfect for those of us who have bosoms. And that is a great fabric. All in all, perfect, and looks wonderful on you. Oh, and congrats on the PatternReview write-up; that’s how I found you and I’m really enjoying your blog, your tips, and the whole “goodbye Valentino” concept. xxx

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:36h, 11 June Reply

      Many thanks for your very nice comment, Megan 🙂 This is a wonderful pattern for all shapes and sizes for sure. I like the fabric and it is perfect for casual wear, but may want to try this pattern with a beefier fabric next time. What would we do without Pattern Review?

  • Julie Starr
    Posted at 20:12h, 10 June Reply

    I think this is truly the perfect summer maxi pattern and it looks wonderful on you, especially the fit you achieved on the back. What I love most about this post is everything it says about sewing friendships and sharing. How very true!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:37h, 11 June Reply

      Thank you, Julie -I found the pattern because of you, you know!

  • Deborah Penner
    Posted at 21:19h, 10 June Reply

    Lovely style and pattern as always. Thanks to Pattern Review. Have been a member for about eight years and have enjoyed reading the reviews. What a wonderful online community.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:38h, 11 June Reply

      Many thanks, Deborah! I seriously doubt I would be sewing without the Pattern Review website 🙂 🙂

  • Claire
    Posted at 22:41h, 10 June Reply

    Love this dress on you, Sarah. Great color. Yes, the sewing community is a wonderful source of inspiration! In fact, I was working on the Jalie Eleonore jeans tonight. A pattern that I never would have tried if I hadn’t seen all the great versions on the internet including yours. In fact, I made the adjustments that you suggested to remove the gaping behind the knees.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:41h, 11 June Reply

      My sewing would suffer greatly without the PR website and this wonderful online sewing community. Way back when there was a small lovely fabric store in my town, I often asked the owners if they had seen a particular pattern ‘made up’ before I bought it.
      Many thanks for the comment, and I hope you’re pleased with your Eleonore jean!

  • Sharon E
    Posted at 22:42h, 10 June Reply

    I came by that pattern just last week. I have a bit of a belly. How do you think that pattern would do with my figure flaw?

    • Elaine Sabin-Simpson
      Posted at 06:12h, 11 June Reply

      I’ve made this pattern up and had no trouble with my belly- the only issue I had was that my fabric was TOO stretchy and drapey, and the back opening thing fought me tooth and nail. Much swearing, much unpicking!

      • goodbyevalentino
        Posted at 06:43h, 11 June Reply

        My muslin and dress had differing stretch factors – the dress fabric had more stretch. I knew this would affect the fit and shortened the elastic length by two inches.

  • Debra smith
    Posted at 23:13h, 10 June Reply

    Very nice…..not to appear crude…but can you wear a standard bra?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:43h, 11 June Reply

      Thank you, Debra – I have only tried it with a strapless 😉

      • Julie Starr
        Posted at 07:07h, 11 June Reply

        Debra, if you have one where the straps meet the back band at 90° angles rather than curve to meet the band you’ll be ok. I speak from experience here!

  • Nathalie
    Posted at 07:08h, 11 June Reply

    Love it! It is the perfect summer maxi dress. The twist in the front and back are great looking.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 07:54h, 11 June Reply

      Thank you so much, Nathalie – an easy pattern with great results 🙂

  • Becky Riddle
    Posted at 08:22h, 11 June Reply

    This looks fabulous on you, and YES, you do look tall in these pictures. I love all the details on this pattern, and as usual, your work is beautiful. Congratulations on the Pattern Review article. It was a very good profile and well deserved.

  • MaryEllen
    Posted at 09:23h, 11 June Reply

    Really nice job -love the fabric & the pattern . Your tips are always so clear & concise . Also congrats on Pattern Review member focus – very well deserved.
    Your maxi dress will be nice & cool on your visits to my state AZ .

    • MaryEllen
      Posted at 09:42h, 11 June Reply

      I’m also curious about your process for muslins ? Do you use the same type fabric ? Do you just make the bodice ? Is it awe arable muslin ?
      Sorry for so many questions

      • goodbyevalentino
        Posted at 10:59h, 11 June Reply

        Thank you Mary Ellen! I will be back in July and I’m not sure anything will keep me cool in the desert heat!
        For this muslin I used an old inexpensive knit from my stash. It’s not so easy to make muslins for knits since the stretch varies from fabric to fabric, but this was close enough. I made the entire dress to make sure I liked the style. I rarely add the facings unless the instructions present complications.
        I will not wear this muslin.
        For woven fabrics I use traditional muslin fabric. 🙂

  • Emily :)
    Posted at 10:24h, 11 June Reply

    This is so beautiful! Good job! I will keep this on my list of future makes.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 11:00h, 11 June Reply

      Thank you so much, Emily! It’s a good one to have on hand 🙂

  • Kathy
    Posted at 11:05h, 11 June Reply

    You have a true winner with this dress. It is a very flattering color on you, a perfect fit and perfect fabric selection. Thank you for the inspiration, I think I will make this dress as well.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:01h, 11 June Reply

      Many thanks, Kathy and good luck with the dress!!

  • Beth (SunnyGal Studio)
    Posted at 11:07h, 11 June Reply

    really pretty – love the fabric choice. I have this pattern and was just looking at it the other day. thanks for the info on how you adjusted the bodice.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:02h, 11 June Reply

      Thank you, Beth 🙂 I can see you in this pattern and hope you’ll give it a try!

  • Lucy
    Posted at 12:06h, 11 June Reply

    You are ready for summer fun in this dress. I made this dress last year and was also inspired by Julie. Now you are inspiring me to make another one. Congratulations on being the Member In Focus on PR.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 15:03h, 11 June Reply

      …..and of course you are one of the PR inspirations for my dress 🙂 Many thanks for your comment, Lucy – I look forward to seeing your next maxi!

  • Creative Hormone Rush
    Posted at 22:42h, 11 June Reply

    Wow, TWO twists and a peek-a-boo all in one. Loving this!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:41h, 14 June Reply

      Two twists, a peek-a-boo AND an easy sew is a winner in my book! Many thanks 🙂

  • Cindy Aymes
    Posted at 23:11h, 11 June Reply

    Wow, honestly I can’t believe how tall you look! I am vertically challenged and never thought I could EVER wear a maxi dress, but maybe there’s a chance I could too! Love the dress, that gorgeous back and the yummy fabric! Perfect fit as always!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:40h, 14 June Reply

      Any garment that makes me look taller is my kind of garment 🙂 A friend who is my height recently tried the dress on and felt the same way. Many thanks for the comment, Cindy!

  • Myra Rentmeester
    Posted at 09:51h, 12 June Reply

    This is s beautiful dress on you Sarah!! I love everything about it! I have never used the spoon flower site before and now looking at your very pretty fabric I really need to give it a try! P..S. I think you look so elegant in a Maxi!!

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:38h, 14 June Reply

      Thank you, Myra! If you try Spoonflower I highly recumbent ordering a sample first. The color in my dress was not as vivid as I had hoped ;(

  • Samina
    Posted at 20:14h, 12 June Reply

    Congrats on being featured on Pattern Review’s Member in Focus!
    Your comment about not daring to “copy a friend by buying the same dress” gave me a jolt. Yes, it can become that way sometimes with the RTW crowd. And, yes, it’s different in sewing. In the 7 years I’ve been staying away from RTW, I’ve discovered that I’m thrilled to see other sewers wearing the same pattern.
    I love your maxi.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:37h, 14 June Reply

      Many thanks for your comment, Samina! It’s rare for two sewers to end up with identical garments unless its a basic garment. I bought a dress two years ago after completing my second RTW Fast. Would you believe I went to a wedding only to see two other women wearing the same $$$ dress? We had a good laugh since none of us knew the other had bought the dress, but the experience was all I needed to assure me that sewing is the way to go ;).

  • Sew Jean Margaret
    Posted at 05:07h, 13 June Reply

    Lovely dress and that blue suits you beautifully.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:31h, 14 June Reply

      Thank you so much, Jean!

  • Marguerite
    Posted at 14:18h, 14 June Reply

    Beautiful, Sarah! Funny about the tall thing….when I saw the photos I thought…hmmm I thought Sarah was about my height, but she looks so tall here! Love it! I bought this pattern to make for a friend that had a similar RTW dress she loved. Never did get around to it. Your dress is the inspiration I need. And you are so right about PR ‘s community. It’s a wonderful resource and meeting ground for us.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 06:48h, 15 June Reply

      Thank you for your nice comment, Marguerite! I am making this dress for a friend also. She is my height and thought she couldn’t wear maxis until she tried this one one 🙂 Good luck with your dress!

  • Rachel
    Posted at 21:44h, 25 June Reply

    Your dress is so pretty!!! I was just looking at that pattern in my stash. I sew a ton of my own clothing, but not all of it. I really want to go on a RTW fast, but how do you resist purchasing an item that you know cannot be made? For instance, I really love the following top and skirt from Modcloth. I am linking to just the skirt, but the top is pictured with it:

    I am wanting to purchase it REALLY BADLY. There is just no way I can do all of that embroidery unless I spend hours upon hours on my embroidery machine. Then it gets to the point where it is not worth it for the time it is taking. Do you just resist those items? I love your blog and I find it so inspiring.

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 05:39h, 02 July Reply

      Thank you so much for your comment! During my two RTW fasts, the temptations to shop eventually disappeared, kind of like a sugar craving would…… 😉
      I focused on the things I could make instead of what I couldn’t buy. You’ll find similar clothes waiting for you in the stores once your fast is over.
      Good luck and many thanks for writing. Keep me posted!

  • Merry
    Posted at 19:36h, 15 August Reply

    I am about to make this dress but when I put the tissues on my dressform it looks like I need 4″ to make the seam come under the bust…does that sound crazy ? any suggestions on how I should do this or if it will work…do I need to also alter the back side seam?

    • goodbyevalentino
      Posted at 14:58h, 16 August Reply

      The front comes together in during the twisting process, but I suggest you make a muslin to understand how it would work. I’m so glad I made one to help me come up with a precise fit.
      Good luck 🙂 🙂

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