The Accidental Dress – Marimekko-Inspired Simplicity 1873

Before my most recent relapse, I had been doing a bit of sewing here and there to earn money: alterations and costumes, mostly. I decided that an Etsy shop might be a better way to channel my craft*, so built up a stock of retro-style clothing made from vintage sheets. Unfortunately, I am now not well enough to keep up with the demands of an Etsy store**, so decided to claim one of the dresses for myself.

An image of a woman standing in front of a weatherboard wall. She wears a sleeveless fit and flare dress in a bright, Marimekko-style print.
Wearing my beloved Mel flock brogues.

The pattern I used for this, and all the dresses I made for the shop, is Simplicity 1873, a Cynthia Rowley pattern. Along with Simplicity 1419, it acts as my Big 4 base bodice pattern. They are both well-drafted with a good fit, and basic enough to mix and match styles. For this particular dress, I made the bodice neckline a compromise between views A and C – not too high and tight or too wide. The skirt is two gathered rectangles, cut at a midi length, with large patch pockets on the front. I’m surprised by the impact the slightly longer skirt has on the overall look of the dress – midi lengths are not something I have generally sewn in the past, but I am keen to sew more now.

An image of a woman standing in front of a weatherboard wall. She wears a sleeveless fit and flare dress in a bright, Marimekko-style print.

As the bodice pattern was otherwise sewn straight out of the envelope, I was surprised by how good the fit is. I chose a size 16 bust, 18 waist in Simplicity sizes to represent a standard Australian size 14, and it worked well.

An image of a woman standing in front of a weatherboard wall. She wears a sleeveless fit and flare dress in a bright, Marimekko-style print.
Of course, I didn’t realise I was standing right on top of a giant bird shit.

The fabric is a fantastic vintage sheet I bought at the Salvo’s many months ago. I couldn’t believe my luck! The print is so striking and reminds me of a Marimekko design. Plus it is the happy, bright kind of print I like to wear to reflect my personality.

An image of a woman standing in front of a weatherboard wall. She wears a sleeveless fit and flare dress in a bright, Marimekko-style print.

This dress is perfect for a happy summer day. And I’m so impressed with the fit of the bodice, I may tweak it a little to use as my basic sleeveless bodice pattern. Thank you, Cynthia Rowley!

An image of a woman standing in front of a weatherboard wall. She wears a sleeveless fit and flare dress in a bright, Marimekko-style print.

The deets:
Pattern: Simplicity 1873 by Cynthia Rowley
Pattern details: paper pattern. Fit and flare dress with pleated skirt, sleeve and neckline options, and separate jacket. Sizes 6-22
Fabric: vintage sheet, from Salvo’s
Other materials: 12mm bias tape, from Aliexpress. Dress zip.
Mods: Size 16 bust and shoulders, 18 waist.
– made neckline scoop neck in between views A and C
– attached straight midi gathered skirt with patch pockets rather than skirt from pattern

 

*I can hear a million failed Etsy shop owners laughing at me right now.

**If you know how to off-load a stash of plus-sized, retro-style dresses and skirts made from vintage sheets, let me know.

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic feminist and disability advocate.

13 thoughts on “The Accidental Dress – Marimekko-Inspired Simplicity 1873”

  1. If I were in AUS Siobhan, I would offer to help with the sales. But I can see that a timezone difference, currency difference, and marketplace difference may not be the kind of *help* you need. If it would be of help, I could check with my sis who used to live in Adelaide if she has any contacts. Whereabouts in AUS are you? I feel like Melb…?

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    1. Thank you for the offers Naomi! I am in Warrnambool which is 4 hours from Melb, 6 hours from Adelaide, ie the sticks. Luckily I have just been in talks with a woman here who owns an environmental boutique and she has agreed to stock all of them 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very Marimekko. Ooh la la! You look fantastic in these photos and I hope you feel better. I know these are waves that come and go, and the duration of both the bad and the good periods is unpredictable… but I’m hopeful and I’m sending good thoughts your way. Thank you for your candor and your insight, and these cool flowers 🙂

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  3. Looks great! I love Marimekko. We visited their shop in Sydney a couple of years ago, I didn’t buy anything just wandered around oohing and ahhing.

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  4. I love this dress. You did an excellent, well-thought out flower placement on the bodice, too! Who would have wanted to show off flower “headlights”…..right??? :o)

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