Simplicity 2217 or The Juicey Juice Dress

I was among the host of lucky bloggers Simplicity contacted wondering if I’d like to choose a pattern to review and also hold a give away with.  After talking it though with a rather lovely blogger who’s got more experience of these sorts of posts, I gratefully and somewhat gleefully accepted.  This was back in June.  I owe Hannah a massive apology for the length of time it has taken for me to get the dress sewn and also get the post up.  Hannah, I’m so so sorry.

One of the most enjoyable parts of this whole process was trying to come up with a short list from Simplicity‘s massive catalogue.  I was intrigued by the Amazing Fit concept having seen Karen’s version of 1882.  I was also intrigued as to whether the concept would work for me as I have a 6″ difference between my high bust and full bust measurements.  I chose S2217 to try out and I’m rather pleased with the results!


In a nut shell, Simplicity have taken a lot of the flat pattern fitting adjustments out of the equation for you.  THere are different sized bodice pieces to fit your bust and different sizes at the hip for those with more (or less) curves.

Here’s how I selected my pattern pieces:
My upper bust is 38″ so I started with a size 16.  For each cup size the pattern increases by 1/2″ and an A cup was 40″ (this includes wearing ease) up to a D cup at 41 1/2″.  I needed 42″ but for the sake of science decided to go with the pattern piece for a D cup with no further adjustments.

At the hip the options were for a slim fit at 43 1/2″ (again this includes wearing ease), 44″ for an average fit or 44 1/2″ for someone with a little more curve.  I chose the curvy fit.  And to make fitting even easier the side seams are sewn last and have 1″ seam allowances to make those final tweaks!

And you know what, to get this information I didn’t have to measure a single pattern piece.  It’s all printed on the back of the envelope.  This is a big deal for me as I can’t remember the last time I used any of the big four’s patterns and had this information so easily accessible.  I’ve always had to measure the tissue to work out the ease so not having to do that extra piece of work to ensure a good fit was lovely.

I was really trying to talk myself into using some fabric from the stash but I’d seen this stretch sateen on the Minerva Crafts website and it was just calling to me.  I prevaricated and sought the opinion of Twitter.  A certain Australian gave me the final push I needed; Lizzy you were right (as always!).  I love the combination of this fabric with this pattern!  Some of you may have also noticed that the rather wonderful Dibs used the same fabric for her Minerva Blogging Network dress.

Construction wise this was really straight forward.  It’s an unlined dress and with the stretch of the fabric I chose I was happy to forgo the lining.  If I want to wear tights (and as it’s decidedly autumn now I will be!) I’ll just wear a half slip with it.  If you did want to line it Sew It Anyway has a really thorough post on how she lined hers here.  She wore it to the Goldhawk Road meet up and it’s a divine dress!

Simplicity Detail

There were three variations I made to the construction of the dress;

The first was to put a box pleat in the skirt.  I just could not understand what the instructions were asking me to do and the pattern envelope illustrations and photo suggested a box pleat so that is what I went with.

The second was to use bias tape instead of facings.  I really hate facings and avoid them where ever I can and this was no exception.  It meant a ton of hand stitching to secure it on the inside but I think it was worth it.

The third was to cut the wrap portions of the bodice on the bias.  The pattern instructs you to cut on the straight grain but I wanted to play with the direction of the pattern on the fabric so bias it was. I’m really pleased with the effect.

Inside is finished with the aforementioned bias tape and serged seams allowances.  The waist panel is self lined and gives some gorgeous structure to that area; it was supposed to be interfaced but as the fabric has quite a bit of body I didn’t bother.

This isn’t an every day dress for me, it’s a bit too vavavoom for the office but for an evening out its perfect!  And the name?  I’m drinking a home made juice as I write and the colours of the fruit and veg that went into it remind me of this dress:

2 apples (red & green)
1/2 lemon (yellow)
2 carrots (orange)
1 beetroot (pink / purple)

Simplicity Giveaway

So, if you’re keen to give this dress a go I have a give away for you, thanks to the lovely people at Simplicity!  A copy of S2217 or if the dress isn’t your thing I also have a copy of S3688 a gorgeous vintage inspired top and trouser set that Debbie at My Happy Sewing Place has made.

I have each pattern in both size ranges so four prizes!  All you have to do is leave me a comment below letting me know which Simplicity pattern is your favourite and which of the patterns you would like to win and the size range you need by midnight on Sunday 22 September (that’s the midnight just before Monday, I always find that a little confusing!) BST (GMT+1) .  I’m happy to post internationally. 

**This give away is now closed **

Thank you again Simplicity for the wonderful opportunity to try the pattern and also for the chance to give away patterns to my readers!!

62 thoughts on “Simplicity 2217 or The Juicey Juice Dress

  1. Wit woo! You look amazing Vicki! Aren’t those people at simplicity lovely? Thanks for the tips on Amazing Fit btw. Looks like it worked brilliantly for you! I love the dress but really need trousers so I’d like to throw my hat in for the trouser pattern please!

  2. Hi Vicki
    The dress is amazing – love the fabric – looks great on you. I have this pattern and have made just the bodice for a 1950’s style wedding dress. The finished dress was in ivory silk with a wider waist band and a large pleated skirt covered in lace. I was particularly pleased with the cross-over bodice part and the fit. After seeing your (very different) version, I think I might make a similar one for myself with a bright coloured or patterned fabric ! I think the image on the pattern cover doesn’t do it justice – as your version looks so much better than the plain pink !
    I am loving the trousers pattern though – great 1950’s style and while I’ve made many dresses, I’ve not attempted trousers at all – so would love to go in the draw for the trousers pattern in a pattern size 10ish !

    1. Wow. That sounds like a stunning dress and I can see how making the waist band deeper would change up the look. I’d love to see pictures if you ever get a chance!
      Your name is in the hat for the trousers too!

    2. I haven’t found a way of uploading a photo of the dress – the 1950’s style wedding dress with the bodice styled with this amazing fit pattern. So I’ve added a photo to flikr and hopefully the link will work !


      I have to say, I was really pleased with the style and fit of the bodice part of this dress (the rest of theh wedding dress was made up !)

      1. Woah TJ! That is an amazing dress and absolutely divine!! So many more ideas for this pattern now. You did an amazing job on that dress, I’m in AWE!

      2. And me! What a wedding dress… Wow!
        Once we get a bodice that fits well, all manner of gorgeousness is possible!!

      1. hmmm, pleas in the skirt… instead of darts? I have to look at the pattern … first I have to find it … not so easy. I have to order all patterns in my stash again 🙂 good job for long winter eventings 🙂

  3. I’d love a copy of this dress – I’ve never tried the amazing fit patterns but would love to!
    I’m so glad you got that fabric! It looks sensational but more importantly it makes you happy 🙂 that’s priceless, if you see because you enjoy it & it makes you happy then within reason don’t try to diminish it. If something feels good then celebrate it, don’t beat yourself up over it.
    Smiling is good for the soul x

    1. You are my sewing sage Lizzy! You would look so darn hawt in this dress!
      I know what you mean about the fabric; I was trying to be good and stick to the stash and save a little money but this fabric was just singing to me. It wanted to be this dress and I am so happy that I went with my instinct on it. At the end of the day I sew for fun (and pretty clothes) so if buying the odd length of fabric to make a dress perfect is necessary I’m not going to beat myself up about it (anymore!).

  4. Hi Vicki – thank you for your thorough post explaining the challenges when info is not user-friendly. I would like to win this dress pattern, in the larger sizes (I’m an 18-20)

  5. This looks so lovely on you! And how AWESOME that customizing the pattern is made so simple! That’s fabulous! I loved this print on Dibs and I love it on you– great minds think alike! Please leave me out of the giveaway– I’ve sworn off adding new patterns for the 2000th time (wanna place a bet on when I break?) as I’m feeling pretty suffocated by my to-do list!

    1. Oof, suffocated by to-do lists is not nice! I like making them but I also like completely ignoring them and sewing what I feel like at the time! Thanks for your lovely comment, it was so nice to literally trace a pattern and get on with it. I didn’t even muslin this thing, just went for it as the pattern has that contingency of 1″ side seams that are sewn last! In fact I’m rarely making a toile of anything now; too impatient and it’s only fabric at the end of the day!
      Good luck with your pattern amnesty; I’m not going to place bets as I know I’ll swear off patterns and then someone will release something that is just too darn cute and I buy it and stick it right at the top of the que (erm, Pauline Alice Cami Dress may be one such pattern!).

      1. I hear that! There’s such a limited amount of time to sew, and I’m not willing to spend a large portion of it sewing unwearable muslins. I’m just not.

        I was congratulating myself for not being into either the new Colette pattern or the new Deer & Doe, but then this morning I saw sneak peaks on Instagram of the new By Hand London patterns and I really, really want them! There’s always something shiny and new, isn’t there? I don’t even want to look at the Pauline Alice dress because I don’t need the temptation! 😉

      2. Phew, it’s not just me who’s a bit ‘meh’ about the new Colette and Deer & Doe patterns! And I know what you mean about the new BHL sneek peaks. They look amazing although I’m not sure if I’ll be able to FBA the dress… Ha, bet I can if I try hard enough though!!

      3. I’m actually relieved when I see a new pattern that I don’t want– sad, right? It’s an addiction! I don’t think I’ll be able to pull off the BHL dress but I’m sure gonna try (I don’t have any cleavage to display and I don’t think I would have the guts to show it off even it I did). But I’m really excited to see yours– it’s gonna be SPICY!

  6. Whoa Vicki! that’s amazing fit indeed. Fit is always hard and if you managed to do it so well on a cross-over dress cut on the bias. Did you use staytape at all?
    I really like the fabric and I happen to have a very similar one…
    I am really intrigued by this dress now…so thanks for putting my name in the pot.

    1. Nope, no stay tape! But with cutting the bodice on the bias it actually made the cross over bit on the straight grain so that ended up being really stable. I think if that edge was cut on the bias then I probably would use some stay tape or run some elastic up that edge in the channel made by the bias tape to help snug it in. Does that make sense? It was a tip Sunni (at A Fashionable Stitch) shared when she did a shirt dress / wrap dress sew along last year.
      Your name is in the hat too!

  7. Thank you for this Vicki, I would never have considered 2217 because the picture on the pattern looks decidedly unappealing, yours is amazing and I especially appreciate your advice re Amazing Fit. I hope I’m lucky enough to receive a size 16. Thanks for including me in the give away x

    1. Consider it done! The packaging is plain and basic but I kinda like that as I can more easily see past the styling rather than be distracted by it. I suspect that’s why I like a lot of the indie patterns; there packaging tends to just have the technical drawings on it so I find it a lot easier to see the potential.
      Consider your name in the hat, and thank you for your kind comment!

  8. Hi Vicki – love the dress, it’s gorgeous. And really cute fabric. You look great!
    I would love to try the dress pattern in the larger size range – I’ve stayed away from the Amazing Fit range as I’ve not been inspired by the pattern envelopes – I may have to rethink now…

    1. I know what you mean! I think Simplicity are probably doing the right thing by keeping the model’s version in a plain colour so that you can really see the style lines. I like the fact the sketches are on the front too. It does make the envelope a little more utilitarian but it also makes it a million times easier (for me, at least!) to see the potential in the pattern rather than getting hung up on how they’ve styled it!
      Thank you for your kind words, and consider your name in the hat!

  9. Your dress is very va-va-voom! very lovely :o) can I please be put in the draw for both patterns in the larger sizes? or is that too cheeky? if so, the S3688 is my preference ;o)

  10. Vicki Kate, you look seriously hot! What an amazing fit on you! Fabulous choice of fabric too. Please don’t include me in the giveaway. I love the pattern but I have something similar… and a list that is far too long to add to. 🙂

    1. Thanks Janene, you’re very kind! Not a problem I’ll leave you out of the draw as I have a list that is far too long and a stash that is far too big. I’ve deliberately sat out of most of the other Simplicity give aways too as I was lucky enough to be given this pattern for free!

  11. You look amazing in this dress and the fabric is wonderful! Great make! I may have to try one of the amazing fit- I am definitely a pear shape. I will have to take a look the next time I am at my fabric store. ~Laurie

    1. You never know, you might win a copy! The concept works incredibly well. The thought of doing a FBA on something like this terrifies me but Simplicity have done the work for me, it was lovely being able to simply trace and sew for once without all the flat pattern adjustments I usually have to make!

  12. Congratulations on being a Simplicity pattern tester!! That is so awesome! Your dress turned out wonderfully – isn’t the Amazing Fit a brilliant idea? Please enter me into the draw for the smaller size of the dress – I have the pattern but it’s the wrong size 😦

  13. Wow, it looks great! Amazing fit, indeed. 😀 And the stretch sateen looks lovely. Yay Simplicity!
    I’m a size 12/14, so I’d love the dress in the smaller size range. 🙂

  14. Vicki Kate it’s a lovely fit on you!! Very flattering and I like the juicer colours ( yes that’s a deliberate typo!) on you too. I hope you make more as it’s a winner.
    And tempted though I am by the vintage repro pattern, I shan’t chuck my hat in the ring as I’ve just won a simplicity pattern over at Pendleton stitches, so won’t be greedy 🙂

    1. Congrats on the win! And thank you for your kind comment, It’s a great dress and I feel good wearing it even if it’s not my usual style! I’ll certainly be using the pattern again although I may switch up the skirt because, well, I can!

  15. This looks SO amazing on you! The colours and the fit suit you to a tee. I’m very tempted by these Amazing Fit patterns now, I’ve heard a few good things. I’d love to try out 2217 and I’d need the smaller size range

  16. I saw a sneak peek of this dress on Instagram and read most of this post wondering which pattern 2217 was – until I got to the bottom and realised it was a design I had mostly discounted because the envelope styling was rather “blah”. Totally appreciate that Simplicity would use a solid colour to show off the design lines, but I love your dress so much! The fabric looks gorgeous with your hair/skin tone and the shape is just lovely. I would love a chance to win the dress pattern in the smaller size range.

  17. your dress is lovely so I would really like to win the dress pattern, in the larger size range.

    Thank you for the giveaway!

    gracecunningham @ hotmail,co,uk

  18. What a gorgeous dress! I’d say it fits you really well! Please through my name into the hat for the same dress pattern. I’d love to try it out! In the smaller (6-14?) size range, please!

  19. This dress looks awesome on you. Seriously, you need to make it in every colou and every print. For real! Thanks for the awesome giveaway. Would love a copy of either pattern really as they would both fill gaps in my wardrobe.

  20. Love this Vicki! Doesn’t it make such a difference to the sewing experience to have the patternmakers respect the boobage we have?!
    And I’ve forgiven Simplicity for their forgetting about extra underarm coverage for big girls’ bras; no need for FBA is a giant leap forward, I reckon… 😉

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