When I first started sewing clothes for myself, I grabbed up the Simplicity 8051 pattern because I loved the retro feel of the dress and the design of the back. Opening the pattern back then had me feeling hopeless. My measurements were bigger than the biggest measurements on the plus size pattern. At the time I did not know anything about grading a pattern (sizing a pattern up or down). Since I created a base pattern for myself a few months ago, I wanted to venture out and try a pattern. Simplicity 8051 was the first one I wanted to try. This is my Simplicity 8051 plus size pattern review and some things I did to make it fit me.
Simplicity 8051 Pattern Review
This is my first pattern review. Please excuse me if I don’t explain everything or leave out something you want to know. Just comment below and I will be happy to answer your question.
I was picking out some material for a different dress when I saw these 2 cotton materials at Joann Fabric. Both were on sale and very cheap. I think they complemented each other very well. I got 4 yards of each. I know I use 4 yards for a full circle skirt and I was not sure how much I would need for a top. I ended up not needing 4 yards. The pattern recommends 3 1/4 yards for the whole dress. Obviously, I use more than that just for the circle skirt. Still learning how much fabric to buy for my size.
My friend, and sewing mentor, Minnie had some orange fabric that made a perfect contrasting waistband.
I loved how the dress came out and I am excited to make the dress again. The Simplicity 8051 BB Pattern is VERY easy to piece and sew together. I barely read the directions and still was able to put the pieces together.
How I Modified Simplicity 8051
Since the skirt is a basic circle skirt, I didn’t even bother cutting out the pieces from the pattern and just used my custom circle skirt pattern.
For the bodice piece I laid out my base bodice pattern and laid the Simplicity 8051 piece over that. Once I had measured how much I needed to add I laid the pattern out on my material and using a marking tool (white pencil) to extend the pattern to my size. I try keeping the curves and lines the same.
Once I do that for the front and back pieces I use tissue paper to make my revised pattern.
Mistakes I Made and How I Fixed Them
Once huge mistake I made was not extending the front bodice enough because I forgot about saving room for the front pleating. To fix that I just added an extra piece of material to the middle of the front. Since it is pleated, I was able to hide the seams. Like Tim Gunn says, “Make it Work”.
Another mistake I made was to not make the shoulder pieces long enough. To fix this I had a friend hold the back together and measured how many inches the gap was. I basically just cut out another set of back collar pieces and added it to the back. When I make the dress again, I will know how to modify it so I don’t have the extra seams in the future.