Join me in my adventures as I write romance novels and sew vintage and contemporary fashion.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Simplicity 4429 Jiffy Dress

While I was making the Robin Hood costumes, after completing the puffy shirts and before embarking on hat construction, I had to do something that didn't smack of assembly line work--but it needed to be fast, because I had a costume deadline. Five other Hoods were depending on me. Enter Simplicity 4429, the Jiffy Dress.

I love this fabric, a stretch cotton sateen, which I found in the remnant bin at Jo-Ann's Fabrics. There was less than 2 yards, but I bought it anyway, thinking skirt. After I got home, however, I thought Jiffy Dress, since I was fairly certain I would have to shorten the dress. Sure enough, I had to chop off six inches, so the pattern just fit, although I was not able to match designs as usual. Sometimes you just gotta let that stuff go.

The Jiffy Dress is comprised of two main pattern pieces. Basically, it's a front with darts, a back with a zipper and not much else. I decided to forgo the zipper, thus adding more jiffiness to the Jiffy Dress. I find that belted dresses often don't play nice with zippers, bulging awkwardly here and there, so I was glad to be able to dispense with this step.
No zipper! Time saved!
For once I had a pattern in my size, so I didn't have to grade, but I did make a muslin, just in case. As I suspected, I had to add 1/4 inch at the hips, but other than that, the pattern fit well.

Upon reflection I realize that a rectangle generally does fit well, but it isn't necessarily flattering. Tilly, my unpaid assistant, wears rectangles better than I do.

The belt makes this dress. Without the belt, it's a box. Boxes look good on certain people, but I'm not one of them, so hurray for belts. Even Tilly looks better with a belt.
Here are a few more shots of the Jiffy Dress. For those of you who are wondering, it took a bit over two hours to make, including cutting the fabric.
My husband said the design of the fabric reminded him of camouflage on a Panzer Tank. I took that as a compliment.
This shift is so comfortable that I plan to whip up a few more for summer wear. We're heading into the incredibly hot, my house has no air conditioning weather and the Jiffy Dress seems perfectly suited to my needs.


  1. Husbands are too funny sometimes! I think you look good in a modern dress as well as a vintage one.

  2. Thank you, Eve! And do tend to look at things differently. :)

  3. I my opinion, this is (with a belt) a very flattering dress on you. Both the colour and shape look great! :)