Sewing Adventures – Simplicity 1873 cotton sateen edition

By Susan | Comments: 13 | November 2, 2015


For the month of November I’m trying to follow along with #BPSewvember on instagram. The idea of the beautiful Amanda from Bimble and Pimble was lots of fun last year, so I’m in for another round. Today’s theme is Like a BOSS. I thought it appropriate to talk about this dress which has THE BEST invisible zipper insertion of my entire sewing life (seriously it’s got to be all downhill from here this one is so perfect).

Pushed for time after procrastinating for too long I ended up cutting the dress Wednesday night, making most of it Thursday night, freaking out that it didn’t fit late Thursday night, brainstorming ideas on how to get it to fit Friday at work, trying it on with a different bra Friday night, rejoicing that it now fitted and then finishing up almost everything Friday night including the zipper of perfection that went in at about 10.30pm, flying out early on Saturday morning and finishing the hand stitching while sitting at our accommodation drinking tea about 2 hours before the wedding. Hectic, oh yeah! But totally worth it.

Here’s some photos on how it all went down.

Cutting out using the top floor stairwell (which does not have an overhead light just a window and the light was fading) as the fabric didn’t fit in our apartment and I needed to see flowers to avoid potential flower boob disaster.

top of stairs Trying to not think about accidentally bumping my scissors off the fourth floor to land on the tiles below.

stairwellAdding in some pre made satin bias binding as I ran out of time for fully lining and I hate facings.

IMG_6730The zipper of perfection which I put in LIKE A BOSS. I use a regular zip foot not an invisible zip foot to insert. This was the first go no hand basting in place and very minimal pinning.

zip of perfectionHand stitching view.

handsewingviewSneaking a photo with the Groom’s car before heading off to the wedding.

the dress

Laughing with the Englishman after the ceremony before the food.

with the Englishman

The Cheese cake which made my dress feel too tight by the end of the night. But wow delicious!


Fabric: Digitally printed cotton sateen from Pitt Trading

Dress Pattern: Cynthia Rowley by Simplicity 1873

Alterations:  Based on the last time I made this pattern I did a sway back adjustment. I had no time to test it though. So I took the risk and cut straight into my good fabric. The risk paid off and it worked. Despite zipper perfection and good back fitting I don’t have a single photo from the day of the back of my dress.

The fabric is so beautiful I decided to add some fullness to the skirt. Now this is already a VERY big skirt but I thought the weight of the sateen could hold it. The front and back panels were extended to the full width of the fabric but I kept the angled seams so it wasn’t just adding in a straight piece of fabric. The side panels had an additional 12cm per side added in. I sewed all panels of the skirt together and then on the larger pleats made them deeper. On this pattern as with many of the Cynthia Rowley styles, the pleats go one direction and then swap to the other direction. It makes for a very swishy feeling skirt and with the added width it made for a really beautiful feeling skirt.


  • Jenny
    November 2, 2015

    Best photos! Can’t help but smile at the one of you two!

    • Susan Goodwin
      November 2, 2015

      Thank you! I love that photo of us and sums up the day well, there was plenty of laughter.

  • Colette
    November 2, 2015

    Gorgeous dress (and if I ever get married I might opt for a ‘cheesecake’ like that!!)

    • Susan Goodwin
      November 2, 2015

      it’d be worth it just for the cheese! It was so good.

  • sew little time
    November 2, 2015

    Goegeous dress and what lovely fabric! I recently tried sewing an invisible zip with a normal zip foot and it worked really well!

    • Susan Goodwin
      November 3, 2015

      Thankfully Pitt Trading haa gems of fabrics like this one, so much fun.
      Regular zip foot all the way for invisibles. So much easier to handle.

  • Christy
    November 2, 2015

    Lovely dress and photos!

    • Susan Goodwin
      November 3, 2015

      Thanks! I’m trying to get better with photos of my makes.

  • Amanda
    November 2, 2015

    Oh, wow! This frock is perfection AND that is the stealthiest zip ever! You have the bodice fit just perfect! Did you do an FBA or anything similar? It is so perfect!

    • Susan Goodwin
      November 3, 2015

      Thanks! I’ve been hoarding this fabric away for the perfect frock and I think I achieved it with this one.
      No FBA just a sway back adjustment and a really good bra. The fabric has a tiny % of stretch in it and that is certainly helping make it smooth.

  • Sharon
    November 3, 2015

    Gorgeous dress and your invisible zip is pure perfection, sometimes I think we just had to get it done and it seems to work so much better than stressing about it.

  • Sarah
    November 7, 2015

    Extremely swish and such a race to the end! I’ve done that before and I’ve sworn not to do it again (cough cough, Frocktails!)

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Hi, I'm Susan. A designer living in Sydney, Australia.

Here I share tales of my sewing, my pattern collection and insights into what it's like to work as a professional fashion designer.

Other recurring themes include cat photos and an ever changing hair style.



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