Two jersey dresses – Simplicity 2054

T-shirt dresses are probably my favourite thing ever to sew. No darts, no zips, no buttons, four seams and a hem, job done.

Here’s two I made in 2015 and have only just got round to taking photos of. Let’s have a look and then I can bore you with my musings on jersey dresses in general.

Dress 1: Kimono sleeve monochrome madness

black and white dress front

This dress is made from some weird houndstooth viscose jersey I bought in Fabricland in Bournemouth ages ago.

The pattern is just my trusty Burdastyle kimono sleeve top lengthened into a dress. I shortened the sleeves a bit and added another sleeve piece just above the elbow.

black and white dress back

I’m not 100% sure about this – I think the fabric is teetering just on the wrong edge of wacky. Also it’s a bit too tight. It’s a fine line with these really thin viscose-type jerseys.

I’ve worn it quite a bit though anyway.

By the way I normally just use a straight stitch to hem these, after overlocking the bottom edge and turning it up – if you pull the fabric as you go it seems to work fine.  A zigzag stitch sometimes gets weirdly stretched out on thin knit fabrics.

Dress no 2: Portuguese kaleidoscope/wormhole in space fabric

jersey dress front

This is made from some jersey I bought in a fabric shop in Porto in June. This shop was seriously AMAZING, and the Air BNB we rented was 5 minutes away.

I went a couple of times and also bought a remnant that ended up being this skirt. I could have bought my own bodyweight in fabric but Easyjet luggage limits stopped me. 😦

This is the shop if you happen to be in Porto sometime (and I recommend going! It’s brilliant. The local delicacy is called a ‘franceschina‘, and it’s basically a cheese and meat toastie soaked in gravy, it’s something the Scots would have invented if they’d thought of it first so I felt right at home. Also they sell caipirinhas everywhere for like 3 euros).

The fabric is so great I wanted a really simple shape, so I used Simplicity 2054 which is a Cynthia Rowley pattern.

jersey dress back
The sleeves are the same length really, I don’t know what happened here. Obviously was trying to casually roll up one sleeve for extra fashion points.

Sorry about the poor lighting on these photos, I probably could have done something about it in Photoshop but you get the general idea.

This fabric is amazingly insane. I love it.

Necklines on jersey dresses:

So the biggest thing that stands out to me about these dresses is that I finished them both with quite high necks.

I used to always cut this kind of jersey thing with a lower scoop neck, but recently I’ve been liking these higher necklines. I know I’m about a year behind the high street on this one but they seem more modern.

This is about as high as I can go though, I tried on a poloneck in Topshop the other day and it was not good. I have a long face anyway so the whole effect is of a giant rectangle perched on top of my torso. FLATTERING.

Anyway I have a big burn scar on my neck and collarbone area which I got about 11 years ago. For a year or two after it happened I was self-conscious about it (it was a lot redder and also painful then). I pretty much only wore high-necked tops and jumpers.

Now I literally don’t give it a second thought, but it almost feels strange to cover it up again after all this time. But in general I like the higher neckline. Anybody else feeling the same?

Jersey dresses in general:

I wear these a lot because they are extremely comfortable and go with my extensive collection of winter tights. However I’m not sure if they’re the most flattering thing in the world. Also the viscose jerseys don’t cope that well with being washed loads of times, but they are so quick to make it doesn’t bother me too much.

I get the most compliments on the second dress, all because of the fabric, which just shows there’s no point trying to be clever with the pattern when you’ve got an amazing print.

The black and white one has garnered no compliments. It does get quite a lot of comments along the lines of ‘I guess you made that’, which isn’t exactly the same…

black and white dress front 2
Poor unloved black and white dress. As you can see I have a habit of rolling up one sleeve more than the other. Maybe this will catch on in 2016 and I’ll be a trendsetter at last.
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15 thoughts on “Two jersey dresses – Simplicity 2054

  1. Kathryn January 12, 2016 / 7:09 AM

    These both look great & I’m with you on the love for Jersey dresses. I’ve got 2 plantain dresses I’ve worn so much this winter! I like the higher neckline too & I’ve been thinking on my next one I’d like to raise the front neckline a bit but lower the back neckline. I love both the fabrics you’ve used here.

  2. seamsoddlouise January 11, 2016 / 11:06 PM

    I like both, the second one is really lovely though. I like the higher neckline too.

  3. Heather B January 9, 2016 / 5:46 PM

    I love both dresses, and think you definitely do suit them!

  4. SaSa January 8, 2016 / 1:52 PM

    Both of your dresses are beautiful and I think that I like the first dress even more. I find them well suiting for you and the neckline is just perfect. 🙂

  5. Tanya January 5, 2016 / 9:01 PM

    Both dresses are just lovely.
    So glad you’re blogging again – just great.

  6. gingermakes December 31, 2015 / 9:47 PM

    I love both of these! The prints are so cool!

  7. Fabric tragic December 30, 2015 / 10:34 PM

    These look great – I love a knit dress too – I’m less particular about the neckline and worry more about back fit – I have a pronounced sway back and find that if I want a close fitting dress without being skin tight I like a heavier knit and thus need back darts, like the Maria Denmark Audrey pattern. I don’t mind a lighter weight fabric but it’s got to be a looser fit….. And no a- line, gotta be a straight skirt. For a simple garment one has very strict requirements!

  8. katrynarae December 30, 2015 / 8:22 AM

    Beautiful dresses. I think the first one is just on the right side of wacky! (That second fabric though is just too amazing) I’ve just started getting back into making simple shift dresses and I forgot how versatile they can be!

  9. Mother of Reinvention December 29, 2015 / 11:30 PM

    I really like both dresses. The poor b&w one is really nice. I love the simple shapes. They look very comfy too. Xx

  10. Caroline December 29, 2015 / 7:58 PM

    Both dresses are cool – I really like the second dress but rather like the wacky dog-tooth-on-the-lash fabric too!

  11. Jane December 29, 2015 / 6:51 PM

    I prefer the poor unloved black and white dress too, it looks great! I’m also a fan of that Burda pattern! Re high necks – I have a scar from a thyroid operation which nobody ever notices (it blends into all the other creases on my neck…) but I still never wear anything too high necked as I can’t bear any pressure on it. My necklines have been sneaking a bit higher recently though so maybe I’m becoming a bit more tolerant?! Hope so as I like the look of a higher neck! x

  12. Rebecca December 29, 2015 / 4:51 PM

    Great dresses! I love wearing jersey dresses too- so comfy and easy. I love both prints, I’m surprised you don’t get more compliments on the houndstooth- looks Fab to me!

  13. TamsinW-P December 29, 2015 / 4:25 PM

    I like both but really like the first one!

  14. SewSouthLondon December 29, 2015 / 3:39 PM

    I think they are both gorgeous dresses. The Porto fabric is incredible, but you are right – with fab print you only need a simple dress shape.

  15. Sarah December 29, 2015 / 1:56 PM

    I love the black and white dress, that fabric is gorgeous and in my opinion doesn’t look at all wacky to me. People probably guess you made it because you just don’t see that sort of fabric in the ready to wear stuff.

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