Simplicity 1804 | Sew-a-bration of Womanhood

Simplicity 1804 | Sew-a-bration of Womanhood

I should start by telling you that Simplicity 1804 kicked my ass once. It was a long time ago, when I first started sewing again. I was taught to draft patterns by draping on a dress form; so I was barely learning to read a commercial pattern. To quote my original post on this pattern; the fabric I had used was “woven deep within the pits of hell.”

Simplicity 1804 | Strapless knit dress

Simplicity 1804

Looking back, I’m a little embarrassed I had so much trouble. It’s a fairly simple pattern. I still have a bunch of that fabric I used before; and I’d like to break it out and see if it was woven off grain; as I claimed at the time…or if my inexperience with knit fabrics was the culprit. I’m betting on the latter. Anyways, despite the constipated grimace in the photo above, I’m very pleased to have come back for round II and redeemed myself.

Simplicity 1804 | SewsNBows

The Fabric

I bought this Riley Blake cotton jersey knit from

. (Thanks to the super awesome gift card I got for my birthday last month!) I can’t tell you how much I love it. It’s really lightweight, without the sheerness and rolling of most jersey knits. There’s a 75% four way stretch. It’s lovely, and I’m hooked.

Knee length strapless dress (Simplicity 1804)

The Design

My original plan was another strapless maxi dress. I love the fabric so much though, that I greedily wanted to save a yard for a t-shirt or tank. Maybe the Lacy Slope Tank from Greenstyle? I almost wish I went with the maxi, because I feel like it’s less of a dress and more of a swimsuit cover. It’s so comfy though! I’ve been wearing it a ton around the house, and I think it looks great paired with a cardigan. And that tank is gonna be awesome.

Easy Strapless Dress in Riley Blake knit

The Flaws

I haven’t yet made a completely perfect women’s wear garment; although this dress is my best attempt so far. The drape is supposed to have a twist in the center. The twist wouldn’t stay centered; even when I tacked it down. I tried a bow type center like my Scirocco Dress; and it was just wrong. So I took the bow out and went without the twist.

Simplicity 1804 | SewsNBows

I’m still unhappy with how the drape sits across the bust. If I pull it down, the seam shows which is awkward. If I pull it up, it’s this halfway on my boob malfunction going on.

Simplicity 1804 | pattern review

Also, I think I have a swayback. See how it’s a little bunchy in the small of my back? And the back hem is a little lower too. For this dress; It doesn’t bother me enough to mess with. But I bet I’ll have issues with wovens in the future…

Simplicity 1805 back view

The Details

I just love the way the fabric looks on the back bodice. I’ve done lots of shirring and elastic gathers, but in buttery soft knit the texture just looks neat. When I took these photos, I hadn’t washed it yet. It’s even prettier now.

Simplicity 1804 | SewsNBows

I like how some of these pictures turned out. The photos where I was in between posing are much better than the ones where I was trying to look cool. I’ve been following the Sew-a-bration of Womanhood all month and it’s been amazing. The sewing community online is awesome. So in honor of all that, I’m not going to make (that much) fun of myself in this post.

SewsNBows for Sew-a-bration of Womanhood

I just have to say this one thing. It feels really ridiculous trying to pose like a model with your mom as the photographer. I was going to wear some cute wedges and stuff. Then I realized I was taking pictures in front of a barn with sidewalk chalk drawings under my feet; and I got over it. Flip flops are just fine, I don’t wear wedges to hang out in my backyard. Like Scary from Shaffer Sisters told me;”Just be you. Everyone else is taken!” Ha!!

About The Author

Amy Mayen

Hello. I'm Amy and I'm addicted to sewing. I borderline-hoard fabric, buttons, & patterns. Sometimes I wish I could pile my fabric up on the floor and just roll in it!


  1. Fort Worth Fabric Studio

    Love the dress Amy, and I am with the previous poster’s–the back looks great! :) I think it looks like a really comfy dress! You did a great job!

    Thank you for linking up to Fabric Frenzy Friday!
    Fabric Frenzy Friday
    Fort Worth Fabric Studio recently posted…Freedom Table TopperMy Profile

  2. Cindy

    Amy, you are gorgeous!! I love the dress..looks perfect for hot, summer days.:)

    Posing for pictures is horribly uncomfortable, isn’t it? I much prefer to be behind the camera than in front of it.
    Cindy recently posted…Shandiin Tank & Tunic!My Profile

  3. Ajaire

    Amy you look so good! I used some of that riley blake jersey last summer and I still have dreams about petting that fabric. It is some of the nicest knit I’ve ever had my hands on. I cannot imagine how nice a dress would feel made out of it. And the back really looks amazing. Is it just shirring? Are there any elastic channels at all?
    Ajaire recently posted…Sew-a-bration of Womanhood Day 28My Profile

  4. Caroline

    This dress looks amazing on you! Great job. :)

  5. Angie

    I like it!! It makes me wish I could wear strapless dresses :(

  6. Colleen M

    I don’t think you have a sway back. It’s probably a result of your bust size. I’m quite busty myself (34 G) and I find that things gape like that at the back when they’re not fitted correctly in the bust. The bust is probably also the reason the front hem is riding shorter than the back hem. I’m not sure exactly what to tell you to do on this pattern, but if you have some fabric you don’t mind wrecking you might try it again with some adjustments in the length of the bust area. In the photo where your arms are raised, the dress is clearly sitting higher on your bust than it is in the back. If you need to wear it there for modesty (and I wouldn’t blame you – that’s where I’d put it too) then lengthen the front by the amount of difference in the placement of that top hem from front to back – maybe a couple of inches – so that the front top hem is higher than the back top hem. That would then give you some play in how you can drape the front panel – it would be cute with a twist sitting just under your bust. Anyway, some food for thought from a fellow curvy gal who fights these kinds of fit issues all the time.

  7. Rachel

    Good for you for coming back at the pattern! I really like this, I may have to keep my eye out for a pattern sale. I think you did an awesome job, also if you want a good giggle I took my pictures in front of a park bathroom. Yep it had a brick wall and a park I promised the kids lol
    Rachel recently posted…A Ruffled Nightgown, a pattern hack.My Profile

  8. Annie

    Amy, you look great! The dress fits beautifully on you, I do not see the problems in the back either. You are being too picky on yourself! The drape in the front set this dress apart from a swim cover-up, definitely cute with cardigan and right accessories!
    Annie recently posted…Minnie Circle Skirt for Little MomoMy Profile

  9. Stephanie

    I agree, I think it looks great! That detail under the bustline is unique, I like it. And I didn’t notice the chalk drawings until you pointed them out, haha.
    Stephanie recently posted…Why I CreateMy Profile

  10. domestic bliss squared

    You look gorgeous! I find that taking pictures is like that sometimes, Jill will catch the best pictures as I’m laughing or stretching and not when I’m “posing.” But I love that dress! Great job, lady!
    domestic bliss squared recently posted…blue dress refashionMy Profile

  11. gina

    Darling dress Amy!! It looks really cute and comfy and i don’t see any problem in the back at all. sometimes it is so hard to find the perfect knit…maybe you better get some more!!! I think the gathered drape would look cute the whole length of the bodice so there wouldn’t be halfway issues. So cool that you went back and conquered a pattern that was difficult before; great marker for your growth as a sewist!!!
    gina recently posted…Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway DayMy Profile


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