16 June 2015

FO: Simplicity 9497 - Communion style

Best aunty every right?  Sewing niece's communion dress?

Well, not really.  Aunty seriously procrastinated on this puppy, finishing it with 3 days to go.  She didn't say so, but I'm sure sister was mighty stressed about whether niece would have a dress at all!

But she did and I'm fairly pleased with it.  Both sis and niece were also pleased.  Niece was dancing and twirling around, and promptly got food all over her front at the party.  Job well done everyone.

Because niece is oddly shaped, we knew it would be difficult to get her an appropriately sized dress.  Therefore home made was the obvious choice.  I heavily modified the pattern, adding approximately 2" to the length of the bodice and 8" to the width.  I altered the bodice back, removing the zip closure and making the back shirred (Gertie's tutorial was very helpful in this respect.  Tutorial one, two and three) to ensure it fit snugly but wasn't tight.

I am, and probably always will be, a sloppy seamstress.  There's lots I could have done better with this dress, but I am my own worst enemy and left it late and had to rush.  But anyway, I'm still quite pleased.

So obviously niece doesnt have the boobages of my dummy, but you get the idea.
I added a ribbon around the waist to finish it off. 
I have vowed to never hand stitch a hand if I can avoid it, and this dress was no exception. 
I also shirred a section of the waist ribbon to ensure it could stretch with the shirred back.  I had to divide the back piece into two sections to allow for the shirring.
Can you tell the skirt is a curtain??  I don't think it turned out too badly.  I struggled to find some lace with a scalloped edge, and this was the best I could do for a reasonable price.  Looks much nicer on niece than on a window I think!

Pattern:  Simplicity 9497, view F.  I cut the largest size (14) and then went to town with modifications.


  • approx 2.5m of 100% polyester 'deluxe satin' from Spotlight
  • approx 2m of sunsilk lining
  • approx 2.5m of curtain (yes curtain!!) for the overskirt


  • added about 8 inches to the bodice width plus extra for the shirred back
  • added 2 inches length to bodice
  • removed zip closure, added shirring, in the processes divding the back bodice into two pieces.
  • added about 4 inches of width to the skirt, as much as the fabric would allow 
  • lowered neckline and armsythes as required, probably about an inch each
  • added ribbon
  • added lining to skirt



  1. Lovely! I never would have guessed that lace was from a curtain, and I think the scalloped edge adds a great touch to the dress. Your niece looks lovely and very pleased with her dress!

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