Simplicity 1652 – Minerva Craft Blogger Network

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

The more garments I sew for the Minerva Craft Blogger Network the more I enjoy it.  Choosing from their extensive range of patterns and fabrics started out being totally overwhelming but I’m now slowly starting to know the patterns/designs that suit me and which fabrics would work well for them.  This month’s choice was heavily inspired by Trine’s awesome version.

Last month was all about kid’s pjs so this month I made sure to get in a little selfish sewing…and boy am I glad I did!  This dress is definitely in my top five favourite things I’ve sewn for myself!

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

Dress: Simplicity 1652.  Size 12, Cup C, Front – View A, Back – View B.  Fabric: Black/white pinstripe cotton-linen blend.  Buttons: self-covered with Liberty scraps.  Tights: hand-dyed ombre tights ‘sunset’ from BZRShop.  Boots: Camper Annie Ankle Boots.

The Dress

Simplicity 1652 is part of Simplicity’s Amazing Fit collection.  What this means is that you have multiple choices for not just the size of the dress but also the bust size (and in some cases, the fullness of the skirt).  This allows you to mix and match thereby giving you an amazing fit.  Well, that’s the idea anyway.

The dress has three sleeve options and two back options.  I went for View A in the front (short sleeves and button tabs – just say NO! to chunky chains sewn onto clothing!) and View B in the back (cut-out triangle).

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

This dress also has really great pockets that are sewn into the front section seams – easy to do and makes it a bit more interesting than pockets along the side seams.

The Fabric

For this dress I chose a versatile black/white pinstripe which is a cotton-linen blend (click on photo to learn more about it).  I love this fabric!  It’s easy to work with (yes, it frays so make sure to finish your raw edges) but it’s a great weight and is suitable for cooler weather (tights and cardi!) or just as is with sandals in summer.

Also, with this fabric there were lots of options in terms of how to lay out the fabric (ie, which direction you want the stripes to go in for each pattern piece).  I had fun sketching out all the different possibilities and finally decided on doing vertical stripes for the main bodice, skirt and sleeves, horizontal stripes for the button tabs, and bias cut stripes for the side bodice and back.


I’ve made a Simplicity Amazing Fit dress before (Simplicity 1800 – you can see it here) so I should have been fine with the method of construction.  But, alas, much time had passed and I’d forgotten just how mad this method it!  I don’t think you’ll find any sewing blogger writing about the Amazing Fit collection without referencing the odd construction process.

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

In short, you sew the bodice pieces together and then you sew the skirt pieces together – this part is pretty straightforward – but then you sew the bodice to the skirt inside out (so, you sew with the wrong sides of the fabric facing each other) with a large seam allowance in order to tweak the fit.  Then you have to take it apart, make your adjustments and then put it back together the right way around.

Some other notes on construction:

  • The front bodice is unlined.  I didn’t really like this and next time would try to draft a lining.
  • I added a lining to the skirt.  The fabric is rather sheer so opted for a lining here.  I drafted the lining based on the assembled skirt pieces and then attached it along the skirt/bodice seam line.

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

  • The sleeves were trickier to set than I expected.  You are instructed to set the sleeves after the side seams are sewn and lately I’ve been setting sleeves into an open side seam and then closing the side seam and sleeve seam with one line of sewing.  Next time I’ll do it this way.
  • For the buttons on the tabs I made my own covered buttons with scraps of Liberty print fabric.

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

Sizing and Fit

The last time I made an Amazing Fit dress I made size 12 with a D cup.  After sewing it I thought it fit well but now that I’ve worn it for a while I realise that it’s actually too big in the bust (but I’ll still wear it!).


This time I made size 12 with a C cup and this worked *much* better.  I’ve actually worn this dress a few times already so I feel confident in saying that I’m happy with the fit.

The only issue I have is that there is a bit of gaping in the back along the top of the zip.  I’m a bit stumped about how to remedy this – if I were to take it in anymore then I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to move my arms!

Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

Final thoughts

So, I guess the final question is – Is it really an amazing fit?  The short answer is yes!  I didn’t really make any adjustments from the size 12, cup c pattern so, for something so closely fitted around the bust, is pretty amazing!  Now that I’m happy with the fit I want to rush out and make more from this collection (before I forget all the details of construction).  I already have Simplicity 1882 in my stash so I really should get sewing!

And here’s me taking a pic of my photographer for the day…
Simplicity 1652 // Behind the Hedgerow

…and my photographer… (follow me on Instagram if you’re interested in seeing more behind the hedgerow scenes shots!).

Kids off school. Putting them to work. #lifeofablogger

A post shared by Laura Fisher (@behindhedgerow) on

Start ’em young!

If you’re inspired to give this pattern and fabric a go then you can buy the full kit here.  It includes the pattern, fabric, interfacing, zip, lining and thread.  It also includes yellow buttons for the tabs.  If you want to do covered buttons (which are surprisingly easy to make and very effective) then you can find everything you need for that here.

Thanks for reading

Laura x

50 thoughts on “Simplicity 1652 – Minerva Craft Blogger Network

  1. sewlittletime

    it’s lovely – the fit looks perfect! i’ve made simplicity 1882 and it’s a great pattern. i wasn’t enamoured of unpicking all the basting on cotton sateen and i got a few pulls so i’d prob just make a muslin!

    1. laurabehindthehedgerow

      I loooove the tights! They were a birthday gift and they only come out on special occasions (or photo shoots) – I’m so afraid of snagging them. They’re quite pricy and then I had to pay extra in tax (sent from USA to Belgium) so they’re officially the most expensive tights ever! x

  2. Mel

    Love your photographer! I made the 1800 dress with the D cup too, and found it was too big in the bust. Good to know the C cup fits better, I’ll give that a try.

  3. Louise

    really lovely! I’ve been tempted by the ‘amazing fit’ skirts but I’m sceptical as to whether they really do fit amazingly! I love your dress though 🙂

  4. Sam

    This looks fabulous on you! I’ve made this pattern and struggled to get the back cut out to sit nicely, but yours looks perfect. I love the fabric you chose as well.

  5. lisacrafty

    Stunning dress Laura! By far my favorite detail is the bias cut bodice sides and upper back. I love your short(er?!) haircut! You would look pretty even without hair

  6. Lorna

    Aah, the budding photographer is supercute – and the dress isn’t bad either! You’ve made a lovely job of it. I still haven’t tried any of the Amazing Fit patterns, but I’m inspired now, and might just give this a go.

  7. autumnyarn

    This is very charming with the button tabs. I was really turned off by the chain detail shown with the pattern, but I like how it looks with buttons. Very nice!

  8. Nicki

    You officially have the world’s cutest photographer! The dress looks great. It is a pattern I’ve been wondering about for a while and your version gives it a definite thumbs up. One thing I love about these post is seeing how the fabric looks made up. I have to do nearly all my fabric shopping on-line, so this is really helpful.

  9. velosewer

    You have made an amazingly well fitted dress. Minerva has such a huge range of stock, it takes time to pick from and you’ve chosen well for this dress.
    Love the side panels, button choice and your photographer is adorable.

  10. Monica

    Laura…you’re so gorgeous! And inspiring…I’ve only sewn 3 items for myself and they all been knit. I really need to get out of that comfort zone. This is cute, and I love unexpected back cut out.

    1. laurabehindthehedgerow

      Thanks, Monica. It’s interesting that you’ve only sewn for yourself in knit – usually that’s the one that puts people out of their comfort zone. The sewing will be easier with woven fabric – although the fit may be a bit trickier! Good luck! x

  11. robinsnc

    It’s such a lovely dress! I did a muslin back in September with a C cup and it was huge. (And I’m pretty busty.) Reading that you sized down a cup, and made a really cute dress, I’m inspired to try again with a B cup.

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