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The Dress That Almost Wasn’t: Simplicity 8123

Hi everyone! I hope all is well with you. I am still sewing my way through the pandemic, and I have no plans to stop. Why? Because sewing keeps me sane, and with everything going on around us, we need all the sanity we can get. Have you ever been so excited about a project that you smiled the whole way through the creation process, and then BAM, you make a mistake that you can’t come back from? That is what happened to me, but I was determined to not give up.

As you can see, the dress on the left was a complete fail. I cut the dress a few sizes too large, and it just hung on me. I decided to correct it by taking away a few inches all around to get a better fit. As I began cutting with my rotary cutter, my hand slipped, and I cut right through the fabric. Ouch! I wanted to cry, because I bought the fabric at regular price, and it was not cheap. It was a midweight stretch denim from Jo-Anns, that I bought about a year ago. I was so sad about the fail that I threw the dress to the side and vowed not to touch again. However, I am proud that I came back for a second attempt and redeemed myself, because this dress is everything. Now let’s get into the details of this dress.

Pattern Used/Size Cut

I have had Simplicity 8123 for so many years, and this year I vowed to focus on using the patterns in my stash until I use them all. This pattern is definitely going to be added to my TNT (tried and true) pattern. this pattern features a dress with flared or slim skirt and faux wrap button side-front panel. The dress in this pattern has thicker straps with back zipper. It has a bodice and a skirt portion, which is great because it allows the sewer to create a variety of looks, including separates.

I cut a size 12, but initially I cut a size 14. Which is why I had the fitting issue that I discussed above. I made a Youtube video a few years ago on how to find your proper size on a pattern. Check it out.


The only modification that I made to this pattern was adding a ruffle to the bottom of it. I did this by cutting the dress about 9″ shorter.

Next I cut a long strip of fabric 4″ long and double the width of the bottom of the skirt. I then gathered the fabric at the top edge.

Lastly, I attached the ruffle piece to the body of the dress.

I was going to hem the bottom of the ruffle, but after seeing how the raw edges looked, I decided against it. I actually love the frayed edge of the dress.

Final Thoughts

Usually for my final thought, I break down my opinions on the pattern. However, this time I want to start my final thought with a statement, because there was a big life lesson that I had to remember in the midst of creating this dress. “If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” Those words can be found in my favorite Aliyah song, and it is such a significant statement for our life. No matter how many times we fail or fall, we must pick ourselves up and try again. It is very rare that anyone will succeed on the first try. It takes a few falls to master the walk.

Now back to the dress. I absolutely love this pattern. It is not a difficult sew at all, however, you must understand sewing terms and how to use the necessary notions correctly, such as interfacing. If you have any difficulty sewing this pattern, Mimi G has a tutorial on her Youtube channel. I will definitely be using this pattern over and over again, but next time I will make sure to cut the right size lol. Continue scrolling to see how I styled this dress for the bipolar fall weather we have here in Atlanta. One day it is hot, and the next it is very cool.

The zipper is supposed to go all the way to the top of the dress, but I added it before the band, and forgot to give extra inches for it to reach the top of the band. I ended up adding hook and eyes to that portion of the dress.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, it is very much appreciated, and I am grateful. Please subscribe to my blog and comment below to let me know what you think.

Quote of the Day: Your doubts create mountains, but your actions move them. (Mel Robbins)


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