Simplicity 3426, the new beach frock

I feel like it has been ages since I’ve posted something complete, a whole new dress that worked out just as I imagined!

Here are a few progress photos…  I tend to have these binge cutting out sessions, where I cut out a couple of projects over an afternoon/evening, including facings, ironing, marking and pinning darts etc as I go, then I have a day of zig zagging edges and stay stitching, sewing darts…. this seems to make the assembly happen quickly – instant gratification!  So, here’s this number all ready to go.

I picked this fabric up at the local (dream) op shop, it’s a cottony feeling fabric, with sideways stretch, and was $8 for three meters, so quite a good find, I have enough to make a pair of shorts too (wohoo).  This is how it happens, there’s actually more room here than it looks!  Zig zagging the fabric edges here.

I had to do a bit of last minute adjusting with this dress, and added an extra piece of fabric when I installed the side zipper, it was just a teeny bit on the small side, I think being stripy fabric it worked ok and is not too obvious.

The skirt is also not quite as full as intended, mostly just so I could have enough fabric left for shorts, so maybe about 10-15 cms less.  Overall, I find the fit to be pretty close to just right, though I gave a little more length on the shoulders, about 1 cm on each bodice piece.  I also added the waist band instead of making a belt as this works well for me with full skirts.

I had to sew the waist band on twice!  Tthere was a bit of slippage, when I was gathering and basting it.. oh, so much extra work, but it went alright in the end.  This is my second side zipper too, and now I think I love side zippers!  Here’s me hemming it, hmm, got distracted by some child or the jug boiling for tea and what do I find?

Austin making the most of a nice sunny spot.  He targets my sewing.  He’s all, “The kids are asleep, lets just cuddle up and watch a movie or something..”  I’ve ironed this about 5 times this week!  But now it’s all done, will try and get a photo on me, but you’ll have to put up with these ones for now..

Close up of the illustration.

And the finished frock.

The skirt looks better on, a bit fuller, the fabric is just the right weight to pull off the full skirt, just.

This is the side zipper, here’s a close up, where I added an extra piece.

Not too bad, I think the stripes were on my side… I have had a bad run of misaligned zippers lately, but have a new tip from a clever sewer for the next dress length zipper.  I struggle a bit with the bulk of full skirts waist bands, do you have any tips?  I’m thinking next time to sew a piece of fabric the length of the zip and attaching the zipper to that…  With this one I cut back the seams on the inside, but I still get a bit of pull, but maybe that’s the way with invisible zippers?  That’s what I’m using most of the time.

Here’s that lovely low back… I thought the brown and the stripes might be a bit dull, I don’t really wear brown..  But I do like it, I think it worked well.  And I think I’ll have to make a more summery floral one up next.



  1. Thanks Jenn, yes I’m very happy.

    I spent ages lining it all up, but it was pretty easy, just made it match when I did the pattern layout, and then it was straightforward. I wore it all day!


    1. Hi thanks for your message, no real life photo yet.. that involves another person and charged camera during the day, which doesn’t happen often! I have a number of other completed dresses and tops to blog about, so getting some photos is a priority! Watch this space.


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