Don’t you love patterns that give totally different looks in a single package? Here’s one that has 2 distinctive views: Simplicity 1355 – Misses’ Maxi Dress Or Long Or Short Jumpsuit. It also goes by another pattern number: Simplicity S9125.
This pattern features two separate bodices, a maxi skirt and pant that can be long or short. Sizes come in XXS-XXL. It is listed on the pattern sleeve that both woven fabrics and knits are suitable for the make. There are no closures needed to install (YAY!), and the looks are pulled together by an elastic waistband. If you make the maxi, the dress is a pullover; and if you make the jumpsuit, it is a step-in pull-up. A trouble-free wear and a straightforward sew.
The first version that I made combines the drawstring top with the maxi skirt – View C. The top requires only two pattern pieces for front and back, and the skirt is four panels made up of a single pattern piece. Labeled “easy-to-sew” this pattern truly lives up to what it promises. This pattern is suitable for any beginner.
I chose cotton Indian block print dyed in indigo. To jazz up the outfit, I used two contrasting fabric designs for a little bit of colour-blocking fun. The only adjustment I made was to move the slit in the centre front to slits in the side seams of the skirt. You may find it strange that the drawstrings are drafted
super long. It doesn’t really bother me, but go ahead and shorten them if it pleases you.
My second go at the pattern is View A – a more fitted bodice with the long-pant jumpsuit. I sized down to an XS for this, but in hindsight, I should have just stayed with a size S. This bodice is a more involved sew. In addition to the pattern pieces for front and back, it also has pieces for the front and back facing and shoulder straps. The V in the back dips quite low and a regular bra strap across the back might show through. Be prepared to go braless, and if so, a full lining of the bodice would serve better instead of the facing. Or invest in a bra that has back straps crossing lower in the back if you don’t want to break that nice V-line in the back.
The opening in the neck and back is wide enough so that you can step into the jumpsuit quite easily; but the fit is also snug enough so that the straps stay seated securely on the shoulders. There is some genius at work in the design. With the addition of in-seam pockets, this jumpsuit ticks all the boxes. A waist-tie accompanies this view and I widened it by half an inch.
The fabric used here is a glistening golden polyester that gives the jumpsuit a 70s disco-feel. Close-up pictures show that the workmanship is not so polished (note the puckering at the back facing). I am a little ashamed but I forgive myself and put this down as an experience-building project. This was one of my first makes and I had trouble dealing with the slippery, fraying fabric. At that time, I had not discovered the magic of the walking foot and a smaller needle for flimsy, tricky fabrics.
The fabric, though lovely to the eyes was a hardship for the hands. It totally doesn’t take any coaxing at all from any ironing! I admit it took some joy out of the make. Well, you live, you learn, you laugh, you persevere (and eat a bar of chocolate for consolation). You also wear the garment like a badge of honour, because it was the result of a small drop of blood, some sweat and a few tears.
However, a bask and a dance in the sun smooths out all the creases, and makes any outfit (or spirit) shine better and brighter.