A Dress Loved to Death {Simplicity 2245}

Sorry, but this pattern is out of print; however, there's an update available at www.lieslandco.com/.

Pattern:  Simplicity 2245
Version:  B - the dress
Sizing:  customized
Fabric:  chambray
Instructions:  good
Modification:  no yoke; no cuffs; French seams; custom sizing; no neck placket
Recommend:  if you can find it, buy it, make it, wear it, love it

Simplicity 2245, the dress version, was first made by me last June and worn to shreds throughout the summer to the point of seams giving way.  I loved the dress to death. It was comfortable, cool, and quick to pull on in the morning to run errands and walk the dog.  After the summer was over, the dress was put to rest knowing that it could never be worn again---mainly because the back seam at the butt had given way. 

The 3 Hour Dress

In preparation for the coming summer season, I really wanted to make another.  Which, is the ultimate luxury of sewing your own clothes; you can make and have multiples of the same thing without having to rely on fashion, stores, or season.  Here is were the tragedy starts, though.  Well, not really a tragedy more like one unfortunate occurrence---I bought dark blue chambray online.

seam stress at armhole

Three hours, that is all it took to make the first dress from this pattern.  The second version took a bit longer, because I redrafted the pattern to fit me better, that is to say looser.  By the time I started sewing, it was dark outside.  It was also dark in the sewing room (must get light bulbs).  I completed the dress that night; all except the bias.  The next morning, I woke up with an unusual manicure.  The tips were dark blue and faded to natural at the base.  Well, after breakfast, I started the bias installation and soon discovered the blue dye went everywhere.  E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.  Even after prewashing the dark blue dye transferred easily.  I set out to wash the dress again.  Well, after multiple trips through the heavy-duty washing cycle and hand washing for what seemed like ten hours, there was no getting pass the crocking of this dress and so as a last resort I bleach the thing.  Ha, problem fixed; there is no dye transfer, but can I wear it out in public.  Probably not???  The un-bleach spots are a little awkward. 

So, the following day I headed to trusty JoAnn Fabric and Crafts and bought more (different) dark blue chambray, pre-washed the fabric in hot, hot, hot water twice, and recut the pattern.  For the third version, I eliminated the back seam (at first, than later put it back in) and used jean top-stitching thread to complete the project in roughly three hours.  The neckline and arms were finished with 1.5 inch self-cut bias strips.  The other seams were finished with French seams or felted.  This dress is an easy sew; honestly, the toughest part is top-stitching which there is absolutely no reason to do other than to be decorative.  The most striking feature of this dress is the curved pockets, which is crazy simple to make. 

Digital Cappuccino
With all that said, I must state that this ever so popular pattern is out-of-print.  Never fear though,  Oliver + S has redrafted the Cappuccino Dress so everyone can have a digital copy--anywhere, anytime.  Now, the neck line is different then my version, and the version from Simplicity 2245, but the spirit is the same.  For the version made by me, I simply eliminated the yoke from the original Simplicity 2245.  The digital cappuccino has a V-neckline, which at first I kind-of disliked BUT after making three of the hardcopy, I have warmed to the new idea.  If you still want a rounded neck and square breast center, then you will love what A Sewing Life did to marry old-school Simplicity with digital Oliver + S. 

Simplicity 2245 will defiantly be made again.  It is the perfect dress for my lifestyle, encompassing comfort to the letter.  Now that I have tailored the fit, there is nothing I would change about the pattern.  Obviously, I recommend it to you too.  Chambray makes a lovely dress, but I may have to complete a linen version before summers end. 


  1. Sure turned out nice! :)

    I think the newer version is kind of blah. But someone with drafting skills could make it work!

    1. I know. It is a bit wonky, but I guess in order to make it so Simplicity complaints were at a minimal something had to change. What makes the dress special is the pockets, so the collar really was the only thing that could be changed significantly. The new version, I believe, could be a hit if made from a well-worn, soft, pure white linen. I think the V-neck, curved seam lines, and the natural wrinkles would be charming.

  2. I really like the new version and agree with you it would be sensational in white. I love your versions too!

    1. The only thing that stopped me from making a white linen version this weekend was the need to pre-wash the fabric. By the end of summer, I know I will have some Lisette pattern made in linen. Her designs just scream linen at me.