Simplicity 1609 – the fire bird frock and sewing brain gone bush

I needed an easy sew, something simple and satisfying.

I turned to Simplicity 1609, a 60s style shift.


 I’ve had this amazing silk cotton (from Tessuti) in my stash for a while, possibly not the best choice for when you need something easy.

barbarajanemade silk cotton

But oh no , plough on regardless, surely I could turn it into a simple shift and make it a bit edgey with an exposed zip.

I’ve made Simplicity 1609 a couple of times, snakeskin and my willowpattern – ish.

It’s a simple shift with French darts to give it shaping at the waist.

barbarajanemade 2 versions of Simplicity 1609

I was tempted to leave out the centre front seam but according to Gertie, it provides some subtle shaping, so I didn’t. To avoid more seam finishing I made it a mock seam. If there is such a thing.  I didn’t cut the fabric, just stitched down the centre so it looks like a French seam on the inside. It really helped with the pattern matching !

barbarajanemade simplicity 1609

The mock front seam. The hem, like the arm bias, finished with a wavy quilting stitch – fits quite well with the border print and at this point I needed something to be easy.

I lengthened it slightly from my previous 2 versions. A bit more flattering on me.

There is a  vivid border with touches of lime green and pink that are rather lovely. I was careful to match that, unpicking and re-doing the back seam, more than once.

I  went all out and bought the best quality fuseable interfacing to stabilise the zip seam and the facings. It’s called ‘special jacket’! from Addicted to Fabric. It’s quite the luxurious shift.

I had been trying to make a wearable muslin for my darling daughter’s wedding dress. Everything has gone wrong. The wrong fabric, not enough fabric, can’t get the draping to work. It was about to become, in Anne’s words wadder, wadder everywhere. barbarajanemade cutting out

But my sewjo has definately gone bush. Simplicity 1609 has a really neat all in one facing but somehow I managed to finish the whole dress without putting it in. I don’t know what I was thinking. I wasn’t thinking. And I’ve made this dress twice. before. Anyway ………the neck now has a facing and the arms are finished with bias. No neat one piece facing possible – unless you do it before the seams doh!

barbarajanemade simplicity 1609

back darts and zip, three attempts at getting the zip in and it’s only so so.

So here’s the fire bird frock rising phoenix like from the wadder and the general sewing brain turning to mush. Hope my sewing brain returns soon.

 barbarajanemade simplicity 1609barbarajanemade simplicity 1609barbarajanemade simplicity 1609barbarajanemade simplicity 1609

What do you do to recover from a hot mess? 



Pattern: 60s style shift Simplicity 1609

Modifications: a full bust adjustment and 10 cm added to the length.

Fabric: silk/cotton from Tessuti

Notions: exposed zip and ‘special jacket’ interfacing

Location: Lake Gininderra, Canberra

Linking with : Visible-Monday-Logo-Public

and Rhonda’s me made monday


13 thoughts on “Simplicity 1609 – the fire bird frock and sewing brain gone bush

  1. Pingback: Simplicity 1609 re-modelled (take 2 on the firebird) | Barbara Jane made

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