DIY Retro Denim Dress – Simplicity 3833

I made this dress a few weeks ago on a costume party/Halloween fueled whim. I was looking for something 60s themed to wear and this dress popped into my head. In all likelihood, the denim was laying in a pile in my den so it was top of mind (full disclosure: I am very messy and have piles of fabric everywhere. yikes!). I didn't finish this in time for my costume party but I did wear it on Halloween as a non-costume costume, because really I love dressing up but I don't like costumes. I just want to look nice and pretty, not scary or overdone. 

I've had the pattern, Simplicity 3833, in my stash for a long time and never really thought about using it before. It's a reproduction of a 60s design, an A-line dress with an option for short sleeves. I love the lines of it, especially the bust darts. The darts are kind of a french dart, created across two pattern pieces. The point of the dart is in the bodice and it continues across the mid-section seam and into the skirt. It's very unusual and a little hard to describe but super cool.

The dress was pretty easy to put together. I cut a size 16 but it turned out a little big. To get a better fit, I took in the side seams about 1/2 inch and took in the back darts. I really don't know how I'd adjust the front darts without a lot of muslin making. I also cut off about 3 inches from the hem. It's not 60s if it's not a little short. :)

The denim is pretty thick, so for the topstitching, I used a thick Gutermann topstitching thread in yellow gold. I really love the double rows of stitching. It really completes the look of this dress.

I really love this dress and I think I'll get a lot of wear out of it. With tights, boots and a sweater, I'll be able to comfortably wear it during the colder months. I recommend this pattern whether you're looking for something retro or just a not-so-basic A-line shift. It was really easy to put together and I would have finished even faster if I hadn't run out of topstitching thread just 12 inches from the end!