The Happy Strappy Dress [Simplicity 1607].

Hello Friends! I hope everyone had a great Christmas and quality time with loved ones. With family visiting from interstate, the spare/sewing room has become the guest room and I don’t have the space (or time) to sew. Luckily, I finished this dress before Christmas.
This pattern, Simplicity 1607, has always caught my eye since I had bought it a few years ago. The straps really intrigued me. There are options to have both front and back straps, or with a scoop neck at the front and straps at the back. I’ve decided to make it up this year.

  • Pattern: Simplicity 1607, a Cynthia Rowley design. I made View A.
  • Size made: H5 with Sizes 6-14 (US) included. I made size 6.
  • Pattern pieces: 8 pieces for view A.
  • Fabric used:
    • Dress fabric: Cotton Sateen in floral dusty rose [97% cotton, 3% spandex, 127cm width, 2m length, made in China, bought from Spotlight a few years ago].
    • Lining fabric: Bemsilk Lining – Blush [100% acetate, 122cm width, 0.4m length, made in China, bought from Spotlight].
  • New Techniques used: Constructing cross-over straps and threading through each other before sewing closed, separate to the bodice.
  • Modifications:
    • The bodice was a little tight on me so I made the seam allowances 1.5cm less on the side with the zip.
    • Graded seams at the waistband
    • Reduced cup size along front princess seams
    • Adjusted the straps retrospectively,by unpicking and angling the straps and re-sewed them back together
Simplicity 1607, Cynthia Rowley pattern, I made View A which is the main photo of the envelope front. Cotton sateen as the main fabric.
I made View A with cross straps on both the front and back. Pic from here.
The sraps are pretty crazy. Here are the pattern pieces for them.
The pieces are self-faced and interfaced. The interfacing I used may have been slightly too stiff/heavy for the fabric and design. I used featherweight fused interfacing, should have used sheer weight.
Turning the straps back to the right side, with my bodkins.
Threading and crossing the straps before sewing them together to make a closed loop.
It is so important to transfer the markings from the pattern to the fabric accurately, read the instructions, study the diagrams and LABEL ALL THE STRAPS! Otherwise it is so easy to mix them up and lose the correct orientation.
How the straps look before inserting the tabs on the bottom into the bodice (between the outer and lining fabrics).
Making the bodice. I think the pattern is drafted for a B/C cup, with princess seaming.
Only the bodice is lined. The straps are first basted into place. The bodice attaches to the waistband, then onto the hip yoke.
The bodice done, basted the side seam and waistline where they will be attached to an invisible zip and the waistband, respectively.
The waistband is also interfaced and self-faced, making a clean finish on the inside. I graded the seams in the waistband. Here the waistband is already attached to the hip/skirt yoke on the bottom.
The rest was just attaching the invisible zip and the skirt. Here I had to retrospectively fit the dress, so I unpicked the princess seams to reduce the chest cup size, and angling the straps taking care not to alter the width and symmetry of the straps.
Completed dress. Front view.
Side view with invisible zip open. (Dress is a little tight and I should have graded the waist to size 8).
The waistband and hip yoke, and gathered skirt.
Back view. Front and back looks similar, except that the back bodice has darts instead of princess seams.
Close-up of the front straps.


Okay, I’ll have to admit that at times during the construction I did not fully enjoy the process. Sometimes it is a little frustrating and/or boring to have to unpick, go back, re-orientate, trial and error, and spending much more time than expected to complete some of the more complex steps. But it’s all part of the experience and learning and sewing journey, I guess. Overall, I enjoyed making this dress – but it may be the rose-tinted glasses of hindsight speaking!
Thank you for everyone who visited, liked, commented on my posts on this blog or my instagram, messaged me, inspired me and interacted with me in the past year. I am truly grateful. Here’s to an even more awesome year – 2020 here we come!


2 thoughts on “The Happy Strappy Dress [Simplicity 1607].

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