Shocking pink

It seems like a long time since I made this dress. I normally photograph new makes right away, but this one’s been sitting around for a few weeks while I’ve been unwell. Things are getting better now so I have slapped some makeup on and got photos of it at last.

simplicity 5320

The pattern is Simplicity 5320, a 1972 ‘jiffy’ design. I was drawn to the raglan sleeves and high collar. The fabric’s boiled wool jersey from Truro Fabrics in a shade called foxglove. Right now the fabric is still available here.

Simplicity 5320 envelope

This whole project was a bit of an experiment in colour and shape. I normally choose styles with a defined waist, which this certainly hasn’t got, and I was also dubious about the flared sleeves. Where would I store the pile of tissues that I normally keep tucked into my sleeves? Finally there was the colour. I never wear pink. I bought this fabric on whim after looking at colour analysis websites; those ones that try to divide people into twelve or sixteen categories based on seasons and assign a palette of flattering colours to each. I still don’t know what my season is but it made me think I might be able to wear some colours I’d previously avoided.

I got round the sleeve problem by adding inseam pockets. The pink fabric is very thick so I made the pocket bags in black polycotton, which means they show a little more than I’d like. I think the pink works, although it helps that my dye job has faded from its usual shade of red. The collar is great but it needs a lot of interfacing to keep its shape, which wasn’t mentioned in the instructions. And I had to take five inches off the length of the skirt. The short view was below the knee on me and I’m very tall.

simplicity 5320

Here’s the back. There’s an invisible zip which probably isn’t needed. My fabric doesn’t have a lot of stretch so I didn’t want to risk skipping it.

simplicity 5320

I’ve been surprised to find myself reaching for this dress a lot since I made it. It’s very comfortable to wear but slightly smarter than jeans. It’s an easy make too, especially if you don’t put in the zip. Definitely recommended.

41 thoughts on “Shocking pink

  1. I love your dress! It looks comfortable and modern. Great insight on the pattern…something about the raglan sleeves pushes it over to the good side. And pink!

  2. I had to leave my Lurking Kingdom so I can tell you how much I like this. It’s very sleek and futuristic and I love that collar.

  3. Nice! Love the color on you, even if you don’t regularly wear pink (I am not a pink girl either…). And the collar shape is very cool. Looks like a great addition to the wardrobe.

  4. that looks GREAT on you! After reading this post, I searched for the pattern online and bought it from

  5. I love this! It’s a great color, and the silhouette is very cool. Sometimes it’s such fun to stray from our usual color and shape picks. Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell– hope you’re back to 100% soon!

  6. You have such a cool vibe in this dress. It’s minimalist, chic, and very… is it 60s? I definitely am picking up the Twiggy vibe. Everything about it really suits you. Hope you are feeling better!

  7. Sorry to hear you have been unwell and glad you are on the mend. Crap weather and feeling like crap are horrid so thank goodness for the wonderful brightness of this pink pink dress.

    Its a very sleek shape even though the waist isn’t defined in the sihouette. I like it. I like it very much.

  8. This dress is amazing. The collar and the raglan sleeves are really current, and the colour can brighten any winter day.

    I didn’t know there was such a thing as boiled wool jersey! Amazing. Did you line your dress? Is it rough or soft against the skin? I’m intrigued!

    Sorry to hear you’ve been sick and glad you’re feeling better now.

  9. Wow!!!! Catherine this has to be one of my favorite of your makes, and I do love what You make….I love your style and I think this dress is the perfect expression for as you say, slightly smarter than jeans. The colour is definitely one to remember, very flattering, but I think the cut of the dress, the collar with black peeping at the neck truly works. What a marvel!

  10. It’s great! Love the colour with your beautiful pale skin and the shape is fun! It’s risky but a good thing to step out of our comfort zone with shapes. This is definitely a keeper look for you. I love the stand-up collar opening. I can see why you reach for it so often!

  11. It looks great! And although I am also not a fan of pink, is does seem to suit your (and my) skintone and haircolour. Very well done!

  12. I’m glad you are feeling better 🙂 I think you can definitely pull off this pink colour, wearing it often is a good sign and it looks great on you. I find I take more risks with my fashion through my sewing and it’s always more satisfying when they pay off.

  13. The dress and color look wonderful on you. I love the sleek lines of the late 60’s/early 70’s dresses. But I remember the knits available when this pattern came out and my mother wore dresses like this…polyester double knit. The cozy wool knit in that luscious color is such a improvement over the fabric used for the original dress.

  14. You’ve achieved a seriously great fit here – speciallty through the back, which is such a tricky thing to achieve! I totally love the ‘funnel’ style neckline on you. And that hot pink? Sure to brighten everyone’s day!

  15. I like this dress a lot. It’s very space-age! Which, of course, is very you. Wonderful!

    The fabric looks lovely. Will you have to dry-clean this dress, just out of interest (being nosy)?

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