Review: Simplicity 8086, View B – Cute Layered Dress

Layered dresses don't generally have the most flattering shape, but that's not the case with this pattern. This layered dress is cute, comfy, and subtly sexy. You can see just a peep of skin at the back and a cinched waist underneath the overlay.

Pattern: Simplicity 8086Dress Fabric: Printed Stretch Sateen (Spotlight).

What to love about this pattern 
This pattern is great for those giant flower prints since the lines of the dress aren't complicated. I really love how this outfit looks like a skirt and top coordinate but has the comfort of a dress. The pleated skirt is almost exactly the same as Simplicity 1873. The pleats give this skirt a lot of volume without the hassle of a petticoat.

What I don't like about this pattern 
Be aware that the overlay hangs open at the back more than the pictures show. You might need to add more loops and buttons if you want to cover up. I don't mind showing a little back though.

Changes that I made 
I top-stitched the overlay and armhole to sandwich the layers together. I'm a fan of top-stitch because it creates a crisp look. 

What I could have done better 
I'm really happy with how I sewed this.  

Sewing this dress was easy until you have to attach the top overlay to the shoulders of the dress. I couldn't make head or tail of the instructions for this part, so I just did what felt natural to me. See the pictures below and the description on how I sewed the overlay to the dress. 

Sewing the armholes: 
This is the most difficult part of sewing the dress. The raw edges of the armhole need to be sandwiched in between the overlay and the dress.
  1. Place the dress and overlay next to each other so the edges of the armhole match. The overlay needs to be inside out and the dress right side out.
  2. The raw edges of the overlay and dress must come together at the centre. The right side of the overlay must be facing the right side of the lining. Match the side seams and the shoulder seam.
  3. Pin all the way around the armhole.
  4. Sew together at 1.5 cm (5/8"). You need to insert the raw edge into the machine so that just the two layers to be sewn together are exposed. As you sew, you'll need to rearrange the dress and overlay so that they aren't caught in your sewing.
  5. Trim the raw edges and cut notches all the way around the seam allowance. Finish the raw edges.
  6. Flip the overlay so that the right side is facing out and top-stitch the armhole.
  7. Repeat for the other armhole.
Sewing the neckline: 

  1. Pin together the raw edges of the overlay and dress. Sew from one end of the raw edge to the other. 
  2. Trim and cut notches into the seam allowance. Finish the raw edges.
  3. Flip the overlay back into place and top-stitch the neckline.

The Verdict 
This dress isn't for the novice dressmaker. Due to the design of the dress there is no easy and neat way to attach the overlay. I had to unpick a lot of seams to perfect this dress but in the end it was worth it! If cute layered dresses are your style then give this pattern a go.
  • Instruction Clarity: 3/5The instructions for attaching the overlay to the dress are very difficult to understand. 
  • Fit: 5/5. The fit is perfect for the bust and waist. 
  • Design Elegance5/5. I love the kooky layered design of this dress.
  • Final Product: 5/5. The final product was exactly what I wanted. I think this dress looks cuter in real life than on the packet.
  • Overall: 4.5/5.