simplicity 7239 -denim curtain with fish to denim dress without

I have a bit of a thing for sleeves.  I don’t know is it the geometry of them, or that I have narrow shoulders, but invariably, I will justify buying and making some patterns based on ‘wanting to see what the sleeve was like’.  

simplicity 7239


I saw the pattern on facebook Vintage Pattern Bazaar and I loved the sleeve and the funnel neck and thought the amount of seams would be useful in any upcycle sew.  Unfortunately Robin (who was selling the pattern), did not see my enquiry and the pattern was making its way elsewhere, she then got it back for me, and sent it on!  (so no pressure! and gazillion thanks to Robin).  The pattern is a 32 so I graded it, a bit nervously, as I don’t like grading sleeves at the best of times, but as it was a raglan I felt a bit more confident (but not by much).

I took apart a purple wool suit but when I fitted the pattern pieces there was too much waste to justify the sew, and potentially I would not get the length.  I did have a faded fishy denim chambray curtain (only one) so removed the glued fishes, laundered it, and laid it out.  The pattern nearly fitted, and I only figured this out after cutting one piece – so I went for a walk and think (and picked up an end piece of tweed in the charity shop for a euro on same walk), and decided to made the centre back panels with a seam at the waist line, and it was a tight squeeze but it all fitted.  I had to pull out the original pattern as well as my tracing to try different layouts, before rough marking and transferring to the table to cut.

upsew denim


The lining was easier!  The dress made up easily enough, I had anticipated a different look to the sleeves and I was unsure of them, the sleeve dart sits with the shoulder seam but the sleeve and dart seem to sit forward, I took the shoulder in another tiny bit, but its just the style of dress and now that I have been wearing it a bit, I love it (I had decided that I could always take the sleeves off if I was that bothered).  The dress is very comfortable, and the pockets useful.  I really like the subtle funnel neck.  I had been thinking that if I was to try this pattern again, I would reshape the pieces, and redraft a sleeve that had a more defined line to make it a full raglan.  

simplicty 7239


The lining was sewn with the pattern and I ‘pinked’ the edges.  It gave the chambray fabric a better weight.  The pockets were cut bigger (they were tiny) and the original skirt would have been a few inches below the knee, and I hemmed it at an inch above.  The original length was odd looking with boots. Super happy with dress and it feels like a great start to winter sewing as its teaming well with my winter boots, last years made base-layer, and the winter coat that is currently being finished!

and some photos standing on ‘the soon to be foundations of shed’ in the garden…..


I came across this article on THE CUTTING CLASS which I thought interesting if anyone has ever felt (I certainly have) overwhelmed by less than perfect results

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4 thoughts on “simplicity 7239 -denim curtain with fish to denim dress without

  1. Eimear Greaney says:

    Thank you Lynn – pockets are brilliant as I am always mislaying my mobile phone so at least it can be popped in there (although the pattern pockets were tiny – what did they put in them in the 60s? or more correctly, what didn't they put in them).

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  2. wrongdoll says:

    This is my favourite yet I reckon – love the pattern and as always super impressed with your creative flair. I love the sleeves and of course the pockets – I am all over pockets like a rash. It's such a great fit too. I'm nervous of things that are fitted or have a lining as that seems like a skill set too far for my humble beginnings but it's great to be inspired by others. I went to a fabric shop in Manchester yesterday where you can buy cloth by the kilo rather than the metre and got some lovely prints. Not as thrifty as your up cycling but so much cheaper than buying off the roll. I have three projects to crack on with for myself plus a smock identical to denim one I've just made for a friend who has twisted my arm. So, a busy Autumn beckons … just have to find the time. Look forward to seeing what your inventiveness spawns next 🙂

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  3. Eimear Greaney says:

    Thanks Aimee, I am beginning to be extremely pleased with my sewing…. as now I really really prefer what I sew over any store bought – so all good. The lining being sewn at the same time is something I have only done a few times and only in the last year (as I was always taught to loose line) and there are times when its very effective. good call on buying by the kilo, fabric can be an expensive habit, as most sewers will buy extra just in case!

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