Sunday, 9 May 2021

Simplicity 8243 - part 1

I must admit that after all the DIY effort that went into my 1930s wrap dress, it is nice to be making something (almost) straight from a pattern for a change!

Simplicity 8243 is a 2016 reissue of a 1940s pattern. For once, Simplicity's annoying habit of only putting the decade, not the year, on their reissues is appropriate, because according to the CoPA website this pattern was issued twice in the 1940s; as 4279 in 1942, and as 2337 in 1948. The artwork is the same on both versions.

Simplicity 8243

I bought the pattern just for the blouse, as I Don't Wear Trousers (I suspect that this is the sole thing that I have in common with Anna Wintour!). In the past, there has been a lot of talk online about the ridiculous amount of ease added to reissue patterns, something which I found out the hard way with Vogue 8686. 8243 was created around the time that Simplicity started using original patterns for their reissues (rather than making an educated guess from the envelope artwork), but I wasn't sure how accurate it would be in terms of sizing. So, I took an original, slightly later, Style pattern and calculated what degree of ease was included in that. Then I looked at the 'finished garment' measurements on the pattern envelope, and this confirmed that the amount of ease was period-appropriate.

I worked out the ease allowed on this 1950s pattern

It was 3½", and 8243 allows the same

I'm making the long-sleeved version, using a remnant of Liberty Tana Lawn from my stash. Tana Lawn is made in a very old-fashioned width, 136cm/53½", so I had to work out my own cutting layout. It's a beautiful fabric to work with, though.

The fabric

Two pockets seemed a bit much so I chose to only have one, which doesn't really show on this fabric, anyway. After the neckline issue with Butterick 5997, I decided to play it safe and move the top button and collar up slightly; I also let the collar centre back seam out a little to accommodate this. The collar front seemed alarmingly large on the pattern tissue (I blame my horror of massive collars on growing up in the 1970s!) but the finished article, although bigger than I'm used to, doesn't look too bad. I tried a new method of turning the collar points, which worked a treat - I will write it up for the next post.

Progress so far (and invisible pocket)

I have, as ever, a button dilemma. I don’t have any buttons which match the pink accents in the print, and white buttons just don't look right. So, the choice is to pick up the light blue or the dark. The dark blue buttons are more pearlescent than they appear in the photograph, but I wonder if they will be too much of a contrast. The light blue buttons meanwhile look more 1950s than 1940s. Fortunately I can put off the decision for a bit and concentrate on the sleeves.

Button choices


  1. I like the lighter button, doesn't fight with the fabric pattern.

    1. Taking photographs has enabled me to get a second view and yes, that dark blue is too much.

  2. I'm also in favor of the lighter button.

    1. Yes, the darker button is a perfect match to the dark blue in the print, but just too heavy.