Simplicity Dress

Created By: Janome Educator Erin Schlosser
Skill Level: Intermediate

In early 2014, Janome issued a fabric design challenge to three of our educators. Take the same peice of fabric, and turn it into whatever you want! Erin decided to use a basic A-line dress pattern that would showcase a large scale print and provide the right type of drape for a cotton fabric. With a little contrast fabric and decorative stitching, she created a lovely summer dress.

Janome Supplies Required
  • Any Janome Machine
  • Any Janome Serger
  • Zig-Zag foot A
  • Satin Stitch foot F
Fabric and Notions Required


  • Refer to pattern sleeve (View A) for fabric requirements (ranges from 2 3/8 yard - 3 5/8 yard)
  • 3/4 yard coordinating fabric for belt/tie


  • Simplicity Easy-To-Sew pattern 2371
  • 5/8 yard Light/Mid-Weight woven interfacing
  • Coordinating thread for sewing
  • Accent thread color for belt stitching
  • Fabric marking pen
  1. Find View A on the back of the pattern envelope. Look at the measurement guidelines to determine the size you want to make. Commercial apparel patterns will have different sizing than what you purchase in the store so the measurements will help us select the correct size to sew. After choosing the correct size you will use the chart to determine how much material to purchase. Since this pattern has some pleating, a stripe or geometric print may not work as well. Try using fabric that is solid, has a small scale, or large abstract print. Don't forget to prewash the fabric! We don't want the dress to fit perfect, then shrink when washed for the first time.
  2. Refer to the cutting layout directions enclosed with the pattern for the View A. Layout all pieces, cut out, and mark all markings and notches using the fabric marking pen. Now we're ready to sew!
    Hint: Pressing the pattern pieces first will make sure all the wrinkles are out of the pattern, ensuring the pattern is the correct shape. As an added benefit, this will produce static electricity on the pattern paper, making it stick to the fabric better!
  3. From this point on, follow the instructions directly from the pattern, with the exception of the following changes:
  • Pattern Step 3: After sewing the back seam, side seams and shoulder seams, serge all sewn edges to prevent fraying.
  • Pattern Step 4: When finishing the edge of the facing section, serge the edges. This will save time and still keep the edges from fraying.

  • Pattern Step 5: Make sure that the stitching stops directly on the marked facing points. Not being exact during this step will affect how the neckline looks when completed.

  • Pattern Step 8-10: View A calls for a simple top stitch. Feel free to embellish the neckline with fabric flowers or decorative trim.
  • Pattern Step 11 & 12: Reverse the steps for this part. It's much easier to press and fold the sleeve hem before sewing the short underarm seam. Press first, then sew the underarm seam. Finally, stitch the hem in place.

  • Pattern Step 17: Before marking the hem, try on the dress. Then mark any adjustments needed on the hem.
  • Pattern Step 19: After slip stitching the opening edges shut, use the triple - straight stitch on the machine to add a contrasting stitch. Set the stitch length to a 5, and choose a thread that contrasts with the tie material. Stitch 1/4" from the edge of the tie around all edges.
  • Designer Tip: If you prefer, use a favorite decorative stitch on the machine instead of a straight stitch.

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