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.

Everyone is Talking about Simplicity Dress

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

I like the concept, but the directions are "sloppy." Nowhere in the supply list does it mention the felt or the batting (how much?). Also, I would never use a high loft batting in a placemat, or a table runner, as I think that it would be too unstable for a glass. The next time I make these, I will cut out the batting (I use flannel) and spray baste it to the wrong side of the Dresden plate before I put the Dresden plate on the felt to cut out. I have not yet washed the finished placemat, and am hoping that the single layer of felt does not curl up, or become distorted after washing/drying.
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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Friday, February 24, 2017

I made this today but your cutting directions need to be changed. You only need 4 of color 1 and color 3 4.5 squares for the triangles. Also the inner border, you only need 2 cuts as WOF is long enough to cut each in half to fit the sides.
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I've had this machine for only a week now. I bought it used from a lady who makes her own clothes, but she no longer needed the machine. During the purchase, she noted that she is almost sad that it's better to give it away because of how well the machine performed. (I also bought it along side a computerized machine of another brand.} She demoed the machine for us, showing it worked and gave us everything (including the box it came in!) She took amazing care of this machine. I have used it a few times now, and the directions for threading were easy to follow (albeit my hands are quite large so the lower looper was a pain, but that is no fault to the machine or brand.) And I recommend this machine to anyone who wants to learn to serge and wants a machine that can grow with them. I will happily use this machine time and time again.
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Sunday, February 25, 2018

I love, love, love my S9! It's sews and embroiders beautifully and it's simplicity of use amazes me. I would recommend this machine for both a beginner and an experienced seamstress. If I would ask anything of Janome it would be to upgrade the programming to run a larger hoop size. I understand that it can't get much wider but there is most definitely room for it to go longer. That is the only limitation of this machine.
Monday, February 26, 2018

I purchased a Memorycraft 15000 a few years ago and it was the best purchase I ever made! This machine can do just about anything you would would ever want! I love the capability of using the Acuedit app to set up my embroidery pattern on my Ipad and then download it to the machine! I love how my embroidery looks upon completion and I love all the good lighting it has to light up your workspace. That way you don’t need to worry about where to set up your machine. It also has plenty of room to do machine embroidery on any size quilts! There are many decorative stitches from which to choose that are outstanding! It’s hard to choose which one to use! There are so many great features it is hard to decide what I love the most. If you want to buy only one machine to last a lifetime, I would recommend this one!
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Sunday, February 24, 2019

The S9 is amazing. I learned to sew by hand when I was just 5 and in my grandmothers way as she was quilting. I took seeing classes in high school until they would no longer let me sign up. The S9 makes me appreciate my current skills as well as motivate me to want to learn more. This machine is awesome.
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Thursday, November 19, 2020

My Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000 is fantastic! I love, love, love this machine! When I came across the Eye for and Eye embroidery design today, I wanted to make it. However, the embroidery file is missing. Nothing downloads when I select the download button. Please help!
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Monday, August 16, 2021

I made the Halloween treat bag for my new granddaughter and I’m sure it will last for years. No embroidery machine so I appliquéd the lettering. Need a little more skirt fabric for a better gathered look, and I used thin double-bias tape for the skirt hem, over edge stitch on skirt sides. I’m pleased with my results!
Very helpful tutorial
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

I want to say thank you for teaching me this method of applique. I was able to do it with a small letters. This method is the best so far from all of those I've seen and tried.

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