Simplicity 2602: three fabrics, three methods, three looks

This is Simplicity 2602, JR. MISSES AND MISSES DRESS AND OVERSKIRT IN TWO LENGTHS,  published in 1958. 

The most interesting thing about this pattern, aside from the model’s Medusa eyes, is that what you see on the cover is not what you’re gonna get, unless you happen to be wearing some kind of waist cincher and girdle combo a la 1958. 

The shape illustrated is pretty sharply nipped in at the waist, however the dress pattern itself is shaped by double sided darts, four in back and four in front. Darts like that don’t nip, they skim and curve gently. 

So, if you’re already shaped like the cover model, via fifties-era underpinings or natural talent, the dress will follow along. But if you’re just a regular ol’ modern girl, you get this:

Good, but not exactly as advertised!

So anyway, I thought that was neat. Underwear matters.

So the dress, it actually is simple to make, like the envelope says. I made it three times. Here’s the back view:

Let’s call them Blue, Green, and Yellow. 

Blue was the first one I made, and follows the original design and construction method the most closely: It is unlined, finished at the neckline with a facing, at the sleeve hem with seambinding, and has a vintage metal zipper in the side seam. It’s made of wool crepe, which was actually on the list of suggested fabrics. The wool shapes really beautifully, and I think this one is most in keeping with the technical drawings on the back of the envelope, if not the actual cover art. It is also my favorite.  

It differs from the original in that both the sleeves and hem are shorter than they are supposed to be. There’s supposed to be a whole ‘nother six inches or so of skirt length, including a kick pleat at center back. Just didn’t have enough fabric for that though, secondhand fabric lols. I also left out the waist stay that was called for, because I figured it would create a waist lump in this soft wool, and I only gave it two darts in the front instead of four it wants, to give a little more room in the waist. Did that on all three versions actually. 

Green was the most exciting to make, because it looks like the illustration. It’s made of dupioni  silk and flatlined with black cotton broadcloth, because dupioni is crummy on its own, despite being drop dead gorgeous. Crummy in that it is thin and papery and inconsistent. Gorgeous in that it’s colors are so deep and vibrant. The broadcloth beefs it up a lot. Dupioni is relatively inexpensive to buy though. So that’s fun. I actually did buy this particular silk dupioni, but it was fourteen years ago, to make scarves for my bridesmaids. 

Shantung is one of the suggested fabric, and I figure dupioni is like Shantung Lite, so this version is pretty well in keeping with the cover illustration. And, this version is the hands down favorite with the Instagram set. 

I included the waist stay on Green, but as you can see it’s not enough on its own to create the waist shape in the illustration. 

Green has slightly longer sleeves than Blue, and a much shorter skirt due to continued second hand fabric lols. I also added maybe four inches width to the skirt, as the pattern is pretty narrow in the hip department and this fabric has absolutely no give. You can see it has more of a bell shape than the others through the hip, which is kind of nice, and definitely helpful in sitting down, but is a change from the original design. 

Pardon my crooked stocking seams. I am not a professional pin-up. 

Yellow was the easiest to make. It has a satin lining dropped in, clean finished at the neck and sleeves, hemmed separately and swing tacked together. This one is the biggest departure in body shape, in that it is loose and swingy, with only two darts in the back as opposed to the four the others have, and it’s very short because as per usual, that’s all the sari fabric I had. However the sleeves are the correct length, as the original pattern intended. So that’s a funny progression: at the hems got shorter, the sleeves got longer when I made these. 

I really love this one. It’s a party. 

So that’s that: three versions, three different fabrics, three construction methods. 

*edited for judging* I forgot to say, this pattern is a Sew It for sure. If you come across this pattern out in the world, snap it right up, it’s a good one.

In other news, I  opened an Etsy store, name of Lazy Liza, link Here

Figured, I make a lot of stuff, sometimes stuff I don’t need, wouldn’t it be fun to make stuff I don’t need on purpose and send them along to other people. I know you guys here aren’t the market for this stuff, since you could make it all yourselves, but I am listing some of my patterns there too…..


12 thoughts on “Simplicity 2602: three fabrics, three methods, three looks

  1. Where’s the champagne? The blog is back! Toasting with coffee because I’m reading the post in the morning :-)

    The green one is entrancing — so beautiful! The blue one is so wearable — you can dress it up, dress it down… The yellow one is so fun… Now I want one, too!


  2. Oh they’re all gorgeous and suit you to a tee, but the navy is my fave – surprisingly. I guess the others are all party but the navy is chic and classy. I thought maybe I’d missed you for some reason, but it seems you haven’t been around for a while – welcome back. Best of luck with your Etsy store ;)


  3. Fabulous!! The green really does look like the original, very flattering. If you’re up for sharing this lovely pattern (as a traced copy), I’d be really grateful, it’s stunning! I have some vintage patterns to offer in return. See my post ‘vintage-pattern-swap’.


    1. I am not up for that, but I just did a quick search and I see that it’s available for sale on Etsy from at least four different vendors. Why not buy it, then you’d have the instructions and the beautiful envelope and everything.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. They are all gorgeous! I love the green one, of course, it looks so lux – and I like the bell shape. I can see what you say about it being less like the pattern envelope but on the other hand it sort of feels MORE like it for me because it’s bumping up that hip-waist ratio again.

    I love seeing how different fabric and a few tweaks can make the same pattern.


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