Simplicity 8014 – A cracking denim shirt dress

I love the cover picture on the pattern envelope of Simplicity 8014 – it definitely sold the pattern for me and I was very excited about making it. I went to one of the NEC Sewing shows earlier in the year and took the pattern along with me on a mission to find some denim to make it with. I am pretty sure the fabric was from the Fabrics Galore  stall and is a medium weight denim which feels like it has a little bit of stretch in. It felt just the right weight for a shirt dress. I started cutting out the fabric for this in the middle of May so it has taken a while to finish – C’mon, there were 12 pattern pieces and I did a toile!!

I posted this picture of the pattern and fabric on Instagram when I was about to start – they aren’t actually the buttons I used in the end as I was one short!


I decided to make a toile of the dress to check the fit and practice doing the yoke and collar. I discussed what a toile is in a previous post here. This was really useful, mainly in terms of practising the construction. The fit turned out to be pretty good so I didn’t need to make any alterations except increase the length, which is pretty standard for me. I cut a size 12 and increased the length of the dress by 2″ by cutting along the shorten/lengthen line on the front and back pieces and inserting a 2″ piece of pattern paper. It’s useful to use a contrasting thread colour and a slightly longer stitch length when making up your toile so that you can easily see the stitches if you need to unpick them.




As you can see from the toile, there are various parts of the dress that have 2 lines of parallel top-stitching such as around the edge of the collar, top of the yoke section etc. I decided early on that I wanted to use a twin needle to do this to get the 2 parallel lines looking as neat and uniform as possible and I thought that I would use 2 different colours. That’s what I love about making your own clothes – you can literally do what you want to make it your own. So dual colour twin needle stitching it was – turquoise and lilac – my 2 favourite colours 🙂


Patch pocket in progress with dual colour twin needle top stitching

I absolutely love how the top stitching looks along the yoke seams at the shoulders, edges of yoke section, collar and button band pieces.

Simplicity 8014 collar
Top stitching at shoulder, collar and button band
Simplicity 8014 rear
Rear yoke section and cuffs on sleeves
Simplicity 8014 rear yoke
Close up of top stitching along bottom of yoke section
Simplicity 8014 tie belt
Top stitching on tie belt

The hem construction involved using a hem facing which I had never done before but I really like the way it looks and it gives the hem the weight and stability that it needs for this style of dress.

Interfaced hem facing is sewn to the base of the dress, right sides together
Understitching is done along the edge and the facing pressed towards the dress inside
Raw edge of facing is overlocked and the facing is hand basted to the dress
The button band facing is hand basted over the hem facing, ready to be sewn into place. Lovely!

And put it all together…


The dress does have 2 side seam pockets which are fab. I thought about doing the pocket linings in a contrast fabric but soon decided that I wanted this dress to be fairly classic looking so kept them the same fabric throughout.

I do actually prefer the dress with a ready to wear belt – especially my silver belt as it picks up the silver buttons.

Simplicity 8014 front view

Simplicity 8014 rear

The buttons are from Sewessential. I did initially buy some pink and lilac plastic buttons for this dress but when I saw these silver buttons I knew they would be fantastic against the denim.

Simplicity 8014 collar

I am really really pleased with this dress. Out of all the things I have made I think it is maybe the one that looks most like it could be a ready to wear dress – no fuss, just nice and classic.

I think if I were to make another one I would make the dress slightly longer. I do think the length is fine as it is to wear in the summer with wedges or flip flops. Maybe a nice pair of bronzed legs may help!! I think however that this will be a firm favourite in the Autumn worn with black leggings underneath and a cardi on top. Not to wish away the Summer just yet though!!

Until next time, happy sewing!!

Lorna x


  1. Lynsey
    August 8, 2016

    I really love this dress, the denim gives a lovely classic look and it looks great on you, I’ve only made one shirtdress so far (not long ago) and now want to have a go at making it in denim.

    • Lorna
      August 10, 2016

      Thanks for your comment Lynsey. I am really pleased with it and think denim gives a short dress a real classic feel. Good luck with it ?

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