1966 Simplicity 6628 Jiffy Dress

tsimplicity1966jiffy01It isn’t often that one can have a perfect hair flip.

tsimplicity1966jiffy01bThe hair either covers the face or isn’t defying gravity. That’s why, whenever one succeeds in getting a perfect hair flip, one must make sure it is well admired. However hair isn’t the subject of this blog, so let’s move on to the real star: the dress.

tsimplicity1966jiffy02I might live in Benin, but I still have the internet. And with the internet I have ebay. Ebay is full of old sewing patterns. Even better, patterns are nothing but tissue paper so shipping barely costs me anything.

tsimplicity1966jiffy03The best part is the anticipation of knowing that something is going to arrive in the mail. And once it does, it’s time to start sewing.

tsimplicity1966jiffy04I decided to grade the pattern up a few sizes since the size 14 of 1966 isn’t the same size 14 as today. Also, note that seashells from the beach make great pattern weights.

tsimplicity1966jiffy05I made 2 mistakes. The first, I graded the pattern too large for me. That’s okay, I can always make it smaller. The second mistake… well, can you see? I didn’t cut the pieces our correctly for the right and wrong sides. Oops. I had extra fabric so I recut the pieces that were wrong, so not too big of a deal except for wasting fabric.

tsimplicity1966jiffy06It was still too roomy around the waist, and I had two options: make a belt or add darts. I opted to make darts.

tsimplicity1966jiffy07And, done! Or so I thought. Until I turned around and realized that the zipper I had sewn in was already broken. This is a lesson to any seamstresses in Benin: buy the expensive zipper. Do not buy the 50CFA zipper, buy the 100CFA zipper, your life will be much better. I promise.

tsimplicity1966jiffy12Once the old zipper was pulled out and the new one sewn it, the real photo shoot could begin.

tsimplicity1966jiffy20In Benin bottled mineral water is often known as Possotomé. Sort of like band-aids, it’s actually a brand, but because it’s the most common brand everybody refers to bottled water as Possotomé.

tsimplicity1966jiffy08Possotomé is more than just a brand though, it’s an actual town where the water is bottled . It’s by a lake, so there are enough tourists who pass by here to make it worthwhile enough to run a hotel. This one is Chez Théo and we came here to have lunch on their lakeside deck (top left).

tsimplicity1966jiffy09Lunch. was. good. Very. good. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Grilled fish and plantains.

tsimplicity1966jiffy10But let’s go back to the Jiffy dress, since this is supposed to be a sewing journal.

tsimplicity1966jiffy13There was a big discussion between my friends and me because one friend thought this was a shift. Note I used it as a noun and not an adjective. He was adamant that this was called a shift, not a shift dress. I wasn’t alive at the time (sixties, seventies) so I had never heard of this term.

tsimplicity1966jiffy14However, I later looked up what a shift dress was, and it turns out that a shift dress is a dress with no waist definition so it can fit a wide range of bodies. That isn’t my dress, the original pattern had two darts and then I added two more, so by doing that killed any chance of this dress being a shift.

tsimplicity1966jiffy15But then we reached a consensus to call it the “no shift” dress. Problem solved.

tsimplicity1966jiffy16On the pattern envelope Simplicity calls it a jiffy dress – but I think that is just a name for their line of their patterns and not the actual shape of the dress.

tsimplicity1966jiffy17As to why there are so many photographs… it’s because I had an enthusiastic photographer.

tsimplicity1966jiffy11He had as much fun behind the camera as I did in front of it and we played off of each other’s energy and ideas. “Do this!” “Do that!” “Cross your legs!” “Pretend you’re swimming!” “Flip your hair to the right!” “Oooo let’s go down to the boat” “Make a pensive pose!” “Stop smiling!” “Put the oar behind your head!” “Walk like a model!” “Go behind the bar!” Etc.

tsimplicity1966jiffy18Which is why in most of the photos I’m laughing too hard. I do think that outfits look better when the wearer is having fun.

tsimplicity1966jiffy21And of course, my backpack and trusty scalloped hat are never far from me.

tsimplicity1966jiffy22“Hey Cathy, what about my photoshoot?” asks the photographer. Well, he is wearing a shirt made here in Benin.

tsimplicity1966jiffy23The roles were reversed and he had his mini photo shoot too.


Pattern: 1966 Simplicity 6628
Fabric: Super Opulent Java 5396
Outfit Photos: John Mark F.

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