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Something cheeky up for grabs!

July 5, 2014

Athena Tennis Dress


I interrupt normal service to bring you pictures of bums.  I’m sure many of you will have seen the above ‘Tennis Girl’ image before, but did you know that the white tennis dress worn by the model was home-made using a Simplicity pattern?  The pattern was Simplicity 8203.

Simplicity 8203 - View 4

Simplicity 8203 – View 4

The ‘Tennis Girl’ herself was 18-year old Fiona Butler, but both the dress and the tennis racquet belonged to her friend Carol Knotts, who had made the dress for herself using the Simplicity pattern.  Fiona asked her friend if she could borrow the dress and the racquet in order to pose for the photograph, taken in 1976, by Martin Elliot, Fiona’s boyfriend at the time.  The photograph first appeared in a Silver Jubilee calendar in 1977, and then went into widespread publication in 1978, when it sold more than two million copies worldwide.  The ‘Tennis Girl’ shot has been recreated by a series of household names over the years – from pop princess Kylie Minogue…

Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue

…to Alan Carr…
Alan Carr

Alan Carr

…to Pat Cash:
Pat Cash

Pat Cash

…to Keith Lemon:
Keith Lemon

Keith Lemon

Both the dress and the racquet used in the iconic photograph are set to be auctioned today, Saturday 5th July 2014, the day of the Wimbledon women’s single championships, for a reported £1,000-£2,000 price tag.

Although the original pattern is now out of print, Simplicity have released a number of similar styles over the year, such as the simple to sew Jiffy 1356 pattern, the ‘Amazing Fit’ Simplicity 2404, and Burda’s 6918 pinafore summer dress.  Simplicity have very kindly sent me the first two of these patterns to give away to one of our readers!

Jiffy 1356

Jiffy 1356

I’m pretty intrigued by this pattern – it looks like fun to make! It’s a completely reversible wrap dress with no closures to sew.  I really like the version shown on the pattern envelope.  The copy I have been given is H5 size (US 6-14, EURO 32-40, FR 34-42).

I also have the Simplicity ‘Amazing Fit’ 2404 up for grabs.

Simplicity 2404

Simplicity 2404

Again this is size H5 (US 6-14, EURO 32-40, FR 34-42).  The pattern envelope doesn’t sell this dress too well, but look at the line drawings at the bottom and you’ll see what a lovely design it is!

If you would like to win one of the patterns, please leave me a comment below, telling me which one you like best.  Please make sure you enter your email address.  I’ll post to anyone anywhere in the world.  You’ve got just under a week to enter – until Friday 11th July at 12 noon UK time.  I’ll pick a winner at random and announce it shortly after.

If you want to recreate the ‘Tennis Girl’ look with either of these patterns, you’ll have to shorten them considerably!  Thankfully, Simplicity didn’t demand that I recreate the look in order to give away the patterns!

  1. July 5, 2014 9:12 am

    Oh what a choice, I’d have to go for the Amazing Fit pattern as I have heard good things about them and always wanted to try one. Thank you!

  2. July 5, 2014 9:58 am

    You had me in stitches with the re-creations of that iconic tennis photograph. I’m intrigued by the reversible wrap dress – could be a great dress to pack for holidays.

  3. July 5, 2014 10:15 am

    Hi there, I like the Simplicity 2404 best, because I like all things V-Neck. Thanks.

  4. July 5, 2014 10:27 am

    Ooh I would go for the wrap dress, hopefully it would be easy and fit well! 🙂

  5. Rosanna permalink
    July 5, 2014 10:43 am

    The Jiffy 1356 looks intriguing, I’d love to give it a go!

  6. stitchedupsam permalink
    July 5, 2014 11:24 am

    I’d love the Amazing Fit pattern. I’ve used a trouser one before, but not tried a dress one.

  7. Jo O'Marr permalink
    July 5, 2014 2:03 pm

    I love the Simplicity Amazing Fit dress, would be perfect summer workwear for me!

  8. marie permalink
    July 5, 2014 3:05 pm

    The amazing fit pattern looks like a fave dress that I’d like to copy. Fingers crossed.

  9. Barbara permalink
    July 5, 2014 4:21 pm

    I have had my eye on the Jiffy 1356 for a while and hope to make it up in shweshwe fabric – a traditional Lesotho printed cotton. These fabrics co-ordinate beautifully and become soft once the starch is washed out. Thanks.

  10. July 5, 2014 6:32 pm

    I would love to win the Simplicity 2404.

  11. Kate Macdonald permalink
    July 5, 2014 8:14 pm

    I like the amazing fit best although I don’t think I’ll shorten it too much. 😉

  12. Meek Ruth permalink
    July 5, 2014 9:13 pm

    I would LOVE to win the Jiffy wrap dress! How cool to have a reversible dress with only 3 pattern pieces!

  13. Kym M permalink
    July 5, 2014 10:32 pm

    The Jiffy 1356 looks like a fun retro 1970s pattern to try. Looks like the perfect staple dress for summer that you would want to make again and again. Imagine the fabric combinations! Love the recreations of the Tennis Girl image! I remember my older cousin having that poster up in his room!!

  14. July 6, 2014 3:15 pm

    I love the Amazing Fit dress (H5)! I really like the small v-neckline shape.

  15. Simona permalink
    July 6, 2014 10:10 pm

    Great gift you wanna share with us! Keep thinking and thinking which I prefer best! And I think the idea of a reversible dress wins, so for me it’s the jiffy dress!

  16. gmariesews permalink
    July 7, 2014 12:07 am

    The Jiffy pattern is adorable and what a darling dress! g

  17. July 10, 2014 2:59 pm

    Hellox I would love to win the jiffy pattern! It looks good fun to make 🙂 x

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