Completed Project: Simplicity 2444
Whoop whoop! I finally got round to sewing this dress! I’d been coveting the pattern for a long while, but hadn’t gotten round to buying it. Then Julia aka Aileen gave me a free copy of the pattern, as she already had her own and then got another free with Sew Magazine. Lucky moi!
The fabric for this dress was also a freebie, as it came from The Amazing Tara Cat in my Spring Sewing Swap parcel a few months ago. I fell in love with this fabric as soon as I laid eyes on it – it’s so me – red and navy, nautical, and hearts. Perfect!
I was pretty sure I’d need to alter the pattern in some way, so I cut the pattern based on my full bust measurement and went from there. Here is my first toile:
As you can see, it gapes at the armhole and at centre front. The wavy side seam was also indicating a bad fit: I needed to add to the front waist seam to accommodate my post-baby belly! The back bodice, luckily, didn’t need alteration.
When I pinned the excess out at the armholes, things started to look a little better:
When I began to transfer these alterations to the paper pattern, however, I realised that I would not be able to take out any excess at the centre front as the piece is cut on the fold – d’oh! I therefore removed the pins at centre front, and took in the armholes a tiny bit more on each side, and after that, no more gaping!
I decided to change the design of the pattern in order to more easily accommodate my alterations, so I cut out the inner waist dart, and the excess at the armhole, and joined them together to make a princess seam.
I did consider cutting out the outer waist dart as well and incorporating it into a single princess seam, but it would have meant totally changing the design of the dress and missing out on that double V effect, which I think is quite distinctive. Also, I could have used the outer waist darts instead of the inner ones for the princess seam, making a less dramatic curve, but it didn’t occur to me at the time!
I also added a bit extra to the front waistline, at each side seam.
Here is my second toile, which I was happy with. No more gaping, and the side seam was sitting better.
After that it was all plain sailing. I pinked my raw edges for the first time ever! Even my first projects were at least zigzagged, but this cotton was so floaty and light that I didn’t want to add any unnecessary bulk at all.
I decided on a lapped zipper for this dress, and I’m very pleased with how it looks:
I hand sewed the hem! This is totally uncharacteristic of me, but it just seemed like the right thing to do. Machine stitching would have been pretty noticeable, but my hand stitching hardly shows:
Here’s how the dress looks on Delilah:
And here’s a photo of me and Philip Larkin, at 05:02am in the morning, ready to catch the train to London for the Goldhawk Road meet-up!
I love my new dress! It held up well around London, which is approval enough I think.
Thanks again to Julia for the pattern, and to Jo for the fabric.
This sewing lark kicks ass!