Saturday, 18 April 2015

Simplicity 2442: the determination dress

Hello, everyone! Today I have a dress to share with you. With the sun starting to shine a little more frequently I have fully turned my attention to spring sewing. Spring sewing means one thing to me - dresses! I adore summer dresses especially as they don't (always) need tights. 

This dress is Simplicity 2442 and I came very close to not sharing it as I made it in the depths of my mind fog of March when I was trying to get back some of my self confidence and needless to say it isn't one of my best but I figured the outside looks good enough to share! 

Simplicity 2442

I debated about this pattern for a while - I was sure that I could see some promise in the line drawings but couldn't quite get past the awful pale blue satin the model is wearing. The final push came when Simplicity got in touch about their blogging circle and offered me a pattern. Despite the satin, I chose to continue the pale blue theme and used the sky blue and white polka dot nylon that I picked up in Croatia a couple of years ago. I say it nylon tentatively as the burn test was inconclusive. The fabric is quite crisp, creases fairly easily and is a major static generator but it was easy to work with despite some fraying and permanent pin holes. I chose to fully line the dress (the pattern only calls for the bodice to be lined) with a white cotton silk from Goldhawk Road for the lining. 

Simplicity 2442

I didn't alter the pattern much except for grading out for the waist and taking off a whopping 7cm from the hem. My toile did reveal another alteration I should have made but I completely forgot about it when it came to make the real thing as I was absolutely set on making a finished item that I didn't really care how it turned out. I should have raised the neckline by a centimeter or two and stabilised it with twill tape. At the moment is too low and floppy and the first time I work I pinned it to my bra it ensure it didn't move! It looks ok in the photos but I'm very conscious of this area while I'm wearing the dress. 

Simplicity 2442

While there are a lot of pattern pieces and a bit of preparation, this dress comes together fairly easily and quickly. I threw this pattern together in a haphazard way (the inside backs up this statement) and I still found it ok. The hardest part is the gathering of the midriff. Getting a even gather across the three pieces is tricky. Each piece has three or four stitching lines to help bring the fabric together. The ones near the seam line are easy to work with while the ones in the middle are more difficult. I also had a little trouble with inserting the invisible zip with the bulk the gathering brings but I managed to get it to line up perfectly. 

Simplicity 2442

Despite its flaws, I quite like this dress. Overall, the fit is spot on and it definitely speaks to the arrival of spring. I'm very tempted to try this pattern again, complete with alterations and a pretty inside, in a more soft and floaty fabric. What do you think?

Disclaimer: the pattern was provided by Simplicity free of charge as part of their Sewing Blogger Circle but all opinions are my own. 

21 comments:

  1. This dress looks lovely Claire - perfect for summer! I wish I could get away without tights in the summer, but every office I've worked in has always had the air con cranked up so it's not possible!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. We don't have that problem with the air con - we can be lucky and just get a breeze from the window!

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  2. Hi Clare - this is a really fresh looking dress for Spring and Summer and I particularly love the neck line, which I have to say you have sewn beautifully. Soft and floaty - why not, it would be perfect for a Summer afternoon party and I could imagine tripping about on a green lawn sipping a glass of bubbly wearing the perfect dress - coming back down to earth I agree it would look great in a floaty material!!

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    1. Now I just have to make another one! That image is too good to pass.

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  3. Was it tricky doing the middle bit - it looks complicated to me! Perfect for these lively sunny days we are having.

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    1. The way to make them is relatively simple but getting even gathers using the middle stitching lines was fiddly.

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  4. The dress looks beautiful and I love your fabric :) have you considered wearing a white vest under the dress? I think it could look cute when it's peaking out. And yes, I would like to see another version! You really tempt me to buy the pattern as well (hope you wouldn't mind) especially because I'm only indie patterns at the moment.

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    1. I haven't yet put a vest underneath but will see how it looks. The dress is wearable - just not to work! I think this pattern would suit you.

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  5. I've found that sewing can really help when your head is "troubled" (shall we say?), but it doesn't always yield the best results. So, this is a great dress, considering!!! Very pretty and summery, and definitely worth making again, I would say.

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    1. Thanks, Helen! I'm coming round to making another version and just need to check if I have the fabric in my stash.

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  6. This is gorgeous! I love the gathering at the waist, and the curved detail at the front shoulders (I can't think of a better way to discribe it!). I'm so with you on making summer dresses at the minute. Yey to Spring and the possibility of no tights!

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    1. The curved shoulder detail is a lovely detail of this pattern. Glad to hear you're stitching for spring too!

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  7. It's very pretty but let's be honest - I love everything with polka dots on it :D The gathering is such an interesting detail and you handled it very well!

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    1. Thanks, Ola. Polka dots always make life better.

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  9. ooh Claire that's lovely! Definitely perfect for work with a few tweaks!

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    1. Thanks, Hannah. There will be a work friendly version soon!

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  10. Great job. Yes, I like your material better, unless you're going to your first dance
    I was thinking of making this with some alterations. I LOVE the way the bodice is - the draping twists and the sleeves (I hate sleeves so always look for something of interest and this is close to the best.
    My question to you is since I'm thinking of changing the skirt part, I would want to do away with the gathers at the waist and keep it simpler.
    you've made the dress. Does this seem possible?

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    1. You absolutely could skip the gathers. The middle is made from two pattern pieces - the lining without the gathers and the front with gathers. You could easily use the lining piece for the outside too. Good luck!

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  11. Great job. Yes, I like your material better, unless you're going to your first dance
    I was thinking of making this with some alterations. I LOVE the way the bodice is - the draping twists and the sleeves (I hate sleeves so always look for something of interest and this is close to the best.
    My question to you is since I'm thinking of changing the skirt part, I would want to do away with the gathers at the waist and keep it simpler.
    you've made the dress. Does this seem possible?

    ReplyDelete

Do you have thoughts about this post? If so, please leave a comment - I really appreciate them! I read them all and try to reply as much as possible.

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