Another go at Simplicity 2442

The last couple of months have been defined by repeating patterns. I have been known to repeat but not as frequently as I currently am. Given my lack of time and energy, I've been turning to patterns that are easy to make and only need a few tweaks. Today I have my second version of Simplicity 2442 to share. 

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I love my first version but sadly it isn't suitable for the office. As I'm still struggling for clothes I can wear in a warm office during the summer, I decided to make another version. To make this suitable, I raised the neckline by 1.5cm. The fit is good, it less revealing and I'm much more comfortable wearing it without a slip or cami underneath the bodice. I think I need to raise it a smidge more for me to be fully comfortable and this is something I'll bear in mind if I make a third. 

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Style wise, I left out the gathers at the waist. This is mainly because I squeezed the dress out of 2m. I also felt it would be more flattering in black. The fabric is a viscose from The Cheap Shop in Essex. It was easy to sew with although it frayed a lot. The bodice is lined in a black poly lining from my stash. I didn't have enough to line the skirt so I'm relying on a half slip to maintain my dignity - the viscose is a little sheer. I chose a lapped zip rather than an invisible one. Lapped zips are quickly becoming my favourite zip insertion - they look so clean and neat. 

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I've worn this dress twice since completion, and both on warm days. The dress is surprisingly cool, very comfortable and feels flattering even after a 14 hour work day. Win! I'm sure that with tights and a cardi, I will be able to wear this dress all year round. Double win! I think this pattern may just become a TNT and it is a great feeling that I'm developing a shortlist of trusted patterns. 

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The repeats continue as I'll be sharing another soon from a different pattern I've recently finished stitching. Do you find repeat makes boring or inspiring? 

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! 

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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.