Last week I said I was going to start sewing for myself and I meant it. I've been tired of wearing the same blah stuff day after day and not wanting to spend beaucoup bucks on buying a new wardrobe either. I thought I'd start with a few patterns I already had, but had never actually used. Today is the first dress of my self-imposed challenge:
I used Simplicity 2642. I'd actually bought this for making some post-partum friendly dresses after my daughter was born, but barely had time to sleep let alone sew for myself. I still believe that cottage industry patterns are better thanks to clearer instructions and actual photos, but this pattern was relatively easy to follow. I like that the style is comfortable & flattering to most figures:
I used a fun poplin print I grabbed at Joann's called Sailboats on Waves from the Little Lisette Collection. I really loved the cute paper boats and wavy water lines:
Now let's get to the goods: my review. In the actual results I like the pleating detail of the top and the comfortable elastic back. I also liked the decorative tie front and how the neck tie adds some adjustability. The design works well with solids and small or large prints too. Would I make this dress again? Yes - with some modifications.
First off would be the bodice. I was a bit nervous about how this would turn out (I've got enough unworn self-made outfits in the closet already), so I did a muslin of the bodice and I'm glad I did. The halter front was wayyyyy too wide. Busty or not (and I'm a definite not), it was very open and low-cut. On the actual dress I used the inner lines for the biggest size even though I'm the smallest, so the overlap would start higher. Even then you can still see what I'm wearing underneath, so I've since hand tacked them together about an inch higher. I would also make the bodice about an inch and a half longer so it's a bit less empire-style - from some angles it has a little maternity vibe, which is not a look I care to relive!
I also ignored the length they indicated for the elastic in the casing around the top of the back - it would have been about 4 inches too wide and would have gaped open:
I also had to do away with the built-in pockets. The skirt portion has 2 back panels and a small front panel so the seam lines are right in front instead of at the sides. This meant the pockets were oddly placed too close to the front and were the first thing you noticed about the dress head-on. A big disappointment:( I had to sewed the openings shut and will just skip them all together in the future.
As far as big box patterns go, this one was pretty good and with my few changes on the next one I'll be pretty satisfied. And would you believe that half of these photos were taken by my 9 yr old? He clearly knows how to flatter his mom and her handiwork!