Whew! FINALLY done with this dress!!! I've been working on it for at least 2 weeks, which is a long time for me for something relatively simple. I had zero fit issues, just have been super busy this month. This dress looks a little different from the envelope picture, as I made several design changes. More on that later. The black and white pinstripe is some kind of linen blend, purchased at Hancock's last year for a bias skirt that I never got around to making. The black bottom is a stretch cotton twill, purchased online for a simple skirt. I saw the two together and thought they would pair nicely with this design.
As you can see I changed the sleeves. I really wanted a winter dress, and saw this in my mind's eye with long sleeves and french cuffs. The only pattern I could find with french cuffs was Butterick 4609, which has really blousy upper arms. I laid the Butterick sleeve on top of the Simplicity sleeve and traced the more tapered upper arm onto it. So this is yet another frankenpattern. I sure am found of them lately.
I did have to adjust the pattern a bit to accommodate my square shape. That is a typical change for me.
Here at the side you can see the invisible zipper concealed under the sleeve.
When I started this dress I assumed the collar and collar stand went together. However, this design is for one or the other, not both. I do not like making collared garments without collar stands. I have done so in the past and have never been pleased with how the collar flops over. In order to incorporate the two together, I had to trim 1.5 inches off both ends. I also cut 5/8" off the width of the collar after comparing the pattern piece to other shirts in my wardrobe. It went together nicely and I'm very pleased with the outcome.
As previously blogged about in this post, I borrowed the functioning front opening idea from Trena's review on patternreview.com. This was very simple to do by extending the front facings down to the bottom of the dress top, creating loop closures, and including a modesty underlap so my skin wouldn't show through. I also copied the way she sewed her ruffles down, as I didn't think the puffy ruffle the instructions have you sew would look very good in this fabric.
French cuffs at sleeve bottoms:
Here you can see where I used bias tape to cover the armhole/sleeve seam and front facing edges. It was also used at the side seams because the shirt was fitting a little too tightly and I had to take a smaller seam allowance there. The shoulders and sleeves were sewn with french seams. I decided to line the skirt with black Ambiance for two reasons. One was because as this is a winter dress, I wanted to be able to wear tights/hose and not worry about slips or fabric riding up. The other was that I wanted a nice finish for the inside skirt seams, and sewing bias tape down 6 panels didn't sound like fun.
This is another month with only 3 garments completed. I am just not having the same productivity as last year. When baby girl is born it is sure to drop some more. I always wish I could clone myself and have one of me sitting at the sewing machine to sew up all the backlog I've got. :)
Next up, a lined jacket. I just may do two in a row!