This is my second make of the Simplicity 1882, using Nano Iro double gauze fabric from The Village Haberdashery. Annie, owner of this online shop, kindly offered me a metre of this as a gift, but I knew a metre wouldn’t be enough for what I wanted to do, so we settled on three metres at a discount. The agreement was that I’d make something from the fabric to show you all.
I then sat on my backside for three months. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I knew I needed to give myself time to think around this very beautiful fabric with its very large print. It needed just the right pattern. Then I made a test run, my Teases in Teal dress. In between, life became very busy. But I’m here eventually, and I hope it was worth the wait! I used up every last scrap of those three metres.
Why did I think Simplicity 1882 was right for this print? I felt I needed a construction that used several smaller pieces ie that would break up the print a bit. A shift dress or circle skirt would run the danger of me looking like I was wearing a pair of curtains. But I’m not, I’m wearing a truly luminescent double gauze. I love the fact that my final make only platforms one gloriously huge tulip over my skirt front! I also really like how the print performs on the rear of this dress:
Double gauze is two thin layers of gauze that are sealed together with stitches at regular intervals that ‘swap’ between both layers of fabric. It’s a loose weave, perfect for breathable summer makes. It’s also very cosy and warm which, I believe, also makes it perfect as an autumn dress with tights and a cardie.
On my particular double gauze the rear layer is white, which gives the top layer a wonderful glow. It also means that construction details are extremely easy to photograph!
Every seam was overlocked to within an inch of its life. (If you’re overlocking two seams together, as I have, you should feel certain that your fabric is fine enough to stand up to this potential bulk.) My overlocker has, with no shadow of a doubt, been one of my best sewing investments. It’s at the affordable end of the range, but if ‘affordable’ still feels expensive to you at this time of year, remember this: I paid for my overlocker by collecting pound coins and 50ps in a glass jar. You’d be surprised how they add up!
The photo on the right shows how I bring my last few stitches on a dart tip really close to the edge. This helps avoid a bubble – a tip I learnt from Beth of Sunny Gal Studio. Thanks, Beth! I have to say, though, darts really melt away under the iron with double gauze. It’s a very user-friendly fabric!
My practice make took me about three weeks to put together. This dress took me a weekend. Why?
- I’d, you know, practiced! This was the third time of construction, so the stages were familiar.
- I’d adjusted the pattern pieces on my first go, so I felt confident the dress fitted. A lot of time was saved by not scrambling in and out of this make, during construction!
- I didn’t line this version. It felt a crying shame to put shivery cold lining fabric between myself and the warm touch of this double gauze.
- The fabric was just much easier to work with, not having the drape of my crepe. (I’m a poet, and I don’t know it.) I didn’t have to interface the pocket sections on this version.
- I knew where the sticking points were. Specifically, the sleeve insertion! This time, I graded the sleeve pieces down two sizes and adjusted the method of construction. They each went in first time. I could have wept with gratitude!
One point I should mention on both this and the previous make – my walking foot really came in useful. At stages, on this dress, you can be sewing through several layers of fabric – specifically around the pocket pieces and the collar. A walking foot makes life much, much easier.
I really like this dress. Can you tell!
Thanks, Annie, for the opportunity and your patience! I’m curious, readers. Do you prefer the print version or the teal version? Shall we have a poll? Don’t worry, it’s virtually impossible to offend me and I love both makes, so there’s no right or wrong answer, only fun answers!