Well, that was an interesting experience.
Take it from me. If you’re not going to bother with a muslin, use a fabric with a heavy print. You would not believe the number of sins my purple flowers are disguising.
Things started easily enough. As documented on Sewing Pattern Review, the only apparent challenge of this dress are the pocket attachments. You’ll rub your brow for a while, but eventually you’ll work it out.
Did you see what I did there? That word – apparent. It speaks volumes. Thank goodness I also noticed a repeating comment on Sewing Pattern Review – that this dress was roomy. But I only noticed that after I’d cut out my pieces and begun sewing.
I’ve always been absolutely meticulous with my body measurements. I don’t try to lie to myself. My documented problems with numbers has an upside – whatever my waist measurement is, it doesn’t make me want to kill myself. Oh yes, the numbers 10, 12, 14, 16 mean something. (I’ve seen all of them other than a ’10’. Even as a pre-adolescent, I don’t think I was ever a 10.) But beyond that? Forget it. It doesn’t translate, I don’t care, and therefore I feel no need to breath in deeply when I feel the cool embrace of a tape measure around my waist.
So, what gives Simplicity 2591? Why do you repay my honesty with baggy excess? By the time it came to sewing up the side seams, I could see that this dress was going to be more like a sack. I took those side seams in massively, but I knew my problems wouldn’t end there. By this stage in my limited experience, I understand that to make a dress fit you can’t simply adjust a side seam. I had to start fiddling with the bodice. This basically meant inserting four new darts and a tuck at the neckline. I think the word ‘dart’ is a bit misleading. It sounds professional and as though I know what I’m doing. I don’t and I didn’t. I put the dress on, pinned where felt appropriate and dragged my sorry behind through the heat back to the sewing machine. If it wasn’t for the print on this dress, it would now be in the bin. No plain fabric or lighter print could hide the awful truth of amateur darts and a seriously under-performing outfit.
Despite all this, I love the Simplicity 2591 with its boat neck and pockets. And I did learn from all that spontaneous darting. It was interesting to see how a tuck here meant a gape there, how a pinch would magic away a crease.
I want to make this dress again at least twice – two sizes smaller. What do you think? A wearable muslin? I’ve teamed it with a leather patent Whistles belt, bought from a charity shop. If I make this dress again, I think it deserves – nay, demands! – one of Tilly and the Button’s marvellous bow belts.
You can see the dress below with the Betty Minisweater I recently finished:
A week after completion, I am still totally in love with this cardigan. Because of the springiness of the knit, you can throw it into a tote bag and it doesn’t crease up. And because it’s such a petite cardigan, you can throw it in a tote bag!
I promised you a photo of the new Birch shawl that I’m knitting. This was daunting to begin with. Keeping a lace pattern in your head for 299 stitches and not fouling up? Phewee. I suspect mistakes are going to happen with this shawl, but do you think I’m working back in that fluffy Rowan kidsilk haze? Unlikely. Look at that colour – isn’t it divine? And I’m settling into the pattern now. It no longer frightens me!
Birch shawl begins
So that’s been my week. How have your projects been coming along? Can you beat the insertion of five dart adjustments to make a bodice work, fuelled only by a wing and a prayer? Really. It shouldn’t happen to a Sewist.