Sunday, August 24, 2014

Finished Item: Simplicity 1803

So I waited and waited to blog the dress and then....I got a stupid migraine and we didn't go to the wedding. Booooo. While I've taken two naps today and feel slightly better; I'm feeling like tomorrow will be a long day.

ANYWAY; I am always chomping at the bit for a reason to wear a dressy dress. When my husband told me about the wedding I knew I'd be making one - 1) Because...duh. I love to sew! and 2) my "wedding guest" dress fits like this:


No good. 


But it's a cute dress!! 


and it gave me the motivation to choose my fabric for the dress I was going to make!

I hemmed and hawed over the pattern. I needed something relatively easy to sew but still interesting. Fitted bodice but gathered or pleated skirt - so I didn't have to worry about fitting top and bottom. I was going to make a woven and a knit dress and choose between the two but I fell in love with Simplicity 1803 and didn't 'need' the knit dress!

I really wanted to make the view with the cutout but saw a few reviews that stated it gaped and again - no time for fitting/fiddling. I didn't chose bodice C because on most of the views that I saw, the points kind of flopped. Maybe if I make that one I'd interface that area so they would stand up. So, I chose bodice B.

I lowered the bust curve of the princess seam and added 3/4" to the bodice as described in this post. And then I sewed that baby up!




In the post referenced above, I realized after I'd made the front uber neat that I was supposed to insert the straps in the front. Oops! Hey!! They called it a "yoke"! BUT I only had to unpick the width of the straps (plus ~1") so it wasn't too bad. Once I got past that, the rest of construction was pretty smooth sailing.



I was crazy super careful about forming that 'V'. I didn't want any wonkiness. I also decided to just pink that seam instead of serging it. (oh and when taking these pics I realized I never serged the waist seam! hahaha! I will do it when I switch back to white thread in the serger).

Can we stop and behold my invisible zipper?


I mean, srsly. (I crack myself up!)

When I got the dress assembled but before putting the zipper in, I had my husband help me with the final fitting. He may be silly but he is helpful! Him for fitting and DD for photos. My son? Uhmmm...OH! he washes my fabric for me when it comes in! :)

I ended up taking about 1/2" from each side of the bodice, tapering to nothing near the waist seam. I will transfer this adjustment to my pattern.


Let us NOT behold my hand stitching job. I really suck at it! But, the facing is tacked down and it is only on the inside and...


Interestingly enough, I really didn't find the skirt too full at all! I'm starting to wonder if the "too much ease" problem is more an issue for smaller sewers. Because let's face it, if there is less of you, you generally need less ease. I cut a size 16 and that's my "normal" big4 dress size.

To gather the skirt I used 3 rows of basting stitches. 1 row just outside the stitching line in a bright orange (for easy removal) and 2 rows inside. It was STILL really hard to gather all that fabric! But I think the row outside helped and I whined like a baby unpicking those orange stitches. Part of that is that my machine's longest stitch ain't all that long.

Let us also behold my blind hem:


Another skill that I'm really improving on with each time I do it!

Finally, I tried it with a couple of skinny belts and none of them were quite right - white, black and neutral. So I cobbled together a belt from the scraps of fabric I had left.



**Special shot out to FabricMart for sending me 1 yard and 33 inches of fabric on a 1.5 yard order! Woot!! Fabric is Maggie London 100% cotton sateen

In the side and back view I'm wearing the belt. It pretty much disappears but I still think it helps with definition. 

So because I lurve this dress so; I will be making a couple more. I will use this one with the cutout for my LBD and I have a navy w/white polkadots. I mean, it's an awesome dress!

Future adjustments: 
Take a 3/8" wedge from the center front pattern piece (it will lie flatter against my chest then)
Remove some of the length added to the back. I will do a wedge because I need the extra length for the front.

51 comments:

  1. Beautiful dress! You really are improving tons with your techniques :D I'm sorry about your migraine :( they are the freaking pits and sure like to pop up out of the blue. I've been laid up too - either my back or a kidney stone. the doctors can't decide. . . sigh. I hope you are coming out of it soon though, my head hurts for you!

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    1. Thanks Kristin! OUCH. Hope you are on the mend soon (kidney stones...blech!)

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  2. Gorgeous dress! It's a bummer that you didn't get to wear it for your intended event.

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  3. Wow it looks great--very profesh!
    Is your whole living room your sewing room? That's something I never considered doing....switching my sewing room and my living room!

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    1. Thank you Kyle!

      Yes. I took over the living room! We'd lived here for a year without using this room at all. And I said, why not? It's bright, it's large and it has hardwood floors!

      If we buy furniture for it, I'll move back downstairs but until then...it's MINE! :)

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  4. You look beautiful in that dress! The fabric is just gorgeous.

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  5. Wow, that is a beautiful dress. And invisible zipper! Sorry to read that you're not feeling well and missed the wedding. I hope you feel better soon.

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    1. Thanks Graca! Yesterday evening was much, much better.

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  6. The first dress is so pretty! But the second dress, even more so. I'm sorry you didn't feel well, and get to wear it. I'm sure you will find another occasion.

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  7. Love the fabric --very summery and oh-so pretty! Hope you feel better and your hubby takes you out to dinner in this dress!

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    1. Thanks so much! I told him he has to take me out now :)

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  8. Both of your dresses are adorable. The prints are very pleasant and the fit of the second dress is spot on. Hope you feel better soon!

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  9. Just gorgeous! It looks like a great TNT dress pattern for you.

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    1. Thanks Robin! I'm pretty excited to sew a couple more versions.

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  10. It is a very pretty fabric and a great fit. So sorry you didn't get to make the wedding.

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  11. It is too bad you didn't get to wear it to the wedding-- you just need to make sure that dress comes out for an awesome date night soon! :) You did a beautiful job and it looks like it fits beautifully.

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  12. so sorry that you missed the wedding, Hope your feeling 100 percent , real soon.. Your dress is gorgeous. Looks great on you.. Perfect fit. perfect fabric..

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  13. You look great in that dress - beautiful work! I don't get the "too much ease" problem either. I often have to add some ease, especially at the waist, but even my thin daughter doesn't end up with too much ease. I wonder if it is because people are making the wrong size? I use Nancy Zieman's method of choosing the size that fits in the neck and shoulders. If those fit, it is relatively easy to add or subtract at the bust, waist or hip.

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    1. Thanks Angela!

      Yeah, I'm not sure what it is...but I've come dangerously close to choosing a smaller size after reading "there's too much ease".

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  14. So pretty! Too bad you didn't have a chance to wear it. But, well, as may have been mentioned on another sewing blog - sew the garment and an event to wear it will arise. At least you will be prepared for the next wedding that comes along!

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    1. Thank you! Yes. I will be ready for the next semi-formal type of event!

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  15. I'm sorry about the migraine, nasty things. Your new dress though is gorgeous - and you can wear it anytime, I think! With ease, I think people are used to really tight clothes, probably a size too small, and when they finally have a garment that skims and flatters, might think "too big". And perhaps some people don't get the concept of design ease .

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  16. Gorgeous on you & great job. Love your invisible zip installation :-)

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  17. Lovely dress on you. Pity about the wedding. I agree with your comments about ease - I don't find that there is too much and often have to add more. Especially at the top of my hip, not that far below my waist and like you, I often have to do a sway back wedge - but after lengthening the pattern and dropping the bust apex.

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  18. I hate those migraines, not fun to go through I know. Your dress is lovely!!!!! Fit is very flattering. A beautiful fabric.

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  19. That dress is gorgeous! And I love that fabric. I get migraines, too. Finally started taking Imitrex, and it works well for me (and my daughter). Sorry you missed the wedding, so I hope you get to wear that dress out of the house sometime soon!

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  20. So sorry you missed the wedding. Your dress is on point. Beautiful!!

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  21. This dress looks beautiful on you!

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  22. You look gorgeous in your new dress. Sorry about your migraine :(

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  23. This fabric is so perfect for this dress, and it looks absolutely wonderful on you! Hope you're feeling much better after your weekend of migraine.

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  24. It's beautiful! Perfect fabric and fit.

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  26. This zipper and hem you speak of, there is no stitching there. I think you magic'd it.

    Good magic there! And navy / white dots polka fabric? Oh most certainly, the most potent of fabrics. Your magical powers will multiply.

    Yup, going with that explanation. Totes, as my kids say.

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  27. That dress is beautiful and you look great in it. Love the fabric so feminine!

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  28. What lovely fabric. You look like an english garden. And that blind hem? Like someone else said, magic. Here's to a dress that zips up!

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  29. Cute dress! And you've achieved a great fit! Hope you're feeling better. Must have been the weekend for it. I went to bed curled up in a fetal position Sunday evening with a headache. Just popped up out of the blue like "Hey girl!" LOL!

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  30. Beautiful, feminine dress. You look gorgeous. Fabulous job with that invisible zipper and blind hem too!

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  31. I was trying to respond to every comment but kept getting interrupted.

    THANK YOU EVERYONE! :-)

    I really love the dress and WILL find an occasion to wear it! And by Tuesday I was feeling like my ol dself :)

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  32. Great job on the dresses! They are beautiful.

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  33. Glad to hear you're feeling better -- migraines are awwwwwwful :( Really lovely dress, loving how proud you are of your handiwork -- as you should be!

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  34. Very nice dress. I love the colors.

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