Monday, January 9, 2012

Christmas Dress for my Eldest: Simplicity 3588

Having 2 girls requires making 2 Christmas dresses.  It would never do to only make a dress for one of them.  I had great inspiration for a dress for my youngest (see here), but was short on ideas for my eldest.   When the clock started ticking down toward Christmas, I had to bite the bullet and make a decision.  I downloaded and printed out Simplicity 3588.  I made View D with short sleeves and contrast bands at the waist and neckline.

For fabric, I chose a purple-y cotton with pink spirals/flowers fabric I found in the remnant pile (literally a pile on the floor) of my favorite fabric shop. I had had good luck in the past with the remnant pile: I found cool pink tie dye fabric for my first Sorbetto, and it was great.  This time, however, luck was not with me.  After washing and ironing the fabric, I found some small tears in the fabric (ugh) which required some creative cutting.  Even then I wasn't careful enough.  One of the sleeves I cut out also had a tear.  Thankfully there was enough left for me to squeeze out a new sleeve.  There was also a small tear in one of the skirt pieces, but I had no choice except to leave it.  For the contrast at the neck and waist, I used a pink poplin.

This is how it came out:

My daughter was very happy with it, but for  It's not my favorite.

One problem I had was with the sleeves.  There was way too much ease at the top of each sleeve to fit into the arm scythe.  There were pleats on the sleeves and I made 2 of them extra deep to take up the extra fabric.  As a result, the sleeves are a little puffier than I would like.  I also thought my contrast fabric was too bright, and it detracted from the main fabric.

I'm not sure why my sleeves were so puffy, but apart from that, I think the pattern was fine.  I'd really like to try View B with the Asian-style collar.  If I do, I will NOT use fabric from the remnant pile.  :)

Here's the official review:

Simplicity 3588
Pattern Description:  Girls Dress or Jumper with bodice variations.  I made View D with short sleeves and contrast bands at the neckline and waist.

Pattern Sizing: Girls 3-8.  I made a 6 in the bodice and an 8 for the length.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done with it?  Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?  Yes

What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern?  I chose this pattern for the bodice variations.  I've become rather frugal with my pattern purchases and like to have truly different variations in the same pattern envelope.  It's more cost effective for me.   For some reason my sleeves had a lot of extra fullness.  I'm not sure how that happened, but to fix it, I made larger pleats, which made the sleeves too puffy for my taste.

Fabric used: Cotton for the dress, and poplin for the contrast

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made?   As I mentioned, the sleeves had extra fullness in them which I took out by making deeper pleats on the sleeve.  Unfortunately this made the sleeves look extra puffy which I didn't like.

Would you sew it again?  Recommend it to others?  I'd like to try View B with the Asian-style bodice.  I would recommend it with the caveat of perhaps trimming down the sleeve cap to avoid extra puffiness.

Conclusion:  It's not my favorite creation, partially because of my fabric choices (I think the contrast is too bright), and I'm not a fan of puffy sleeves, but my daughter loves it.  Hey, kids grow, so I won't have to look at it forever! :)

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