Monday, March 19, 2012

Simplicity 2424: Green Paisley Dress

Sometimes when looking for the next thing to make, I decide on a pattern, and then check the stash for some fabric.  This time I had chosen Simplicity 2424 Threads Collection Dress.

My initial thought for fabric would be some light blue "trouser material" (one of my issues here in India is that I really don't know what I'm buying other than it should be made into trousers).  I purchased this fabric as a pre-cut piece.  Here that means 1.3m of 60" wide fabric (Love how they mix metric and imperial measurements) for a pair of trousers.  For the life of me, I don't see how on earth they can squeeze a pair of pants out of so little fabric.  Granted many Indian men are very very thin, which could explain things, but when I try to squeeze my pattern pieces onto 1.3m of just ain't happening.  This curvy girl needs more than the standard "trouser piece".  When I go into shops and try to buy 1.5m or 2m of fabric for trousers, the men in the shop look at me like I'm totally nuts.  My expression to them probably mirrors theirs.  So I had this light blue, medium weight, trouser fabric and since I can't make pants from it, thought I'd try to make this dress.  To further economize fabric, I could make the neck band in a contrasting fabric (white, navy, etc).

To double check my yardage, I laid out all of my pattern pieces on the fabric.'ll just fit.  Good thing I'm not very tall.  Before cutting, I let the plan stew in my mind, realizing that I would have to go shop for a contrasting fabric for the neckline.  Then it hit me:  a light blue dress with a white collar would be a little dull.  I'm not dull.  I need pizzaz!  What else can I use?  Ah HA!  The crazy green paisley cotton and the (already purchased) matching dark green poplin!  Yesss... I would still only be able to squeeze the dress out of my 2m of 45" wide fabric.  So I muslined.

I started with a 14 at the bust and graded out to an 18 at the hip.  Since it was a princess seam dress, I only needed to add a little bit to each piece.  With my muslin stitched up, I decided to tweak through the torso and hip and make it a little more fitted.  I also lowered the neckline about an inch, since it seemed pretty high.

Then I went ahead and cut out my paisley fabric.  As luck (or bad luck) would have it, there was a small flaw in the fabric right on the front below the neckline.  Soooo....I decided to lower the neck band another 1".  I had to cut another neck band because it would need to be longer to make up for the fact that it starts lower.  I also lowered the armholes.  Lowering the neckline hid the flaw but I should have tried it on once more before sewing up the whole she-bang: the armholes were still a little high (perhaps my neck band should have been made even longer), and it looks like the neckband migrated back up a bit.

I am definitely getting better at inserting invisible zippers.  This one went in so well!  I think it was the first time I have ever NOT ripped out stitches and resewn!

Here is the final version:
I need to iron that hem!

On a positive note, I can actually take the dress in a bit more.  I finished sewing it back in December, and my New Years foray into the South Beach Diet, has yielded some good results and the dress is now a little big though the waist and hips!

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