The “Really Not Sew Simple” Pull-Over Dress
- Fabric: 2m poly charmeuse = $8
- Pattern: Simplicity 1989 = $1.99 + Simplicity 5823 ($0)
- Notions: thread
- Time to complete: 5 hours due to recutting sleeves and back
- First worn: October 24th for photos and to work
- Wear again: Perhaps, but only in cool, damp weather (poly is too hot for Montreal summers and too static-y for Montreal winters)
- Total cost: $9.99
- Pantone Fall 2012 colours: close enough that I’m going to call them Honey Gold (15-1142), Tangerine Tango (17-1463), and French Roast (19-1012).
It was supposed to be a simple project this week ladies. I had my family visiting, my son’s birthday parties (yes, parties) to handle, a book signing with my favourite cookbook author / world adventurer, Naomi Duguid and a cold. (Of course, my workmate also had this virus, but he called in sick for three days with “a severe throat infection”. sigh……..#mancold) I also wanted to save some sewing energy for my super awesome kick ass costume next week!
I bought this psychedelic fabric on my birthday shopping spree last year. It was a cold, rainy day and most of the shops weren’t yielding anything interesting. Even thought these aren’t “my colours” and I usually avoid poly charmeuse like the plague, I loved the deep rich tones and the vaguely Art Nouveau print, so I bought 3m and called it a day. I figured I would use it for draping a long maxi dress at some point. And there it sat for 1.5 years, with only the occasional stroking. You know how it goes.
This is an out of print Sew Simple pattern with three pattern pieces (four if you count the tie belt), and I think I know why it went OOP. I had to use the sleeves from Simplicity 5823 because the ones provided were very skinny and oddly shaped. Look closely at the pattern envelope photo and you can see even on the model, there isn’t enough ease and they pull across the front. I could barely lift my arms! These slightly flared sleeves worked much better, although they were a b**ch to insert, and the charmeuse wouldn’t ease no matter how hard I tried. Meh, what’s a little excessive sleevecap gathering between friends? I also made facings for the neck because working with charmeuse bias tape would be like snake wrangling, and pre-made tape as they recommended would be the wrong weight. I also top stitched around the neckline because the poly facings wouldn’t lay flat with an understitch alone. Based on the flat measurements, I pinched an inch out of the front pattern piece before cutting, but I also should have added some width to the back, because I had to let out the seam across the middle back to allow for some ease of movement. Maybe it’s me; maybe it’s a badly drafted pattern. The jury is still out.
I did make one snafu: I cut the back piece on the fold without pinning the two layers of fabric together first. I thought I had lined up the print perfectly, but this slippery character must have shifted. When I went to sew the back pieces, I saw this:
My OCD senses were tingling. I couldn’t walk around knowing the back print was and inch off, and luckily I had enough extra fabric to recut.
If I had made this dress in an easy natural fibre without having to match a large scale print, it would have been a “Sew Simple” 2 hour dress, but leave it to me to complicate the matter. On the other hand, a simple pattern like this one is the perfect backdrop for a difficult print and fabric. Next week: cotton!
In keeping with my tradition, I’ll leave you with an out take: jumping up and down between poses to try and warm myself. It was 2C this morning with light frost. Brrrrr!