I really love this dress. Really, really love it. I'm not particularly vain, but I will admit that I have spent a fair amount of time looking at myself in this dress, and thinking how much I love it. I love the shape, the fit and the fabric - it's quite a win for something that was originally intended to be a wearable muslin.
The fabric was a duvet cover bought cheaply a few weeks ago to be used to make a muslin. I would normally have just made a bodice muslin for a new pattern, but the fabric pattern grew on me, so I thought I may a well just make the full thing.
The pattern was bought from Etsy a couple of months ago when I bought a different pattern from a seller, and thought I may as well see what else she had since I was paying for the postage from the US. Soon afterwards I wondered why I'd bought it, since it's fairly similar to the Peony dress. But, since I'd kind of fallen out with that pattern, I thought I'd give this a whirl.
The fabric pattern might not be to everyone's tastes but I really love it, especially paired with a red belt. But I think it's the fit that makes the dress. My work friend commented today that it looked like it was made exactly to fit me. And that's a great compliment to receive on an item you've made. After having spent that last 2 years making 36" bust patterns and then taking them in, I made a 34" bust pattern and adjusted for my wide shoulders. I don't know why it's taken so long to figure that one out. The shape of the skirt is also super flattering.
The final version isn't perfect, but it's pretty close. I also managed to put the pockets at the perfect height, and used a bias faced neckline for the first time, which I love.
Here's my review of the project:
Simplicity 4903 from the 1960s. I made view 2, with short sleeves, but left off the little bows at the waist.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?I liked the shape of the neckline and that it seemed like a classic style.
Fabric & Notions
I used a duvet cover for the fabric plus an invisible zip.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made
I added pockets - of course! I put them 2.5" down from the waist. I added my customary 1" to the bodice and also made a wide shoulder adjustment.
Would you sew it again and do anything different next time?
I will be sewing it again as this was technically a muslin. Next time I am adding more room for shoulders and will also lower the armscye a little - during wear I noticed that it was a little high.
Did you use any new techniques?
Yes! Instead of facing at the neckline I used bias tape.
Er, why have I never used this technique before? It's amazing! It worked like a dream and looks lovely and neat. Every time I learn something new in sewing I think it's the best thing ever and that's just how I feel about this.
Would you recommend it to others?
Duvet cover was 99p, zip about £1.50, pattern about £6, thread £1.45 so £9.94 in total.
You know how I feel about it, no need to repeat myself. This weekend I will be making it using this:
Lovely Michael Miller Eiffel Tower fabulousness. I've managed to cut the pattern out with the towers the right way up - phew for that, so am hoping I can just fix the wide shoulder adjustment to my satisfaction.
After reading Tilly's helpful guide on sewing with quilting cotton today, I am now a little wary about adding the sleeves. But forewarned is forearmed so I'm going to give it a go, and if it looks awful I'll make it sleeveless.
I'll leave you with a photo of me and Tilda celebrating the dress....