Sunday, 11 March 2012

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies Simplicity pattern 2147

Project #5 - the simple shift dress

Simplicity 2147....Learn to Sew pattern, huh more like Learn to Fix pattern.  A simple mini dress or tunic top.  Listed on the front of the pattern cover is Learn Basic Skills;  cut out a pattern, make pleats, stitch a yoke, apply neck facings, stitch a narrow hem, apply lace trim, make a belt.  They should have added; unless you can make a sack dress look attractive then learn to modify a pattern.  My stating the obvious tip #2 - dont judge a book (or pattern) by the cover.

This is really a very simple pattern made up of 4 pattern pieces (plus the belt).  Great beginner (that would be me) pattern as you go through some basic sewing skills to assemble the pattern.  The big - and by big I mean voluminous - problem with this pattern is the finished dress is like a sack.  You could get lost in all the fabric folds mainly at the back of the dress and I don't know any woman who could make this look attractive.  I am suspicious.....very suspicious...(I'm sure one of them was smirking at me)....of the poses of the models on the pattern cover...hmmm direct to camera and arms in strategic positions to hide, I am guessing, the VOLUMES of fabric that the pleating causes.  A little shaping Simplicity, would have gone a long way.

Not to be defeated - I'm a qualified engineer - I can find a solution to this problem.  For me it was all in the back and it was about 2" of excess fabric from the waist down to the hips.  Solution: the pleats out back have to go.   So armed with my magic sticky tape I let loose on the back pattern piece

Traced onto my professional stock of baking paper and away we go.   End result - have a great little shift dress for wearing around the house, to the beach/pool - who am I kidding, I'd probably wear it anywhere.  Is is it perfect?  Absolutely not, I seriously mucked up my bias binding on the neck line (am guessing my stay stitches shouldn't be visible), the neckline sits a little wierdly on the shoulders (probably because I mucked up the bias binding) and I give the belt a thumbs down (ribbon makes it look way to cutsey for my liking) but its a dress and it looks like a dress and it actually held up in the washing machine. 

Loved my fabric choice - a Michael Miller Sanctuary by Patty Young Seaweed wrap in Sherbert.  Vertical swirly stripes...yeah baby (stating the obvious tip #3 - pear shaped & vertically challenged should never wear horizontal stripes) and it was away from my 'safe' blues/greens.

You can check out my review at Pattern Review, another fellow L-plater sewer Katy has also come up with a creative solution to making this sack into a dress and there are many more reviews of this dress on pattern review.   With only 4 pattern pieces, is a great dress to experiment on.

1.  Dress completed - I officially have a "Made with Love by Sammy" dress in my wardrobe
2. Time Taken - paced myself over a weekend (muslin made Friday night - followed by laughing at myself in mirror, then crying, then some inappropriate comments to the pattern cover, then eating some chocolate to console myself).  Remade muslin Saturday.  Sewed good fabric Sunday.
3. Rating:
Ease of sewing - 5/5
End result - 1/5 for original, 4/5 for the sammy solution
Creativity - 1/5 (my belt was a bust and after all the drama of modifying the pattern the thought of doing something artistic with the dress was too much and there was no way I was applying a lace trim)

Fleetwood Mac title reference: Little Lies, Album: Tango in the Night, By: Christine McVie

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