Finally, photos are taken! I made this dress on a whim the weekend before last to wear to a cocktail party for work the following Wednesday. It had been quite some time since I made a dress, and everything was going pretty well until suddenly it wasn’t. I was up late Tuesday night scrambling to finish, but the dress was completed just in time and I’m pretty happy with it.
|Image from Pattern Review|
I used Simplicity 1610, which is one of the new summer patterns, and I highly recommend it! I chose the pattern because of the basic design, the sleeves, and, above all, the pockets. I’ve worked enough functions, though not quite such fancy ones, in past jobs to know that I want to have a place to stash my badge, phone, keys, and so on. The dress was very straightforward to put together, and the troubles I had weren’t the fault of the pattern at all.
I cut a 10 at the bust and graded to a 12 at the waist, which is normal for me, with no other alterations except that I sewed the back seam with a 3/8″ SA because I was afraid of it being too small. I usually construct dresses so that the side seams are the last to be sewn in order to adjust fit, but since I’ve never set in sleeves with a pivot point like this I didn’t want a bunch of dress hanging down on that step. Next time I’ll sew the regular seam allowance, as this dress is a little too big, but that actually turned out to be a good thing because I can just slip it over my head without a zipper. It’s also super comfortable, and since staff kind of blends into the background at these events, I don’t really care that there’s a bit too much ease.
So, it’s a great dress, and I’m sure I’ll wear it to functions like this all the time. That said, I’m going to try to never, ever sew anything in a satin again. The fabric didn’t look all that shiny in the store next to the other JoAnn satins, but the more I sewed it the shinier it looked and the more I noticed that it shows every little wrinkle, flaw, stitch, and even the pinked edges of the wispy acetate lining that I used as a facing. To make matters worse, even though the bolt said it was 40% cotton, this fabric pressed like 100% polyester. I felt more and more trepidation about the zipper insertion, and as suspected it was a total disaster. I ended up just trying to squeeze into it without a zipper, and thanks to that 3/8″ SA I could. Phew. Even though staff blends in, I didn’t want my dress to look so totally homemade among the attendees’ designer dresses!
I had forgotten how much fun it is to make dresses, but I also forgot how much I dislike sewing under pressure. I’m not one of those people who can whip up a garment in a few hours, and I like to take my time, go slow, and finish things nicely. There will be more of these parties and other events through the year, and I’m looking forward to making a few pretty dresses that are actually well-made!