Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Simplicity 2369, Raglan Sleeve Wrap Top and Dress

S2369 Thumbnail

I had never paid any attention to Simplicity 2369, even though it is a knit dress. But then I saw the awesome version that KayY wore to PR Weekend Montreal. Loves the overall flattering shape, interesting sleeves, and wrap look with plenty of room for a belly. I picked it up the next time I hit a Simplicity sale.

For my Turkey Travel Wardrobe, I made the short-sleeved dress out of a poly knit purchased from Fabric Mart in June of last year ($3.49/yd). I ended up liking it so much that when I realized it was going to be cooler than expect, I whipped up a long-sleeved top out of some rayon knit purchased in Hong Kong. I brought both pieces with me. Alas, I was only able to wear the dress once but the top got lots of wear.

Dress Back Top Back



I altered the pattern with my usual small bust adjustment method of shortening the diagonal wrap line, as well as a swayback adjustment. The swayback on the dress looks better than the top, but I think it is the difference in fabric.




I have a grainline question on swayback adjustment, if anyone can help. This little publication from New Mexico State University is an *awesome* capsule resource for almost every kind of pattern alteration. However, they only show a swayback alteration on a skirt. For a skirt, you fold out your wedge at center back below the waistline. The grainline on the skirt is unchanged and waist tilts down at center back. This has worked well for me on dresses with a back waist seam (I've found I don't need to alter skirts for swayback).





However, the back of this dress is cut as one long piece and I don't know where the grainline goes in that instance. Because this is a knit and grain isn't such a big deal, I just split the difference and redrew (well, re-eyeballed) the grainline so that the altered grainline was evenly distributed and neither the top nor the bottom were on the original grainline (which, after the alteration, is now an obtuse angle of about 160 degrees), as crudely demonstrated on the left. But for a woven, I don't know if this is the way to do it. I have a few woven dresses with one piece backs in mind and would like to clear this up before proceeding! It seems like a bad thing to have either the top or the bottom badly off grain, but perhaps it is worse to have both slightly off grain.

Front Gather Detail One of the things that attracted me to this pattern is that there appeared to be plenty of fabric over the belly coming out from under the wrap. It is adequately roomy, but I found that the extra fabric wanted to roll away from my belly over the sides, so I did a touch of hand gathering where it is safely covered by the crossover to make sure the extra fabric stayed where I wanted.

Combined One Piece Sleeve for Top For the dress, I liked the roomy elbow length sleeve, though the proportion was too long for my arm so I shortened by folding out two inches between the cutting line for the short sleeve and the elbow length sleeve. The resulting length and width are flattering, I think. For the top, I didn't want that width, nor did I see the need for a two piece sleeve so I combined the top and bottom sleeve patterns, marking a dart where they diverge at the shoulder, and narrowed to a normal sleeve width. The sleeve looks great and I think it's the first raglan sleeve I've made where the dart apex is actually on my shoulder! (I have narrow shoulders and raglan sleeves can be a pain to alter for that.)

Method to Enclose Strap The only thing I didn't like about the pattern was the method of attaching the tie. You're supposed to sew the long edge and one short edge of the tie, turn inside out, and then just sew right sides together with the wrap edge. It's fine, but the attachment area is wide enough that when you knot the tie it shows a little and I thought there was a better way.

Neatly Enclosed Strap For the top, I completed the bodice as directed, and then took the unsewn tie piece and folded it over the pleated wrap edge of the bodice, right sides together, with the raw edges of the tie facing down. Then I serged the tie to the bodice along the short edge and sewed it for a few inches along the raw edge, using the serger to trim up to the stitching. I used the sewing machine for the long edge because I didn't want to accidentally catch in the bodice. Then I serged the freestanding short edge (the end of the tie) and along the long edge to within a few inches of my original stitching line. Turn the tie right side out through that opening and then hand-stitch to close. The result is a fully enclosed tie that looks a lot nicer than having the seam allowances hanging out.

To finish the necklines, rather than use the facing strip (sooooo much better than a shaped facing as used for wovens, which is what most knit patterns have so kudos to Simplicity) I turned under and twin-needled over clear elastic.

S2369 Top Front I'm really happy I gave this pattern a shot. I think it is flattering for a large variety of body types, and is fairly simple to make. I also like that it's seasonless (once you draft a long sleeve for it). I will have to try the buckle closure at some point.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

28 comments:

Karin said...

I always think of raglan sleeves as being only for inverted triangle-shaped bodies. So, being a regular triangle/pear, I avoid them. But, I love the way this dress looks on you. It is very flattering.

Sheila said...

Both garments look great on you.

McVal said...

I like both too! The print is really nice.

KID, MD said...

I have loved every version of this pattern I've seen and these are no exception! Both fit you so well, and the colors are great on you, particularly that turquoise. I can believe that you have gotten a lot of wear out of that one! I can't wait to sew this one up as soon as I can find my waist again.

Victoria said...

Super cute Lady!!! I love both looks! You know I too have this pattern and have just shoved it to the side. I recently purchased some knits it would be great for. Thanks for the inspiration (wink)!

Myra said...

Very nice, in both versions. You may have to make this a TNT for you.

Audrey said...

Both the dress and top look wonderful on you. Your way of attaching and finishing the tie results in a much more finished look than the pattern method. Thanks for sharing.

MushyWear said...

This is such a great pattern. You chose a beautiful print and the teal-like color suits you to a T. Both versions look fantastic on you! I also want to say thanks for the tip on the tie, as I will be making this again and felt the same as you about the original construction, but didn't go much further to try to figure out a better way.

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

LOVE that coral print!

Little Hunting Creek said...

I love both versions on you - beautiful! Once my new sewing room is finished I need to make one too

Lucy said...

I have a pronounced swayback and swear by the alteration at www.fitthat.com/swayback.htm . Not only does it preserve the grainline, it eliminates the need for a centre back seam! Score!

Adelaide B said...

Very flattering and I love the blue of the top!

Uta said...

I love both versions! They fit great, and I especially love the teal with the brown tones - such a pretty color scheme!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

These are really cute! What a great way to get the full use out of a pattern!

Samina said...

I think both garments look great on you too. I have that pattern in my box & now I'm even more eager to give it a shot.

kbenco said...

Both pieces look terrific. I tried the sway back adjustment written up by Marji here,
http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/sewingclasses/board.pl?t=34787
and to my surprise it worked quite well for a knit dress.

Sigrid said...

Beautiful top and dress. Re your comment on my blog: you should see your work more positive, your solution to solving a problem you encounter is a good one and not very different from mine either. Your sewing is inspirational and original and in my eyes beautifully done too.

Andrea said...

I love both of the versions that you did, and they look fabulous on you. I know your longer sleeve version is going to get much wear since it's gotten colder here. Nice job!!

P.S. I LOVE the wine Burda blazer that you made for your Turkey trip. It is gorgeous!!!! Beautiful job!!!

yoshimi said...

You look super cute in both of them! Thanks for all and tips, your writings are so helpful. I have to get the pattern now...

gwensews said...

Both versions are superb! Oh, this pattern would make a beautiful LBD!

Rebeca said...

The link you gave is good
http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/c-228.html
but this one is better at explaining the sway back alteration
http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/c-228.html
and the best resource I have found is the chapter on sway back adjustment in the book "Fit for Real People" by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto.

Basically, your eye-balling the realignment of the grainline is fine.
If the garment has vertical darts in the back, after slashing out the triangle you will see that the bottom part of the dart has moved. Just redraw the dart, tracing a straight line from the upper point of the old dart (which hasn't moved) and ending at the bottom point of the displaced dart.

But check the literature anyway, this alteration is very interesting.

Congratulations, nice clothes!

Isabelle said...

Fabulous! I especially like the dress. This style looks great on you.

Angela said...

OO... great pieces!!

Eugenia said...

Fabulous dress and top - both look great on you. Great work with the pattern adaptation!

Rose said...

I like both of them, but the coral print in particular is cute and flattering.

Tasia said...

Really cute - I especially like the coral dress! Very flattering style.

amaydak said...

Very nice, both look great on you! Did you sew or serge? I love wear knit fabric but I've never worked with it.

sewabeginner said...

I love the dress! These are flattering on you!