Thursday, August 9, 2012

Simplicity 2177, Triangle-Insert Border Print Dress

S2177 Thumbnail

The second (and last) project I got done last month during PR's Pattern Stash Contest was Simplicity 2177.  I'd bought this for my sad orphaned Parisian fabric that I bought in 2008 that I just can't find the right project for.  It's a batiste, so it will need underlining, and has an embroidered motif that reads as very wide stripes.  It's a challenge.  I had considered this pattern for it, but in the end decided it wasn't quite right.  Then I got the inspiration to use it as this border print fabric, inverting the border at the bodice's triangle insert to emphasize it and add some balance to the dress.


Source: shefinds.com via Trena on Pinterest

After I'd finished my dress I found this virtually identical J. Crew dress on Pinterest.  The J. Crew's skirt many more and smaller pleats than the Simplicity and the J. Crew's bust darts come from the side seam, rather than the center bodice seam.   But still.  Very similar.

I'm not sure when this J. Crew dress came out--I could only find it referenced in a sale alert post from March 2012 (it's no longer available on the J. Crew website), but I'm guessing it post-dated release of the Simplicity pattern.  Maybe the Simplicity and the J. Crew are both copies of an earlier, designer dress, but the coincidence seems awfully coincidental.




I added more fabric to the shoulders and neckline toward the neck.  I wish I had added a little bit more toward the shoulders as well, which is unusual.  I have narrow shoulders and generally need less coverage there, not more.

Stitch to V

V necklines have not been my strong suit in the past, so I was very precise with my stitching on this one.  It would have been perfect, except that one of the many downsides of not having much time to sew and spending a lot of time on one project is that you make dumb mistakes.  Or at least I do.  Like not interfacing the neckline before sewing in the lining.  Ugh.  Excuse my gaping.  I retrofitted it with strips of interfacing after it was sewn, but it is obviously not the same. 

I used the cap sleeve from Burda 08-2012-133.  In the magazine it looked more like a flap or flange than a sleeve.  Cap sleeves can be somewhat restrictive and the Burda sleeve looked like a better way to get shoulder coverage while retaining full movement.

Cap Sleeves in All Machine Finish

I used my usual all-machine clean-finish bodice lining technique.  It works with cap sleeves to a point.  These are itty bitty cap sleeves and I still had a difficult time pulling all the fabric through the strap tunnel.  I had to use a safety pin to get some grip.  So I won't be trying it with a cap sleeve any more substantial than this one



Bodice Lining


One of the things I like about the design of this pattern is the dart coming from the triangle inset.  It adds enough visual interest that I think this could be a great Little Black Dress (with a more sophisticated skirt); I lined the bodice in black batiste and I think it provides an illustration of this.  The pattern comes with facings, but I prefer a bodice lining to avoid the flapping and flounder of facings.

Odd Dart Placement




That said, the dart placement is weird.  And by weird I mean terrible.  The dart apex ends about 1 1/2 inches above my bust.  I do not have a particularly low bust, and I don't know many people who have a bust that hangs from their collarbone.  It's not really noticeable in my print, but definitely something to keep in mind.

Gapey Back Neck






Unlike Cidell, I am a tryer-on-er as I sew.  As soon as the pieces are in any semblance of assembled I start putting it on and taking it off at regular intervals.  However, when I got near the end of this one I made myself totally finish, including hand-sewing the bodice lining to the skirt.

Add Back Neck Dart






Well, the joke was on me because when I put it on I saw that the back neckline had horrible gaping.  I had to undo all my hand stitching and retro-fit it with back neck darts (sewing it as a fisheye dart continuously from the lining to the fashion fabric), which took care of the gaping.

I did not use the skirt pattern, as the skirt's hem measurement was a little narrower than I prefer for being able to swing my leg over a bike.  I just cut the skirt as a long rectangle and then pleated it in place to my liking, with a center inverted pleat and lining up the second front pleat with the seamline of the triangle insert.  There is only one seam, at center back, the downside of which is no pockets.

Uneven Selvage Print

I bought the fabric for this dress in a department store in Malaysia as a souvenir.  Like African print fabrics, the selvage is decorative so I used it as the hem edge of the skirt.  The selvage print isn't entirely regular, as you can see at the center back seam.  I decided it was better to line up the edges of the fabric than the edges of the selvage print.

7-19-07

During hot summer weather, I end up wearing this dress, Stretch & Sew 1582, just about every weekend.  It's a good quality cotton that dries pretty quickly after sweating through it, it has shape from the elastic shirring but isn't fitted so there is no fabric touching me on most places, and it protects my shoulders from the sun.  I'm getting a fairly sick of it, so I wanted another dress that might work just as well.  Alas, this is not going to displace the favored dress.  The fitted bodice has plenty of ease but it is still cut much closer than that of the favored dress, exacerbating sweating and making it take longer to evaporate.  I'm going to have to suck it up and just make an identical dress out of a different print.

Side










However, on its own merit this is a perfectly lovely dress.  While I was making it I was thinking I'd definitely use the pattern again, but now I'm not sure.  That bodice front dart would definitely have to be moved down significantly and I think the neckline could be lowered just a tad.  I already know where and what size back neck dart it needs so that wouldn't be too much trouble.  The shoulders need to be widened a touch.  It's just a lot of redrafting.  But it might be worth it for the nice style lines.

All photos are here and the pattern review is here.

34 comments:

Tee said...

Very nice, love the color on you.

Clio said...

Nice! I think this would make a great LBD if you could work out the wonky placement of the darts (how bizarre!).

Seraphinalina said...

That's a great dress. I agree the print hides the odd bust dart placement.
I'm a try-r-on-r too. It would stress me out to do everything and find out I could have stitched a seam with a smaller or larger seam allowance to get the fit better.

Adelaide B said...

This is pretty cute. The dart placement should be really easy to solve by either rotating it downward or just moving the whole thing down. Dart placement can be really weird, especially when you get to the larger sizes (grading can seriously distort its position.) It's one of the many reasons I always have to make a muslin.

pella said...

This is a great use of the border print.

prttynpnk said...

I've had this pattern in the 'well, maybe' pile for a long time. Your contrast print in the center is making me really start spinnign ideas. Too cute asn summery!

Nancy K said...

Another great dress. Dresses are so much cooler in the summer.

Venus de Hilo said...

This is a VERY cute dress! Love the blue print you used.

Sigrid said...

Nice dress, I like the insert. Would definitely make a good LBD. Perhaps with an accent (lace, other texture?) on the triangular part?

Andrea B said...

Yup, I've made this dress pattern twice and had major back neckline gaping issues. I don't remember the bust darts being too high, but they definitely need some careful execution or else you have an embarrassing "pointy" issue at hand.

Donna said...

This pattern is on my short list, so I feel lucky to benefit from your review! I know what to expect now a little bit before diving in. Good idea about just lining the bodice instead of making the facings. I hate the flapping too. :)

soisewedthis said...

Love the border print fabric - i want to run out and get some. That stinks about the bust darts being so high, but it still looks cute!

Samina said...

Ooh, me like! What a great fabric & that pattern is very flattering on you. It's pretty & feminine without being overly cutesy.

Vicki said...

Another great dress. Very cute.

Anonymous said...

Even without the Parisian fabric, you've got a stylized Tour Eiffel going on with that pattern! ;) Love it!
Karen in Paris

Trumbelina said...

Really great print, and I like the sleeve you used.

Little Hunting Creek said...

So pretty-I love the print and the way you used it.

Carol said...

I've not seen this pattern before but I really like it. I love your use of the print, too. I'm also quite taken by the J Crew striped version so I'm going to add this pattern to my inspiration list for summer. I wonder if I could put a pegged skirt on this bodice ...

hungrypanda said...

Hi: I read through your tutorial for the stretch&swe 1582 dress modifications on pattern review. I was wondering if you could tell me whether you did the shirring before you assembled the dress or after? And also did you do both the front & back. Basically did you stitch a whole circle (or multiple circles?)
Thanks so much!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Hungrypanda, I did the shirring after the dress was completed. I sewed in continuous circles (moving the fabric down about 3/8 inch between each circle) until it was fitted to my liking. There are about 8 or 9 circles of shirring.

MushyWear said...

These shades of blue are so fresh for a summer dress. The print was a fantastic choice for the pattern. I love the way you used the border for the insert at the top.

Nikki said...

What a lovely dress. The colour really suits you. I reckon you look fab! And it looks so comfy too! The darts are odd, but it doesn't look odd on you, it fits perfectly!

senaSews said...

Beautiful dress, made in a beautiful fabric. Love your fabric layout with the inverted triangle insert

Anonymous said...

Thank you for drawing my attention to this pattern. I think it is very flattering on you. Do you think it could be morphed into a top?

Barbara at Cat Fur Studio said...

Really beautiful. Thanks for your recounting of the journey.

M-C said...

It's a lovely dress, apart from the weird darts (?!?!). Love the print, and the color looks very good on you and summery. But you wouldn't have to line bodices if you simply deepened facings to 2", in fact closer to 6" in center back. Patterns want you to save fabrics, you want facings to stay put, it's not really compatible. But it's your pattern, you always win.

Linda said...

I really like this dress on you. I am glad you got all the adjustments to work for a great fitting dress. Really pretty fabric.

barbara said...

about the dart, peggy sager (sp?) from silhouette patterns recently stated that some designers are designing that feature in. why? she doesn't know. she herself does not do it. but for some reason, having the dart extend to above the apex of the bust is felt to appear more youthful. i have a low bust and have spent my entire sewing life lowering my darts. i can't imagine why anyone would want to end the dart beyond the deepest part of the bust.

allspiceabounds said...

Beautiful job using the border print! That is definitely a little strange about the bust dart (why would anyone design it that way?), but you're right, it's not noticeable on the finished dress. The dress looks great on you - cute and summery. : )

Anne Kelley said...

Pretty and fresh. Beautiful handling!

Elizabeth said...

I like your version better than the J Crew one. The fabric is lovely.

Sewing Princess said...

Love the dress and fabric you chose! Just perfect for summer

T. Sedai said...

Love your dress and the use of the print! The dart placement does seem a bit odd, but in the finished dress photos it looks great, so whatever works I guess?

gwensews said...

Despite the dart issue, that is a cute dress, and border print, as well. It would be worth the time to move the bust dart and make it again, because it is totally cute.