Thursday, January 17, 2013

Simplicity 2337, Side Gather Princess Seam Crossover Dress


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Trina Turk Ruched Ponte Dress, $328

This look is fairly popular in RTW, and I've made a couple of pieces with these side pleats, notably my red Simplicity 2053 (and Butterick 5672 in a knit). However, in past projects the pleats have not quite worked, being too poofy over the stomach and emphasizing rather than disguising it.  Simplicity 2337's pleats are contained by the princess seams, so they do not radiate over the entire front of the dress.  It turns out that is the key to wearing this style for me.  When they are the entire width of the front there is too much room for them to open up over the belly.  Over a narrower area, they are contained and stay put.













I wasn't sure if the denim would end up looking dated, but this collection of denim dresses convinced me otherwise.



Notches on Front/Side Front Pattern Error





There is a printing error on the pattern.  What appears to be the lower bust-matching notch on the side front is actually the position of the small dot, which indicates where the crossover front edge is matched.  The lower bust-matching notch is just missing.  However, I didn't have any trouble getting the bust right (which is partly due to my small bust adjustment--you can see the pencil marking where I shaved off some width).


Tailor's Tacks





I used tailor's tacks to mark the joining point for the crossover at the front princess seams.  The matchup was easier than I expected it to be and didn't require any fussing or adjustments.


Pinned Together-Front
Pinned Together-Back


I normally fit as I go, but this dress was tricky.  The neckline has to be finished before the front princess seams can be sewn, because the finished neckline is caught into the seam.

This sort of negates the purpose of princess seams, which are so great for fitting.  So I had to actually pre-check the fit before sewing together.  *gasp*

I pinned it together and I determined that other than a gaping back neckline, the fit was close enough that any final adjustments could be made at the side seams.  I ended up taking it in quite a bit at the waist and a little at the hips, but in the end the fit is really great.

Neck Darts

Before cutting, I did the small bust adjustment by shaving off some curve on the side front bust and shortening the front crossover by about 3/4 of an inch.  I did a broad back adjustment and, as mentioned, I added neck darts to deal with the gapey back neck.

Bias Tape to Finish Neckline






Because I was sewing with a fairly beefy denim (purchased in NYC when I went there in November--I have a lot of confessing to do), I used bias tape finish to the neckline rather than a facing, which would have been very bulky.

This pattern's one downside is that it would be very difficult to line in the front crossover version,  The front neckline must be finished before the princess seams are sewn, and the finished neckline is sewn into the seam.  Therefore, the lining would have to be caught up in the front princess seam, at least for some distance.  So you have a lining that is either not free floating and could distort your fashion fabric in wearing, or a very ugly inside.  I think the best solution would be an underlining.

Neckline closed above zipper




I have been really dissatisfied with the tops of my invisible zippers lately.  I cannot get a nice straight-across look for the life of me.  Since the neckline here is large enough to pull over my head, I installed the zipper a few inches below the neckline, closed the neckline up above the zipper, and then finished it with the bias tape. Apparently, this has been a chronic problem because I wore my double-faced wool Burda 10-2011-123 wrap dress the other day and realized I'd done that zipper/neckline the same way, presumably for the same reason.

Back






I really need to give up on backs without a waist seam.  A waist seam will be less noticeable than wrinkling, I think, even if it seems somewhat weird. This is with a very generous swayback adjustment, btw.



Pleat Closeup










The pleats are not quite in the place I need them; it would be great if they were moved down by one.  I'm not sure if I will undertake that or not.  Or perhaps the fact that the pleats aren't over the tummy is why this looks good?

This was supposed to be a closeup of the cuff, which I took from vintage Simplicity 6110.  You can sort of see it.





Front


We were having an unusual fog when these photos were taken.  DC's reputation is that we are living on a swamp, but we really don't get fog that often, and certainly not all day fog.  So the lighting is weird and I feel emphasizes the wrinkling of the denim.

I know it sounds like a cop-out to say the dress looks better in person than in photos, but trust me, this dress is DYNAMITE in person.  When I finished my first thought was, "OMG, I can't wait to make another one of these!"  Perhaps my splurge Julie's Pick fuschia wool fabric from Fabric Mart?

 All photos are here and the pattern review is here.











39 comments:

badmomgoodmom said...

I think it looks fantastic in your photos.

pella said...

This really is the style for you. It looks great, and the fit is spot on. Good tip on the zip end finish, by the way. (I don't think a back waist seam would be noticeable if you went for that solution next time, but the back problem doesn't detract from the dress as it is - in movement it would not show at all) To line, I'd go for cutting a separate pattern, same neck etc but bog standard princess seams and no drapes.

Reethi said...

I love this dress! The pictures make the dress look pretty fantastic!

Peggy's Closet said...

This is a really sharp dress, and very flattering too!!

Marita said...

Hence the back, I like it very much and I must agree that this is really a very nice style for you, also in red????

Lynn said...

Great dress! Love the pleats coming from the princess seams, and the cuffs are awesome! Looks wonderful on you!

Fiona said...

The dress looks lovely, and it suits you beautifully.

crystalpleats said...

I like all the design details in this dress. It looks great and then denim fabric is fantastic.

Little Hunting Creek said...

This looks great on you; make another one :)

McVal said...

That IS a great style on you!

Uta said...

You had a brilliant idea to make this in denim. Very chic and a bit edgy!

Adelaide B said...

Yeah, this is great. Not a big fan of the denim dress, but this style makes it cool. Great decision.

countrygirlcouture said...

Wow! This dress is a stunner, and I definitely think you need to make another one! :-)

Amanda S. said...

Great look!

a little sewing said...

I love it - and the tucks in the front are super flattering. I like that you used denim, too. It can probably be dressed up or down? Nice!

Dana said...

Love this in the denim!

T. Sedai said...

I love this dress! I think the style is fantastic for you. You should totally make another one in a bright color - it would look amazing!

Shelley Hesson said...

So flattering and beautiful. Definitely go for the fuchsia wool!!!

twotoast said...

Lovely dress - looks very cute!

Summer Flies said...

Wow, it looks great in the photos so I can imagine it is dynamite in person. Great dress.

Lynneb said...

Actually Treena, it looks pretty dynamite in your pictures, too! Great frss, very flattering. Interesting thoughts on those front pleats. I will keep that in mind the next time Ido a dress with those pleats.

liza jane said...

I love denim. Love it. I agree that the pleats are really flattering this way. I like that they are contained in the princess seams. Very nice!

Faye Lewis said...

Love the dress Trina, and the location you chose for your photo shoot.

Donna said...

That's a beautiful silhouette on you!

desiderata said...

I don't know what you mean, this dress looks BOMB on you in these pictures! In fact, you've convinced me to try making it... I was worried it would look boring from the envelope illustrations!

Carol said...

I love this dress in this fabric. I have a Vogue pattern with a gather into a princess seam but I can't remember if it has a back waist seam or not. It comes in a cowl version, too. Thank you for reminding me about darts at the back neck. That will solve a problem I've just had with another pattern!

AllisonC said...

I'm always drawn to this style of dress too, and I think you are spot on with your observation that the pleats work better going into a princess seam, I'll have to dig into my pattern collection. So needless to say, I love your dress, it really looks like such a great fit on you too.

CindyB said...

I think this is THE most flattering thing you've made in the year I've been reading your blog. You look gorgeous.

Myrna said...

It must be absolutely amazing then because it looks pretty darn good in the picture. Fabulous style for you. Very flattering on.

Macska said...

Great dress! I love the style, the pleats with the princess line looks great on you.

Mrs. Micawber said...

Cute cute cute! Awesome fit, and I love the perky cuffs. I think the pleats are in just the right place.

(That model in the orange dress looks just like a Barbie doll. What is it like to have legs that are 8 feet long? I've often wondered.) :)

Audrey said...

This is definitely a flattering style on you. I suspect some of the back wrinkles you see in this denim version will not be there on the pink knit version because of the softer, stretchy fabric.

HeathersSphere said...

You make a wrap dress in denim fabulous!

Sue said...

Sweet dress - I love denim and it works really well in this dress!

Susan said...

This is truly fabulous. I had hesitated on this pattern, for the same concerns. I think you're right, the princess seams make all the difference. This is really pretty, and I just added it to my wish list. Very well done!

meli88a said...

I wouldn't have thought to make this dress up in denim, and your version is great. Kind of edgy.

I am also impressed to read that you fit as you go -- that takes some serious guts, and patience.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Trena - this is so cute and I didn't realize it was denim at all! What a great dress!

velosewer said...

The style is lovely and the sleeve cuffs make it fierce.

kbenco said...

This is an awesome dress. How cool it is in denim ,and the point about the gathers into the princess line has just given me an ah-ha moment