I've been meaning to get back to Simplicity 2369 (which they have issued as a seemingly identical pattern in the Amazing Fit line as 1653) for a while--it is just so flattering, and also fabric-economical compared to a full wrap dress. I had made it with the longer flutter-esque sleeve, as well as self-drafted long sleeve, but I wanted to try the cap sleeve version.
The sleeve is drafted as a two piece, with a front and back sleeve and a seam all the way down the shoulder. I combined these into one, lining up the seam line at the hem and using a dart at the shoulder where the seamlines diverged.
After the dress was made, the sleeve was much floppier than I expected. It's shown on the line drawing as a cap and I feel like on other people it looks snug, but mine wings out a bit. I took some width out at the hem for next time, as you can see in the tucks at left.
I shortened the crossover a smidge, shown at right. On the previous versions I found the crossover went all the way to the side seam, so the knot bulges out right at the side seam, widening my waist. Shortening it slightly moves the knot into the front so it doesn't add any visual width.
The only other change I made to the pattern was to attach the tie to the left side seam (the side the crossover is attached to) so that it goes across the back.
The pattern is drafted so the tie comes out the right side to just meet the crossover. This creates way too much weight in one place, and with the crossover a smidge too long just does not work at all. Not to mention, you lose that nice little bit of swayback fitting!
I actually went back to the pink version, cut a longer tie out of leftover fabric, and sewed it into the left side. It's hard to see in the busy print, but the tie goes across the back in this version as well.
I used the tie finish on the crossover described in my first post about this pattern. It neatly encloses the raw edges.
For the neckline, I serged on very slightly stretched clear elastic then turned under and twin needled.
I really like the way this pattern works in a border print. The skirt is not completely straight, so the border comes to a slight peak at the side seam, but it is really not noticeable unless you get this close.
In addition to using the border at the hem, I cut the sleeve hems on the border. The detail is pretty much lost in the busy print in wearing, but I know it's there. I cut the ties with the border at the bottom for added visual interest.
You might recognize this fabric from my impromptu Gulf Coast bikini. I was afraid I had screwed myself by cutting into it--the motifs are huge and really need to be centered--but luckily I had just enough to make this dress.
I even had enough fabric left over for two pairs of knickers.
I used the plush back picot elastic Ms. McCall of Brown Paper Patterns sent me for the waistline. I love it!
Knit dresses are so easy that it feels like cheating when they turn out so flattering. Maybe I'll just call it "efficiency."
I got several unsolicitations from strangers when I wore this for the first time, in addition to kind compliments at the DC PR meetup (and an outdoor photo session!). Even the boyfriend spoke approvingly of "that psychedelic thing" (yes, this was meant as a compliment).
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.
I'm likely to be sparse for the next month or so. I had been planning a trip to the Greek islands at the end of September, but last week we spontaneously decided to move it up to the beginning of September. Yay, but eep! I have so much sewing to do! I have one bathing suit done, another cut out, and a pair of shorts cut out. The goal is to get those, a nightgown, a knit dress, and possibly a pair of yoga/hiking capris done in the next two weekends. Um. There will be more sewing than blogging going on, or at least there better be! And then I'll be on the trip itself, which I'm thinking will be sheer bliss.