Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Simplicity 2648 Sheath dress in B&W

I found a perfect pattern, Simplicity 2648; a simple sheath dress with princess seams and different  area sizing options. It's my second "amazing fit" pattern where the FBA is included as different cup size pattern pieces AND this one even has derrière size options (slim, average or curvy)!

I cut out the pieces during a sewing date with a friend on Saturday and did most of the sewing/basting and testing... and then I saw this blog post, about the same dress! It was inspiring, so gorgeous. I am using the pattern for a simple office sheath dress, but I think there are far more fun options for it in the future.

The fabric is my absolute favorite Vlisco wax print. I matched as much as possible, missing the front by a centimeter, but I do plan to wear a belt... so... (please excuse the dog, he is ready for his walk and not all this silly clothing photography)

Pattern: Simplicty 2648
Cut & Size: Size 16 top, with D cup variant, curvy size 16 waist graded to 22/24 by the bottom hem.

Construction notes:
Everything was a little large... probably due to my not reading the seam allowance instructions and assuming 5/8 inch. Whoopsy, but easy to fix. Making this very fitted pattern made me look and think about my actual shape more than I have in the past. My hips are not as large as I thought they were, instead the "issue" is my butt, which is huge, but not necessarily in a wide way.  I should be cutting a smaller size for at least 9 inches below the waist than I have been, grading out to the larger size in that distance. I was doing it in three to four inches which left weird puffs on my hips that I found had acceptable until now. No more!

Anyways, eventually I sewed the dress up per the directions as a basted test... with the side seams on the outside. The armholes gaped until I put in a zipper, pulling an extra inch in on the back pieces. I seem to have a small back? Then I did the full stitch without removing the basting lines until afterwards. I bound the seams with a self-made bias tape and eventually removed the basting threads which were bright red and blue, nice and easy to spot.
For the side seams, I spent a lot of time getting the hips to fit properly with basting stitches on the seams on the outside... Once it fit, I did the lazy thing and trimmed it, pressed it, and turned it inside as a french seam. :)

The inside is cool looking!

The hips are great, but I'm still slightly miffed by the butt... there are slight diagonal crease from the hips to the bottom of the zipper along the bottom of the darts. Is it the darts? Is it the hips? Is it the zipper? Will I make it worse if I try to fix it? I suspect the zipper/center line should be pulled slightly tighter from the waist until the apex of the extra fabric... and may experiment with that in the future. Maybe I'll google "swayback" and freak myself out.

Speaking of the zipper, I failed to read the instructions again... and assumed an invisible zipper... it should be lapped. Part of my future fiddling will be to redo the zipper.

I made facings even though I hate facings. If they survive the wash without flying out everywhere, they can stay. If there is the slightest problem with them, they are going to be replaced with a proper lining!

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