After praising Simplicity 3559 like it was my adopted daughter its time for part two of the installment, where I will be condemning simplicity 3673 like a bad step child. Yes me and simplicity 3673 did not get on. For a mixture of reasons….mostly to do with me I think, but there had to be something to do with the pattern as well. This is part two of a three part blog. You can find the first here.
This is described as a misses retro jumper dress or dress and is a 1950s reprint of an simplicity original. It has skirt and belt variations and I bought this pattern for £3.95 at John lewis whilst they were selling off all their sewing patterns. I was not aware of this at the time and if I had been I would have bought loads of patterns. Darn.
The dress has 2 skirt variations, a length variation and a belt variation. The waist is high and fitted with the choice of a wiggle or flared skirt. I decided to try the straight version without the belt because at a size 14-16 fitted clothes tend to flatter one more. Most of the time.
I measured myself up and with the measurements 38-30-36 indicating a clear size 16. I laid out the pattern paper and measured the actual print to confirm before I cut. MEASURE TWICE CUT ONCE. The pattern came up big by about 2 inch of ease. I debated what to do, read loads of blogs, called my mum, eat a bacon sandwich and then cut the size 14, and added 2 inches to the bodice top to help fit my 34G chest. I did this by tracing the bodice and simply grading the bottom of the bodice to a size 16….more about how wrong this was later.
What fabric did I use? Well lets have a look. I had gone on a Ikea fabric rampaged before buying this pattern and as this was only my second attempt I did not want to hack into some of my expensive irreplaceable lovelyies. I had already used Ikea fabrics for my last project (blogged here) and used heavy weight material which suited the project, but this dress needed to be a little lighter and cooler. I wondered if anybody else has ever used ikea fabrics for clothes and stumbled upon this Interesting article and also this blog. Just love that shower curtain dress…..I’ll store that idea for another make. Maybe that waterproof weekend bag I have been dreaming about.
It was good to know I was not alone and decided on using 2 meters of this Cecilia light weight 100% cotton at a cheerful £2 a meter and a polyester lining I got from Barry fabrics for cheap.
How did I find the instructions? They were a little confusing to start with. i could not get my head around how to finish the edges when the bodice bottom would not be hidden by a seam inside the dress….not explaining that very well I know but that was the issue. The instructions did not make it clear you had to serge as you went. I was new to sewing, now I know better. Here is a visual of what a mess the inside of the dress looks like.
Not the tidiest job hay? well it did teach me to serge as I work and you do not see the inside when you wear an item. This was not the only issue with the dress. That extra ease I added for my bust….yeah that did not work. Even though I measured the actual paper pattern twice the pattern gave quite a lot of ease making the dress baggy all over and the extra 16 grading on my chest very unflattering. Here is the dress on my sewing dummy. This dummy is the larger size model and now is bigger than my frame all over by at least 2 inches and at the most 4.
And here is the dress on me.
As you can see, very unflattering. It makes me look like like i’m 13 stone again!
From the front angle is is not so bad and I wear a waist belt with it to maximize my definition without showing off to much of my flesh. I also wear it with a long sleeved top underneath to keep ‘modest’.
This picture is not exactly true to the way it should have fitted. Since making this item I have lost about 2 stone. I was a few months into my weight loss journey and I think this added to why the dress was too big when it was finished. Not all the reason though. I have still worn this dress to school and because its so big it is quite useful when you are leaning over to pick up fallen over children and the school I visit is predominantly Muslim so covering up is expected. I would have re-ordered this dress in the smaller sizes but have decided to try all the other 1000 patterns I have. I now also own some good books that explain how to change commercial patterns to make them fit. Sadly this project was bad. You can not win them all.
The last installment of this review will follow shortly- my original WIP has had to be scrapped due to the fabric being inappropriate and for want of a better word- annoying. Any ideas how to work with stretch satin would be greatly accepted….the replacement fabric is thicker, heavier and less stretchy than the last but still has some wiggle give!