Simplicity 2364 (View A)

I picked up a stack of Simplicity patterns last time they were on sale at JoAnn. (If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a complete sucker for sales). I had been looking for a long sleeve shirt that was warm, had full-length sleeves, and was cuter than an ordinary round- or v-neck shirt. Simplicity 2364 almost fit that bill, and would be easy enough to adapt as the only thing it was missing was the long sleeves.  I decided to sew it in a maroon crinkle knit that I picked up several months ago from Fabric.com.

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After looking at the pattern on patternreview.com, I wasn’t sure if I would like the neckline that looked to me like a cross between a square and a cowl, depending on the fit of the top on each individual person. Even after sewing my maroon version, which was for all effects, my wearable muslin, I can’t decide if I like the way the neckline hit me. If I let it drape naturally, the neckline falls a bit too low for my taste, and I don’t love the look if I tug the neckline straighter across. I’m playing with the idea of tacking the shrug and front drape where they meet at the front (higher than where they naturally fall) and ruching the front center for a few inches, then repeating the effect on the lower several inches of the side seams.

Overall, I really liked the way this pattern came together. I cut and sewed a straight size 8, which fit me very well without further alterations, other than the previously mentioned neckline issues. The faux shrug was easy to work with, and combined with the self-facing effect on the front meant that there was no hemming/finishing work needed on the neckline. If I were to sew it again, I would probably raise the neckline an inch or two to try to get the front drape to fall a bit higher.

Simplicity 2648: The Finished Dress

This Simplicity dress wound up taking longer than I thought it would, though it was overall easy to put together.  Everything went smoothly until I got to the neckline facing.  For some reason, whether it be the fabric, sewer (or sewist, if you preferr, though that’s an issue for another post) error, or some combination, I could not get that facing to stay put where it belongs on the inside of the dress.  After messing with this facing for  good hour, I flung the dress into a corner and moved on to other projects (hence, why there hasn’t been a follow-up post yet).  I did go back later in the day to fold the dress so it wouldn’t wrinkle, but I basically ignored it until the day before I had to leave for the wedding I was planning to wear the dress to.  Sounds familiar, I’m sure.

Following the strange logic of the universe, when I came back to the dress several days later, another session with a hot iron helped tame the argumentative facing.  After that, all that was left to do was to hem the bottom.  Although I kind of wanted an invisible hem, I went with a straight stitch and a double needle because it was easier and faster, and I had more stuff to do.

I started noticing the first little flaw with my dress planning when I got the six pieces that make up the front sewn together.  When I cut the pieces, I failed to consider the variegated nature of my fabric and where each piece would end up respective to another.  The result, what I’m calling my checkerboard dress.  The checkerboard-ish lines don’t seem as noticeable with a thick belt, as seen in the pictures,so maybe the belt will live with the dress now.

Other than the checkerboard lines, I really like the way the dress turned out.  I cut and sewed a straight size 10, with the suggested petite modifications.  Though I did eliminate the back zipper, since I used a stretchy knit.  I think the skirt could maybe go down a size, but the top fits well, so I’m calling this a success.  I may wind up making the dress again, in a dark, solid color.  I’m thinking navy.  But that won’t happen for several weeks as I have a whole list of projects to get done in the next week.