I made a dress that I love!!
It’s the Simplicity 1609, version A (with the collar – I love peter pan collars!)
I made a toile quite a few weeks ago (very soon after I got the pattern), to check the fit. It was a great fit so needed no alterations. I wanted to get stuck in with the real deal, but struggled to find the perfect fabric. Then I came across this beautiful cotton lawn on eBay (£1.99 per half metre!!) and was a bit dubious because of the price. Was it going to be see-through? Alas, I took the plunge and ordered 1.5 metres. It arrived a few days later and I was so happy; it feels luxurious and is not at all see-through.
I finished the tunic I was making, and got started cutting out the lovely fabric for this dress the next evening. It was a joy to cut; no slipping and sliding – ahh.
The first step after cutting was to mark the darts. This dress has quite a few – eight to be precise. But they don’t scare me! I feel like a pro now (and I’ve only done them a few times!). I got to use my new cool gadget to mark the darts. You may have heard of them – frixion pens. They’re made by Pilot – so not exactly a sewing tool; I bought them in WHSmith!
In case you’ve not come across them before, I will tell you what’s amazing about them. They are pens that rub out!! You never thought that was possible, did you? You can write something in pen and literally rub it out. Genius. What’s more genius is that one clever person somewhere realised that they disappear when touched by heat. This is where they are great in the sewing world. You can draw on fabric but it won’t rub off like it will on paper – instead you take it to your ironing board, press it with the iron for just a second and as if by magic the marks disappear! It’s so much fun! I have read that the lines can reappear sometimes, but as long as you don’t go crazy and scribble all over the front of your project you’ll be safe. For marking darts, it’s perfect.
The construction went swimmingly. I loved sewing with this fabric; it just glided through the machine with ease. No stretch, no puckering; I’d love to make another dress out of it but it might be strange having two!
So everything went according to plan until I stitched on the facing and made my first mistake. It wasn’t severe but did require the use of my unpicker.
I’m not sure if you can make out the photo, but I caught the collar in the seam for an inch or so. Grr. Once unpicked and re-sewn (being sure to push the collar well out the way; it’s trapped between the layers so I couldn’t actually see it being sucked into the seam), it turned out almost perfect.
The collar is just off centre, and I overlapped the sides slightly like the illustration in the pattern, but I don’t really like how it turned out! I didn’t overlap them with my toile – why did I do it?! Never mind.
As a side note – doesn’t the colour perfectly match my eyes? I love wearing blue.
The rest of the dress went together really well. I was taking my time making it; not rushing, because I was falling in love with the dress so wanted it to be perfect. Still it only took three evenings, which I think is pretty good going.
I inserted a concealed zip pretty much perfectly; I’m really happy with it.
It’s a pretty pink rather than a blue like you’d probably usually use. There’s a story behind this. I was in a charity shop recently, and they were selling brand new YKK zips at an unbelievable price – 3 for £1. That’s about 90% off their usual retail price. So I grabbed 9 (the majority available were not concealed – I suppose that’s a blessing or else I would have gone overboard; I’ve only recently started using zips!) They had some nice colours, but no blue. So I chose this cute pink, and I rather like it. Obviously because it’s concealed you can only see the zip pull at the top – who cares that it doesn’t match the fabric?
The only thing that annoys me (in fact it’s the only part of the dress that I don’t like) is that I messed up the very top of the zip, where you fold it under the facing. I kept it to close to the zip, so it gets chunky when it’s done up, and sticks out. I could quite easily unpick and sort it out, if I get a minute to bother! I have long-ish hair so if it’s down at the back it covers it anyway.
I was debating with myself over whether or not to add buttons. It looked cute without, but I thought maybe some buttons might bring it to life a bit. I found these 5 vintage buttons in my tin (I’m not actually sure where they came from!) and my mind was made up.
I think they finish the dress off nicely. Have I been watching too much of Dawn O’Porter’s new series, This Old Thing?!
So, all in all, I am soooo proud of myself! I love this dress! It fits perfectly, it feels beautiful, it’s very comfortable, and – I think – it looks pretty cute!