And now back to our regular programming… Striped Simplicity 1459

Now that the wedding is over, I can write about sewing again and get back to reviewing patterns, sewing favourites, and musing on sewing in general without the focus of the wedding for every project.

Of course without any time constraints, I haven’t been sewing! I’ve been hanging out with my husband. 😀

I have some deadlines coming up for some challenges. The Outfit Along ends at the end of the month. I haven’t even muslined the dress and I am only five inches into my Embrace knit wrap. Along with this, I could be taking part in the Bra-a-Week challenge (I have some bra fabrics on the way!) or the Sundress sew-a-long (I haven’t even settled on a pattern for this one)…or sewing up the three projects I have already cut out… (two Jenna cardis and another M6696). Nope. Hanging out with my husband and cuddling him like crazy.

Lucky for you, I have a project kicking around from the end of May to blog about! Phew!

I got the fabric for my dress back in May during a thrift store visit and basically made the dress in the same week. The fabric is actually an Ikea duvet cover and had the stripes on both sides, which means double the fabric. There were two colourways and I kick myself for not picking up the blue/green colourway as well. I call that thrift store regret. I often leave things behind and then dream about them later for weeks. I usually go back the next day in these circumstances, but the thrift stores get cleaned out of the good stuff pretty often. I never got the blue/green colourway, sadly. 😦

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I’ve always wanted a horizontal striped dress, but I wanted multicoloured crazy stripes like the duvet. I love all stripes, but really love the multicoloured stripes. I also want more orange and yellow in my life. They are colours that just make me happy, but I know they don’t look right next to my face so the other colours worked well to keep the yellow/orange away from my face.

Really this dress was all about the stripe location and I spent about two hours deciding on where to place things before cutting it out. I held it up to my body. I looked in the mirror. I wrapped it about like a toga. I twirled in it. I cocooned myself in the fabric and thought long and hard. Okay, I spent more time playing than anything else. 😛 Do you ever just play with fabric? I can’t be the only one?!

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I made the dress using Simplicity 1459 for the bodice. I left the collar off the dress and simply sewed the facing to the wrong side of the bodice and turned and pressed. In order to not have the facing issue that I had with my gingham version, I used fusible webbing to prevent the facing from turning up at the back. I also used it in a couple of locations at the front to ensure the facing laid flat. It also really helps maintain the shape of the neckline since the fabric is super soft. For the skirt, I cut out a rectangle and just gathered the skirt for a basic skirt. I made fabric-covered buttons using the orange and pink stripes so they were consistent in all the buttons. I didn’t want to worry about the buttons turning about and the stripes not matching up correctly. I stripe-matched on the side seams and the front bodice. I think I did an okay job. It’s off by a millimeter here or there, but overall pretty good. Like the gingham version, I finished the armholes with self-made bias tape. I also put in a short side zipper, which I installed by handpicking, and side-seam pockets.

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I also made a matching band for a new hat I got:

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Hahha, such a nerd.

I chose to have the white stripes go across my chest and the orange stripes across my waist. This worked perfectly and gives the dress a wicked shape for my body. I’ve been wearing this dress constantly since I made it. It’s extremely comfortable due to the lack of a waist band.The fabric is so soft, too. It’s 100% cotton, but the cotton feels brushed and lovely. It’s like wearing around a comfy duvet cover all day…wait… it’s literally that. 😉

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I wore the dress for Me-Made-May, our Stag and Doe, and for our minimoon in Niagara Falls. A T-rex invaded my personal space to tell me she liked my dress.

The only issue with the dress is that the neckline doesn’t quite sit flat at my cleavage line when I am sitting forward. It’s a little baggy there and the v-neck sometimes gaps. It doesn’t bother me, though, since it still provides enough coverage that I don’t need to worry about flashing people. Just means I need to stop slouching!

Here is my much-delayed photoshoot:

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Spring for Cotton: Simplicity 1459

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I started becoming obsessed with Simplicity 1459 when Tanya posted her two versions. The striped version got into my head and I basically just wanted to recreate that, but I restrained myself from buying a navy and white striped cotton and decided to sew from my stash like the good stashbuster I am (trying to be). I did, however, immediately find an etsy seller with the pattern and add it to my pattern hoard like a good little hoarding dragon.

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Replace Smaug with me and gold with patterns and this is a good depiction of my life

I got it around Christmas and planned out what I wanted to do: create a navy and white gingham sleeveless version with solid white collar and buttons. THAT’S TOTALLY DIFFERENT FROM WHITE AND NAVY STRIPES EVERYONE! TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

Okay, so I am copy cat. One of my middle names is appropriately Katherine….so I am a Kat by name. 😉

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But the point is that I didn’t buuuuy fabric for this project, right? Right.

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Enough of that. I am going to talk about my dress now.

I did my usual fit adjustments for the flat pattern. I use my high bust measurement to determine the size I use and then adjust the bust with a full bust adjustment based on how much extra I need plus ease. I also did a small narrow shoulder adjustment and then just cut into my fabric, because that’s how I roll.

Technically, this is a wearable muslin. The fit isn’t perfect. The bust dart needs some tweaking as there are drag lines under the bust dart, possibly as a result of it being too high. I also need to do more of a narrow shoulder adjustment, because there is blousing above the bust, but also redraw the armhole a little larger.

I got the fabric at the thrift store, both the white cotton and the gingham, months ago on separate occasions. I managed to get *just* enough of the gingham to make it. I didn’t attempt to do any pattern matching on the skirt for two reasons: 1) lack of fabric and 2) the amount of gathers in the fabric make the pattern matching a little pointless. I did, however, do okay at pattern matching on the bodice. Not perfect, but good enough.

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Full disclosure: I actually really am not great at installing zippers in garments. So, please be kind at this detail of the zipper. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s getting there. I got better at skirt zippers with my dirndl skirts and better at jacket zippers with all the jackets I’ve been making lately, but dress zippers are a whole different thing and I don’t have a lot of practice at them. I hand-basted this one in place, which made a world of difference. But it was still difficult as there is so much fabric in this dress. I hope that by the time the summer ends I can be more of an expert in dress zippers. I have upped my skills in so many ways this year. Every time I see a gap in what I can do, I always want to get rid of it.

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I used my pinking shears for the first time with this project! My mom got them for me for Christmas along with a tailor’s ham. I requested both and she sent me her old iron, which I use constantly now. I love the pinking edges as a pretty inside finish. It really adds to the vintage feel of the dress for me.

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The pattern calls for facings on the collar, button, and on the sleeves. I found that the collar facing doesn’t sit very well at the back. I might need to make tweaks to the collar for future versions, because it sits awkwardly on me and not flat. Possibly as a result of the narrow shoulder adjustment? I am not sure. Any suggestions to fix that issue?

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The collar is also not perfectly sewn, but it’s good enough for me…this time…

I left the facings off the sleeve, because of the issue with the collar. I decided to make bias tape and finish the arms that way. I prefer that look.

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Here is my photoshoot:

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My next version is in this gorgeous fabric:

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Navy polkadot on white cotton fabric. It’s a silky soft medium weight cotton that I picked up in my favourite higher end fabric store a couple of years ago and have been hoarding along with two light weight rayons from the same store.

I wish you could feel this fabric! It’s so lovely to touch.

In other news, I am obsessed with this dress from Unique Vintage after seeing it on Migg Mag, one of my fav plus size fashion blogs:

She’s so fricken adorable.

I can see a mint cambie in my future! Come to me, my pretty.

TL:DR Review

  • Pattern: Simplicity 1459
  • Pros: Vintage style, large gathered skirt, beautiful collar
  • Cons: Not a fan of the collar facing and find it flips up in the back. Took out the sleeve facing because I was worried about the flipping around there, as well.
  • Make again?: Absolutely! I plan on making it with a navy polkadot on white fabric, because I can’t get enough of the navy/white combo.
  • Rating: pink-star-black-md pink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-mdpink-star-black-md5/5 stars

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