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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