this is Simplicity 1652, which i got for a whopping 99 cents (blog post with photo here) and it's also the dress i was working on when i graced you with my fabulous masking tape darts tutorial. i liked that this pattern has princess seams and a funky back cut out. i have 2 fabrics that i thought this pattern would work well with - a blue and white striped cotton, which would need a lining, and also a plaid seersucker, which would probably also benefit from a lining. thank goodness i tried out this pattern first without a lining, because i made a bunch of changes.
i thought it would be fun to switch up the direction of the stripes (zigzags in this case), so i threw grainline out the window, and did horizontal on the front panel, vertical on the sides, horizontal on the back panels, and diagonal on the upper back pieces to emphasize the triangular cut out shape. the skirt ended up with vertical stripes because that's what fit best after i had to hack out a second back piece because of my own tracing error. oops, forgot to flip the pattern piece over so i had a back left piece and a back right piece. so i ended up with 2 back right pieces and no left piece. i even thought about it while i was tracing and cutting but in my head i said to myself it didn't matter if i flipped it because the design was running the same way. it does matter. had to re-do it, which cut into my skirt piece. i decided not to even bother making separate skirt pieces because i wasn't sure this thing would even be wearable, so i just did a long rectangle with gathers. wish it was fuller, but it is what it is.
if you're saying to yourself, "this dress has princess seams, so why were you doing darts in your masking tape dart tutorial?" it's because the 2 back pieces have darts. so there ya go.
i pulled out my tiny tripod and got all fancy with the self-timer. i started shooting outside, but then immediately our neighbors got home and i felt ridiculous so i retreated indoors. i thought some of the outdoor shots looked good until i pulled them up on the computer. no good. i'll try again next time. so these photos are where i had the camera sitting on a shelf in our linen closet shooting down our tiny hallway which has several large bookcases (that i've been meaning to stain or paint, but will never get around to now that they're filled with books). there were several hilarious shots of me trying to pose, but most of them were all out of focus, sadly. these 2 were the best i got. i'm trying, i really am.
not too bad on the fit right? well that was after i took it in a lot. i went according to the measurements on the back of the pattern envelope, but they must have a ton of ease build in. i should have gone by the finished garment measurements instead. but i really didn't even look at the sizes on the pattern when i grabbed it. my measurements matched the smallest size pretty closely, so i just cut out my pattern pieces from the tissue. this was just a 99 cent pattern anyway. well there's more ease than i wanted so i need to go down a size or maybe two, but in order to do that i need to re-buy the pattern because there are no smaller sizes on the one i bought. oops. but if i can get it again for 99 cents, i'd buy it again.
the pattern also included different pattern pieces for the most common cup sizes A, B, C, D, which is a nice feature. i think that worked out well. my real issue was with the ease in the sides and shoulders. i had to remove a whole inch from both the left and right sides of the bodice, and i think it was 2.25 inches in the back tapering to an inch in the lower back. i feel like i'm becoming a fitting ninja. or a contortionist - bending my arms around my back and pinning. worked out pretty well. could still use a bit more taken out of the front neckline, but i won't bother with that this time. also the 2 top back triangular pieces ended up overlapping, so i added 3 snaps. that's where the pattern instructions really fail. in one step a loop and button magically appear in their drawing, but there is no explanation that i could find in the text. i'm sure i could've done it myself sans instructions, but my pieces didn't come together in a point anymore, because they were too large and overlapped instead. i don't hate the overlapping though. i can get my head in without the snaps, but who wants to risk messing up their hair, amirite?
actually in that second photo i hadn't put the snaps in yet, it's just pinned. but the invisible zipper was in. i've since added the snaps and a hook and eye. (look at me, sewing by hand, what what!) i still need to hem it though. that's the very last thing to do. but i can put off hemming like no other. need to just do it, so i can start something new!