Simplicity 2444

I finally scraped some money together and bought a tripod. Now taking pictures is a lot easier so I thought I would post some better pictures of the last dress I made!

Whoops I forgot to iron the skirt before I took the photos and I wore it out to dinner a few nights ago (I promise the pleats are nicer when they are pressed). I was even going to show you the back of the dress but the skirt was really creased… I know ‘excuses, excuses’!

Sewing gods, thank you for being kind to me! The sleeves were eased in with no tucks :). (The secret is two rows of gathering, plenty of pins and patience)

The beige walls and creme walls photograph really badly. Blegh. I hate beige (well as a wall colour anyway). They actually look like a greyish blue in these photos.

One thing I will say about the simplicity 2444 pattern is that if you are thinking about trying it and you have a medium to large size bust the fit is really good and you will not need to tweak the fit much! Those darts do wonders (they are not to high and they give good shape). If you have a smaller bust the bodice will most likely require alterations.

Simplicity 2444 the love affair continues (third dress made using this pattern). I am super happy with this dress, however the pictures of me in it were not so great… I may add some better ones later.

I realize this is not everyones style but I love this crazy fabric. I salvaged the bodice fabric from a strappy summer dress that was not flattering on me. Had to save the fabric because the print was insane in the best possible way.

The black material I used for the skirt is a nice crisp poplin. Not long ago Lincraft had 50% off all fabrics so I bought around 7 meters of the stuff. You can never have enough black fabric. I always buy these kind of things in bulk!

It occurred to me that I don’t usually show the insides of my garments so heres a peek. Once again the bodice and sleeves are fully lined in a thin black cotton (all by machine, no hand stitching involved) Hooray!

That’s another thing I bulk buy: cotton linings and black and white (lawn, batise etc). Always good to have a supply of this stuff and cotton is so much more breathable and way nicer to sew than all those slippery linings (not that they don’t have there place).

I know it’s not pretty: I removed some excess fabric from the neckline so there is absolutely no gaping. Above are alterations I made to the pattern in order to achieve this.
What a lucky fluke, I didn’t think it would work. This was the main reason why I had to make simplicity 2444 again. I had to test my alterations. Here is my tutorial on how to remove gaping. It’s easy to go overboard and remove to much, you don’t want it to restrict your movement.

Sorry another unattractive picture(s). But here are my sewing notes in picture form. I don’t know how many times I have to make this mistake…

I was even going to do a tutorial but alas I made the same mistake I did last time.

Must remember: Do NOT attach sleeve lining to sleeves with right sides of the bodice facing out. Must attach the sleeve to sleeve lining with wrong sides of bodice/lining visible (right sides of sleeve seam allowance together).

Edit: I fixed the waistline! Its amazing what a difference a little bit of clipping of the waistlines seams makes. (such a silly mistake)

So I thought I was onto a good thing with this simplicity pattern.

At the moment I am all about only sewing in fabric you love so thats just what I did.

I have had this fabric for years and I was always waiting for the right project.

The floral print on the cotton fabric I used has a kitschy late early 70s feel that  I love! Does anyone see a pattern here ;)?. 

Now I have a dress rather than another fabric sitting in a box waiting to be made into the perfect dress…Perfect is never going to happen. Cute is good enough! I am trying to kill my boring sewing-perfectionist and just make stuff.

Yay for using the good/fav fabric!

I’m wearing this today but with a cardigan and black stockings/tights. 😀

I did get a little too complacent while sewing, in other words I was not paying enough attention.

3 main mistakes I made:

1. Forgot the lining trick and my lining and fashion fabric got tangled because I sewed the sleeve hems while the lining was INSIDE the bodice.

Note to self:The bodice of the fashion fabric and the lining should have right sides together BUT when sewing the sleeve hems  lining should NOT be inside the fashion fabric. The lining and the fashion fabric should be opposite each other/mirror images and only meet at the middle at the sleeve seams. Thats not how you do it! good thing I could retrace my steps and fix it.

2. I forgot to clip the inside of skirt and bodice at the waist seam. Also I overlocked the pleats when I wasn’t supposed to. Mainly to help them stay down.

Not clipping the waist seam means it pulls a little at the waist. You can see a little bit of bunching near the waist in the photos. I think I may fix this…but so much unpicking and re-stitching involved…hmm….should I? I probably should.

The pulling sort of bothers me and it CAN be fixed. Its just so tedious to re-visit/fix a recently completed project.

3.  I did not pay attention to the notes I wrote about the order of construction.I sewed the bodice lining to the skirt BEFORE inserting the back zipper between the fashion fabric and the lining. So I had to unpick. Doh! I write good sewing notes for myself, only problem is I forget to read them.

I decided that I was getting way too fanatical about fit of my sewing projects and that a little more ease was OK. With past projects I have made muslins and test run after test run of each dress and it is such a tedious process that I would loose motivation to complete the project and go slightly crazy in the process. I find when I buy RTW I am nowhere near as fussy about fit or finish than when I make stuff myself.

This boring perfectionism had to end and I decided to cut straight into my fashion fabric fit be dammed (ok so it WAS a cheap fabric I have had for years). But the fit of this pattern turned out to be pretty good already (aside from a tiny tiny little bit of gaping at the neckline). I am loving the pattern and I think Simplicity 2444 will be a new go-to pattern for me!

I saw the amazing potential of this pattern after seeing it used by so many other seamstresses. These are my favorite versions of the dress: Adventures in dressmaking, Sew many happies and Dapper duds.

Anyway I only made minor changes to the pattern/dress

1. I omitted the facings and finished the edges by lining the bodice. Because I think, in a dress like this facings can be VERY annoying (not sitting flat and always popping up while you are trying to wear the dam thing)…So when possible just say NO to facings! hehe.

2.  I took about 12cms of the skirt. I like a vintage-inspired look but I am partial to a shorter, more modern hem length particularly on a more prim dress like this one.

3. I sewed the pleats on the skirt a little differently to the instructions…I sewed them together at the lines (rather than just basting) and then basted them in the opposite direction to what was suggested (towards the belly/center). I like how this gives the pleats a more subtle look. But in the next version I make I am going to try it with the more exaggerated pleats which are pressed towards the hips and only basted on top.

4. omitted the center front seam on the skirt (cutting around the whole front skirt as one piece/putting the center front skirt seam on the fold).

The thing I am most excited about is the fact that I managed to get a clean finish whilst lining the bodice and the sleeves without ANY hand sewing. If you are new to this blog you have yet to learn of my rather unhealthy hatred of hand sewing… it’s sewing machine for me ALL the way!

I will post a tutorial on how to to this (or: “How to line a bodice which has sleeves with a clean finish”). I was SO HAPPY I found out how to do this. That totally gave me nerdy sewing joy. LOL.

BTW: IT was far too cold to wear this dress today 😦 I only wore it for the photos. I am not a fan of winter!

ummm…. I am not so good at posing…obviously.