Friday, July 13, 2012

Simplicity 1880: The 2-In-1 Sewalong

Despite not having a ton of time to sew this week, I still managed to get my Sewalong dress done. Yay! It really was just stitching it up, since I had already done all of the muslin and alteration work.
The pattern is Simplicity 1880, which is a Project Runway pattern with an impressive number of options. The skirt is the same flared 4 gore skirt, but there are 2 bodice options (wrap and shirtwaist) and 3 different sleeves that can be interchanged for different looks.
The fabric I used is a rayon woven from fabric.com. They called it "shirting" and it does have the crispness of a shirting, but being rayon, it has a lovely drape, really perfect for this dress. I did make quite a few alterations to get this to work for me. I did a 3/4 inch FBA, which is less that I generally need. I rotated the dart into the shoulder gathers and removed the extra waist fullness by adding 1/4 inch to each of the three pleats at the waist. I also increased the wrap overlap just a little. I removed about 1/2 inch above the bust, which is typical for me.
The back required a lot more work. The original muslin was insanely poofy in the back. While I appreciate that the designers wanted to echo the shape of the front with the pleats and gathers, it was just more volume than I liked. To fix it, I narrowed the back pattern piece by 3/8 inch, eliminating one of the pleats and decreasing the gathers significantly. I also shortened the back about 5/8 inch. I think the result is still in keeping with the general feel of the dress, but I like the shape much better for me.
The only alteration I needed to do to the skirt was to add about 3 inches to the length. Lately I have really liked my skirts to hit just below the knee, so that was where I put this one. I think it adds to the 1940s vibe the dress has.
The other major change I made was to fully like the dress. I never have good luck with facings on a wrap dress, and I prefer a full lining anyway. The lining is Joann's "pongee" lining, and it is actually pretty nice for polyester. In my head, I concocted this complicated lining method that involved lining the yoke and bodice pieces separately. Fortunately, Melanie of Queen of the Flies posted her method on her blog and it was a snap! You can see how much I lengthened the skirt in this pic. I cut the lining to the original pattern length and just serged it.
I'm so glad I took the opportunity to participate in this SAL! Thank you, Sunni for hosting and for all of the wonderful help along the way. I would totally have skipped out on this pattern otherwise, and I really love it! I also met a bunch of great new bloggers to add to my feed. Love that!

29 comments:

  1. WOW! You make the dress look totally fabulous. The dress definately isn't wearing you! The Goose Mother

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  2. What a gorgeous dress. You look absolutely stunning in it and so elegant. Beautiful!

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  3. Your dress is absolutely beautiful!!!!

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  4. Absolutely wonderful!! I love it on you - another successful result!!

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  5. Yay! Thats the first wrap I've seen from the sewalong- how pretty! I love it.

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  6. Katie - it's stunning. I love it! As I said before, all I've managed to do so far is buy the pattern. So jealous of your completed dress. g

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  7. I love this. Such a retro-inspired look, but not at all like a retro costume. Very updated and wearable. The fabric looks like it has just the right amount of drape.

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  8. Love this dress. I didn't love it so much when I looked at the pattern cover, but yours changes my mind about it.

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  9. It's really pretty. That fabric is so swingy and fun; now you and Myra can twirl together!

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  10. Love the wrap front, and how you added a full lining. Good call, and congratulations on getting it "wrapped" up!

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  11. It's absolutely stunning! The fabric is perfect, the fit is excellent and it's very flattering. I'm so pleased you found my lining method useful. Thanks for the link back. I've been browsing your blog and finding lots of useful things here too!

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  12. Beautiful, beautiful! Love the twirl!

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  13. Very, very pretty. Love the flow of the dress too!

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  14. What a pretty dress. So feminine and flirty. Nice sewing, Katie!

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  15. The dress is beautiful! I love the length and I agree it does add a retro vibe. I have this pattern too, so now I want to find some fabric for it.

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  16. Great job on all the fitting changes. It looks simply beautiful, and comfy, too!

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  17. What a classic girly dress. I love the polka dots!

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  18. What happened to the list of other blogs that you follow? You had a good selection, and I enjoyed being able to link to them.

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    1. I hadn't updated it in some time, as I've been using google reader myself, so I took it (and quite a few other widgets) down to streamline the blog. Sorry you've missed it!

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    2. I just put it back up, linked to my Reader. I hope that helps!

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  19. The dress look lovely! I'm tempted to add this pattern to my stash.

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  20. It's very 1940's and has a lovely drape. Nice work on all the fitting - it looks great on you!

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  21. Love the drape and the polka dots and the fit! :) Oh and the length and the pictures too. :)

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  22. I do love this with the extra three inches added to the hemline.

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  23. Oh Katie! You've totally outdone yourself with your version of this dress! I love it! The cut is soooooooo flattering on you and I adore the polka dots! You look divine! Gorgeous job! Thanks so much for sewing along!
    xoxo, Sunni

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  24. What a stunning dress it is beautiful !

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  25. Aww..., another great dress. I passed this pattern up, but I'm reconsidering. Love the style of the skirt.

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