Ever since I saw the SimpleSew Style Guide, which came with my Love Sewing – issue 30 – I knew I would like to make the cover dress. I liked it so much that it jumped on my projects’ priority list right to the top. And funnily enough I finished it the day before my birthday. That’s how it became my Birthday dress, also because I decided to wear it on the day!
I downloaded the pattern from the Love Sewing, and it’s free. Horray! My fabric came from Leeds Markets, but I am not sure. I do remember Amy Beeton (Barmybeetroot.co.uk), got some and I had to have some as well, so she kindly bought it and then sent it to me. For a long time I thought ‘when will I wear something this crazy?’ I was looking for something simple enough, so that the design lines would not get lost in the pattern on the fabric. At the same time, I subjected myself to a fabric shopping fast for year (at least I am trying to make it a year – but soon to happen trip to Barcelona might ruin it) I could only pick from among the fabrics I have already. So, this one seemed perfect. After, the not much fun of puzzle making – taping together the PDF pattern, I chose to cut size 10 and do a FBA for 1inch (1/2 inch on each side), added 1 inch length between armhole and bust as well as shortening the skirt below the hip line by 4 inches. I did this while taping the pages together to save as much paper as possible and get enough extra paper to smooth the pattern lines without having to add extra paper. These changes are the usual changes I do with SimpleSew Patterns. I just used my new funky expanding sewing gauge (a birthday present as well) to redraw the buttonhole placements. Prior to starting construction, I stay-stitched my necklines and armholes although not advised in the instructions. I started doing this with all the garments I make from woven fabrics to make sure they do not stretch out and to get a better fit at the end. I overlocked the seams as I sewed them together. I only finished the exposed seams and the facing bottom edges to reduce bulk. In addition the the instructions, I understitched my facings down to make sure they don’t roll to the right side. This is the first garment I made that has a back closure with buttons. I also like the simplicity of how the facing goes into the back. Though, not a every extensive description of this step is given due to space, the diagrams in the magazine make it easy to understand and re-create in your fabric. The finish is very clean as well. Staystitching paid off in this case. As, I have a huge box of buttons, I was stubborn enough to search buttons for my dress in it(only took me about two hours to do this). I did not have eight of them in the same colour, so I have compromised on the size and used different ones. Due to the number of colours on the fabric, they don’t look out of place. Hombre buttons for my dress, which I machined into place as well! Go me! I am one smart lady sometimes.
I also like the sleeve design as well. Like the idea of a cuff. Usually, I don’t really like 3/4 length sleeve, so since the pattern is drafted for taller ladies, I did not shorten the sleeve, so it looks longer on me. I think I’ll make it a bit longer for my next make. I might even use the pattern piece from this pattern in other garments I will make. As for the hem, it was pretty simple, turn, press and again turn, press then stitching. And, yes throughout the project I used different bobbin threads. I was trying to use up the colours that did not have much thread left on. I only made sure the thread on the right side was red. Hombre thread as well.
The fit of the dress is relaxed while not to large. I tend to use a belt with with it to show the waist line, so that I don’t look even shorter than I actually am. So far, I love wearing it. I can also pair it with any shoes, or bags! Any would go. Lucky me! After making this dress, I have discovered that I do like garments that have buttons as the back closure. Only trouble with some I’d need some help with buttoning up. But, I guess that’s what boyfriends are for, right? When first I started sewing I wanted to get more vibrant colours into my closet. I think, I might have gone to the extreme with this dress. But, I can tone it down with a solid colour blazer. Another good news is that I have enough fabric left to make a blouse as well. Mathilde by Tilly and the Buttons is a good contender.