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Almost there… Simplicity 3678

2009 July 9
by elizabeth_admin

I’m so close to being done with the dress, I can smell it!  Despite circumstances, we were able to complete quite a bit of sewing last night, Thea and I.  Jack decided that he didn’t want to go to bed at all and I was finally forced to bring him out to the living room with us while we sewed.  He sat in my lap almost the entire time, so some of my stitching is less than stellar (as you’ll soon see).  He talked up a storm the whole time telling me the color of the pin heads, which numbers were on what buttons of my sewing machine and playing with scraps of fabric.  Do you think I have a future tailor on my hands?  😉

As I mentioned last time, I had difficulty with the instructions for the pleating on the bodice, but surprisingly, so did Thea.  She didn’t understand why they required us to stitch down the pleats from the inside of the bodice (see pic below).  It looked ok on the inside, but from the outside it was awful.  Thea didn’t want to put the line of stitches down for each pleat at all, wanting them to just fall open.  I agree, it’s much more pleasing to look at when you leave them be.  But we were doing this dress “straight out of the envelope” so we slavishly followed the directions.  Here are close ups of the bodice inside and out.

Bodice pleats inside

Bodice pleats inside

So you can see the pleats stitched down, that I basted the pleats twice (second time to connect both sides of the front bodice) and then used the stretch stitch above the basting to attach the empire waist band.  You can also see the gathered skirt at the bottom there. 

Bodice pleats outside

Bodice pleats outside

Here are the pleats on the right side (click the picture to “enbiggen”).  The arrows show where they have been stitched down (and show my bad sewing with Jack in my lap).  I do not like the look of this from the right side.

I decided to serge the side seams (using the 3 thread – single needle stitch).  I am still amazed at how fast it is to use the serger.  It’s like magic.  And then all of the sudden, I had a dress!!!  I mean, I still have to attach the sleeves, but I could actually put it on and wear it!!!  I don’t think I will ever get tired of the final moments of putting something together that’s wearable.  SO COOOOOOOOL!  I was so enamored of the finished project, that I actually considered wearing this dress even though the fabric is too young for me. 

Side seam

Side seam

Oh and before I forget to mention it…  ahem…  get ready for this…

I WAS RIGHT!!!!  Size 16 was too large for me.  The size 14 I made was too large for me.  My gut feeling to make a size 12 was right on.  Why, oh why do I never trust my gut???  This makes me feel so much better knowing that most of my patterns are size 14 and lower.  I would have hated having to repurchase them all again!

Ok, ok, I know you’re wanting to see the pictures.  Just remember that I haven’t hemmed yet, I haven’t cut all the stray bits of thread and the sleeves aren’t even on yet.  But lookee!

Bodice

Bodice

It’s a little low cut as you can see my bra here.  Hmm…  I really don’t like being forced to wear a cami. 

full view

There’s Jack.  Still up at 10pm at night.  He was a pistol.  So you can see that this dress is too big on me right?  Also, I don’t think this style is flattering on me.  In fact, I think it makes me look darn right dowdy.  The empire waist emphasises my large rib cage (made larger from years of singing opera). 

So, what do you think?  Should I even bother making this up again in the smaller size?  Do you think it would look better if I took out the gathers?  Please let me know!

Happy sewing!

8 Responses leave one →
  1. July 9, 2009

    I learned a lot from your post! I have only ventured in knits a few times–totally winged it. In fact, I haven’t ever used my serger–ever! I just bought thread for it today. I did make this pattern and loved the style–love hearing the right way to make it! May retry it!
    It is a bit bigon you, but if you took it in at the shoulders and the length needs to be taken up just a little–I think it can work nicely…you look marvelous in it–truthfully! I love the knit that you used!
    Thanks for your comment. I work well under pressure. My kids are getting to the age that it is so much easier. You will see…I keep thinking that this might be a sign to re-enter the workforce!

  2. Nikki permalink
    July 9, 2009

    I really like these colors on you, and I think you did an amazing job even though the dress is too big. I think if you size it down appropriately, it will look really really great.

  3. July 9, 2009

    Brava. I think you’ve come a long way in a short distance (maybe it’s the presence of your little helper?).

    I agree with Cindy that you could probably tweak the fit on this by taking the shoulders up a skooch (serious sewing term). You can also take the sides in by the same amount if it would help.

    BTW, I use strips of fusible interfacing to reinforce my shoulder seams. Not sure if you’ve tried that, but it’s a good use for all the scraps of fusible we have lying around.

    Also, for most knits, it’s easier to sew the sleeves in flat (before the side seams are sewn). Setting in a sleeve in a knit can be a royal PITA. As you may find out. Of course if you’re just going to wear this around the house, you could try adjusting it for fit and just make it into a cute sleeveless dress.

    I’m with you on the fabric – love the pattern, love the colors. The dots, not so much.

  4. =Tamar permalink
    July 10, 2009

    I think it looks pretty on you, both the fabric and style. I think the pleats were supposed to lie close enough so that each one covers the stitching lines of the next pleat. Some of the more recent Simplicity patterns seem to have been written by non-Simplicity writers, so be careful.

  5. Cayce permalink
    July 10, 2009

    I see what you mean, but the dress is awesome anyway….in fact….it would be just perfect for me! ; )

  6. eword10 permalink
    July 10, 2009

    Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! 🙂

  7. July 12, 2009

    I like the dress and the print is devine. It looks like the only tweaking needed is to shorten it.

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