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Stash Increase and Not a Pattern Review for S2337

2011 February 6
by elizabeth_admin

I mentioned earlier that I bought some fabric when I went shopping with Karen yesterday.  Here’s what I bought…

First up is a faux fur from Paron’s.  Ever since I saw Claudine’s faux fur skirt, I knew I would have to make my own.  I don’t know if I’m going to make mine as short though since my legs aren’t half as nice as Claudine’s.  At this point, I’m thinking I’ll just use my TNT pattern, .  Instead of a back slit though, I might do two side slit.  That way I could cut the back on the fold.  Of course, I’ll have to use a side zip then.  I will face it with a different fabric.  Don’t know what yet, and it will definitely be lined.


Next up is a purchase which I might put in the regret column.  In the store I was bedazzled by it.  I hope Karen didn’t think I had the worst taste.  But I was irresistably drawn to it like a moth to methI mean, to a flame.  It held the holy trifecta for me: it was shiny, it had purple in it, and it was brocade.  And let’s not forget that animal prints are really in right now.   Of course this is slated for a pencil skirt.  So what do you think?  Did I temporarily lose my mind?  Please weigh in!


And last but definitely not least, my son’s couture choice of Thomas the Train flannel which shall of course be made into jammies.  This morning, he asked me if I had made the pj’s yet.  So cute! 


Now for the not a pattern review of Simplicity 2337… 

Since both of my muslins were disasters, my final dress was basically another muslin.  It’s wearable, but not perfect.  I started with the sz 14, but should have gone with the 12 and therefore made many, many fitting changes along the way:

  • took in the side seams
  • straightened out the hip curves
  • drastically reduced the width of the middle panel between the side panels, especially the side opposite of the pleats
  • elongated the bottom two pleats
  • took out an inch from the shoulder seams, thereby raising the dress an inch
  • put darts in the back neckline and facing

What these changes accomplished:

  • the fit of the dress from the ribcage down was spot on
  • the decollete was work appropriate and flattering
  • the bottom of the armscye was then too high
  • shortened the dress
  • the back neckline was disaster with gaposis and too much height, even with the added darts
  • the fullness of the bust was not in the right place for my bust
  • the armscye shape was changed and the sleeve cap was too big (but I forgot about this unfortunately until it was too late, or until I was too tired to care anymore)

Let’s look at the final front picture, shall we?  Note the arrows pointing to the problem areas.

As you can see, the fit at the top of the bodice is less than stellar, but I am quite pleased with the rest of the dress.  As a matter of fact, my favorite part is the sleeve with button details:


Some more construction details…

too much sleeve cap ease, but maybe more due to the smaller armscye


the design detail: neckline from hell

serged seam allowances


hem and vent


A couple of notes if any of you are planning on making this dress:

  • sizing is wildly different for different types of fabrics (i.e., stretch factor).  In fact, I believe this dress was drafted only with wovens in mind.
  • the skirt is a little on the short side, partly because I raised the shoulder seam.  I had to use a minimal hem to get it to an attractive length at the knee.
  • the sleevecap may have excess ease, be sure to check before you try to ease it.
  • there are a few missing dots and/or notches on this pattern, beware!
  • the princess seam side panel is frustratingly curved, even with extreme clipping.  I also think it might be too wide since it puffed out quite a bit at the side of the bust.

Conclusion:  I will make this dress again, but I need some distance from the project for awhile.  When I do, I will do the following:

  • start with a sz 12 for double knit or a sz 14 for a woven
  • shorten the bodice between the bust and the shoulder 1 inch
  • lengthen the skirt so I can have a decent hem
  • include all the other changes I made to my final dress (listed above).

Did I mention how much I loved my buttons???

13 Responses leave one →
  1. February 7, 2011

    The dress really looks great on you, and I can’t wait to see your fur skirt!

  2. February 7, 2011

    Looks like I’m the first to comment again. I’m not stalking you, honest!

    What I was going to say was… Have you tried doing your bodices in a size 12 with an FBA, grading down to a 14 at the waist? It’s a bit more work (although only minimally so on knits if you use Debbie Cook’s cheater FBA) but for me at least it makes an enourmous difference in terms of fit. They do say that your average pattern is designed for a B-cup, and there’s no way that you’re that flat.

    Also, the model on the pattern envelope has some under-arm bagging going on there if you look, so it probably is a pattern fault. Annoying to say the least!

  3. February 7, 2011

    Honestly, most onlookers will have their eyes drawn up and down over a dress, and not notice underarm creasing. It’s the type of thing a sewist might notice but the rest of the world probably won’t. I think overall you look lovely in it! Who knows, you probably could pinch in those folds and sew them into darts, the rest of the world would think they are design features. After all the work you’ve done on this dress, a wee dart sewn in front of the telly might do fine. A tiny dart like that, with all that previous seam ripper work, I’d bite the bullet and hand sew to avoid doing and re-doing at the machine.

    But if it bothers you, it looks like an ideal dress to throw over a long, untied rectangular scarf to camouflage them. Hmm, those folds point to the bustline–did you use your high bust measurement to decide on the size, and then do a FBA? It seems the previous poster and I have the same idea it may be that. But if the pattern has that on the model, then it’s poorly drafted too. Pff!

  4. Rosie permalink
    February 7, 2011

    I am loving the faux fur; looking forward to seeing your faux fur skirt. I got a pice recently and am drafting the vest pattern tonight. Hmm can the print material be used for a sleeveless sheath for a night out? Aww that Thomas the Train material is just adorable. I bet Jack is super excited to get his new garment.

  5. Carolyn permalink
    February 7, 2011

    Well I don’t think you’ve lost your mind about the brocade. I think if you run the stripes vertically that you will end up with a great skirt…that is so you. Now the fur skirt I ain’t so sure about…where do you plan on wearing it?

  6. February 7, 2011

    You’re very brave for working with faux fur! And a skirt, at that! Excited to see how it turns out. Let us know how it goes!

  7. February 7, 2011

    i like the brocade as well! and the thomas flannel… those are going to be some adorable little pjs 😉

  8. February 7, 2011

    I made a Simplicity dress muslin last night and it had gaposis in the same underarm/above high boob spot. A gal on Pattern Review had the same problem that I did. Maybe it’s a Simplicity thing.

    I really like that snakeskin fabric, BTW. I have a similar fabric in a cream and navy. But I will admit, it’s intimidating, and I don’t quite know what to do with it.

  9. February 8, 2011

    The fur is beautiful!!

  10. February 8, 2011

    so glad I found your site! I’ve been wanting to get back into sewing and it’s hard to find non-mommy and non-quilting sewing blogs.

  11. February 9, 2011

    I think the flattering parts of the dress outweigh it’s small flaws. No project ever comes out perfect (well, none of mine do…). Love the faux fur!

  12. February 9, 2011

    I think the flattering parts of the dress (and it is very flattering) outweigh its small flaws. No project ever comes out perfect (well, none of mine do…). Love the faux fur!

    In case I double posted–an it’s and its error. Horrors!!!!!

  13. April 13, 2011

    Just discovered your blog and I like it a lot. I might be wrong but looking a this dress, it looks like you could have gone a size smaller and made a FBA to get the fit right under the arms.

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