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Simplicity 1612 – Another Summer Dress

S1612_Planning

I bought two patterns from Simplicity during their last online sale and this is the second pattern from that purchase. The pattern is Simplicity 1612, View A. It’s a knit dress pattern with a twisted front detail at the bust, a twisted back panel, cap sleeves and view A finishes at the knee. I used a retro white/orange/brown printed poly knit that’s been in my stash for yonks. I remember loving it at the time but then I realised the print ran the wrong way (selvedge to selvedge not lengthwise) and it ended up buried in the cupboard. Time to stash bust! 

S1612_FinalDressThe pattern went together easy enough, from cutting to hemming it took me an afternoon, about three and a half hours. I was anticipating some modifications so I didn’t use my nicer fabrics. It was made in a size 26W and for something straight out of the packet it’s turned out well enough to wear around the house BUT you can see my bra at the back so I won’t be wearing it in public. That’s the biggest change I need to make to the paper pattern if/when I make this up again ‘cuz my bra is visible and that’s not a good look! The twist at the bust worked out much better than I thought it would. It covers enough of my chest so that the front of my bra is covered but it’s still a nice steep v-neck. 

On to the list of modifications, none of them are essential but I like to aim for better each time I make something. I will add extra width to the lower inside curve of the back twisty piece and shift the notches on the skirt to match. I will probably cut about 5cm off at the hem to have it sit at or above my knee, it’s a touch too long at the moment (or alternatively I will make it a maxi!). The next time I make it I will shift the shoulder seam back by 1-2cm, I think it sits a bit too far forward. I’m also considering combining the back skirt and back twist panels into one simpler pattern piece for a faster style option. I like the waist shaping through the back so I’d leave the centre back seam. I know that sounds like a long list of changes but they’re all so minor and they will be quick to do. S1612_FSB

I wanted to break this up into a few posts but life has been a bit messy of late so I’m just putting up the finished project.

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Simplicity 1800- The Toile

The toile has been made and I am pleased to say this should be much easier to fit than the last pattern I tried- yay!

S1800 FBS Toile

I’m not sure that the 26DD option was the best choice. By measurements it was what I needed but on the body the bust panels were too long and the empire seam sat too low. In the photos I’ve already pinned out approximately 3cm length across the front and back, across the bust area, to lift that seam up and I like where it sits in the photos.
Note: I did a similar alteration to the Francesa top, so I wonder if I just have a higher bust than average for my size.

S1800Toile_NewSideSeamThe side seam wasn’t straight, I need more room across the back hips. There’s enough room around but it’s not balanced and it makes the pockets sit funny. I took a plumb-bob, held it up to my underarm where the sleeve joined and asked MrT to redraw the line on both sides. I’ll add 5cm to the back piece at the side seam, the front can stay as it is.

S1800Toile_ArmholeAlterationLastly, the sleeves were a bit too full at the front. I pinned in a 4cm dart, tapering to the point where the bodice panels join. There is still a bit of ease and I can move but it’s no longer flappin’ about and it makes the shoulder seam sit in a much nicer position.

The instructions for assembly are a bit of a nightmare , especially for the facings but also for the pockets. I loathe facings anyway, so I plan on fully lining the bodice and sleeves in white cotton voile. At least then I can choose from a greater variety of bras without fear of show-through. 😉

I’m happy enough with this toile and the pinned alterations to proceed to the real fabric tomorrow, once I’ve transferred it all to the paper pattern. Wish me luck!

Simplicity 1800 – The Next Summer Dress

A couple of years ago when we were down visiting DH’s family in Adelaide his mum took me fabric shopping and we went to DK Fabrics. If there’s one selfish reason we should move to Adelaide it would be so that I can shop there more often, it’s what a fabric shop should be. 🙂

While we were there I bought a gorgeous piece of cotton/viscose in shades of white, coral pinks, pumpkin orange, cherry red and purple. It’s been sitting in my stash ever since we returned waiting for the right garment to present itself and I believe I’ve found it’s ideal match- Simplicity 1800, view B. I love the two-piece raglan sleeves (should be good for my wonky shoulders), the pleated front which hides some useful pockets and I adore the neckline.

Simplicity1800MoodBoard

Being one of the “Amazing Fit” patterns- I’ve cut a size 26DD. This will be the first commercial pattern I’ve used which has a FBA included as an option (rather than a DIY approach), so it will be interesting to see how well it fits. I’ve cut the toile out of calico and hope to be finished sewing it together by the end of today. There are less pieces to put together than the Francesca top I made a couple of weeks ago, so I don’t think it will take me more than the day *fingers crossed*.

Style Arc’s Linda Stretch Pants- Plus Size Goodness!

I made up the first version of my Linda pants in a size 26 about a week or so ago, in a black poly ponte. I went by Style Arc’s size charts and bought it based on my hip measurements but the waist needed a lot of taking in.

Apologies for the lack of detail- the camera in my phone doesn't like black!

Apologies for the lack of detail- the camera in my phone doesn’t like black!

I bought a size 26 pattern to fit my hip measurement and took a 5cm wedge (10cm total) out of the centre front seam so that they fit my waist. I need the room at the hips for the low belly fluff but my “waist” is tiny in comparison. I like them, but there’s some fitting to address next time around. Oh- and I’ll remember to buy some wide elastic. These were made in a hurry so I skipped it, and I could kick myself for not using something stronger than just the ponte as a waistband.

The drag lines at the back I think needs two things- more back crotch length and less inseam length… I think? With the extra back crotch length I think the front should also lose the tiny smiley. Suggestions welcome!

These will be presentable house pants (I’m an Aussie, I don’t mean knickers!). Without the elastic in the waist I wouldn’t want to be bending over too much out in public.

I’m impressed with this pattern company mainly because of their sizing. I am currently a RTW 24/26, definitely plus size, and most of the big companies size charts have me at a size 32. Very few patterns go up to that and the ones that do aren’t as stylish or as flattering as the patterns from Style Arc. My only criticism is that they don’t offer multi-size patterns *sobs*, so as I continue to lose weight I’ll need to repurchase the patterns I like.

BurdaStyle Francesca Final

I’ve finally finished the real Francesca Variation yesterday, and I even wore it out of the house! It took much longer to assemble it than I thought it would, almost two full days of cutting, pressing and sewing. There were 24 panels/pieces to sew together , excluding facings and interfacing, so I can see where the time was spent and why I wouldn’t have been able to make it up in an afternoon like I had hoped.

Burdastyle Francesca

I decided to alter the back skirt panels the “proper” way, letting it out at the seams and shaping it to the hem, and I also tweaked the sleeves to get rid of the excess from the last toile. Sadly, the sleeves were a bit too snug after my tweaking so I made a cut-out where the ties are sewn and bound the cut edge with some green bias binding I had in my stash- it’s a passable fudge but I’ll modify the pattern to account for that for next time.

BS _Francesca_Detail

I pinched out 1-1.5cm on the lower shoulder seam, at the outer edge, tapering back to 0cm at the neck edge. I took a similar amount off the sleeve head as well to make it fit. Those adjustments took care of some of the wrinkling across the shoulders BUT I should have checked where the bust panel notches were before I sewed them on, they’re slightly uneven and I think it’s because of my uneven shoulder height. All those adjustments aside, I really do like how it turned out. I like the shape and the colours and the fabric. I love the rolled hem on the overlay and the pleated panel under it. I plan on making it again but will probably make two more at the same time to make it worthwhile- set it up as an assembly line, much more efficient!

BurdaStyle Francesca Toile #2

I’ve finished the second toile, this time with the sleeves. It’s a big improvement in how it feels when it’s on but I’m still going to change a few more things.

BurdaStyle Francesca Toile V2
The neckline was dropped but I think I can get away with being a bit more chop-happy for the final version. It’s still too high, I think, for the contrast bust panels to look nice.

The band under the bust has been levelled out, I’m happy enough with where it sits now. I think I’ll end up adding elastic between the two princess panels at the back and do away with the zip altogether.

I have wrinkly-pooling-foldiness happening at back waist. Can’t be bothered correcting that the “proper” way so I’m going to combine the back panels into one piece, add another 5-10cm and gather it where it attaches to the band.

The sleeves have a huge amount of ease! The difference between my armhole measurement and my sleeve head is 7cm- yikes. I think I might make a feature of the excess and keep the gathering theme going by making it a bit of a puff sleeve. The circumference at the sleeve hem is also a bit large, so I think I’ll add some elastic between where the ties finish, just to pull it in a bit.

Once it’s made out of a more drapey, floaty fabric I think this will be a winner. I’m quite pleased with how it’s coming along.

Sadly, no fabric shopping for me this weekend *wails!!*. With any luck I’ll get out to the fabric shop on pay-day though.

BurdaStyle Francesca Toile #1

First toile made and pattern modifications have been noted down so I can alter the pattern pieces today and cut a second toile.

Bustrastyle Francesca Toile 01

I need to let it out (more than I thought I’d have to) across the hem, I’ve split it open down the front and back to give me an idea of how much I need to add. I’ll add it evenly throughout the panels. I think a total of 16cm will be enough.

I need to add some length to the front bodice and remove some length on the back bodice- the band under the bust is tilted. Fingers crossed- removing some length on the back bodice and adding some width will be enough to remove, or at least minimize, the wrinkling you can see on the back skirt panels (I’m sure some of the wrinkles you can see is just from bad pinning).

might lower and widen the neckline a small amount. It’s a nice height now without the contrast detailing but if I’m adding more fabric with the contrasting bust panels I can do with enlarging the neckline.

I haven’t added the sleeves to this toile and I’ve left off the contrasting fabric too. I will add the sleeves to the next toile but I think I’ll skip the contrasting fabric again, it’s not needed for tweaking the fit.

I’m going to transfer all the alterations to the pattern pieces today and if I have time cut out the second toile. If all goes well I should be able to sew it up by tomorrow and then go fabric hunting this weekend for the final version. I’ve already seen some gorgeous printed cotton voile online and I’m hoping they have it in store.

As pointed out on The Sewing Forum, I do have wonky shoulders and I know I need to fit for that. Generally I just pin out the excess just before I insert the sleeves but someone made the suggestion of using a small shoulder pad. It’s something I’ll mill over while I make the next toile.