Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Starting with Simplicity 8888

We're going to have to start saying "Before Coronvirus" and "After Coronvirus" so BC2020 and AD2020 as abbreviations. BC2020 I bought several maxi dress patterns...actually probably some of the last Big4 patterns I purchased...and will purchase for awhile.  I've got issues with the pattern companies but we all know that so moving on...


I purchased this pattern last summer because I liked the bodice and it's front opening, the side gathers and the zipper in the back. It wasn't until I actually got the pattern home that I realized the center front and center back pieces are one long piece and the side front and back pieces are separate pieces. So the pattern sat while I wrapped my mind around the construction.



Then seasons changed and it got placed back in the uncut pattern piles which seem to litter my sewing cave. Another reason I'm not buying any new patterns. However, in the time of Corona, I seem to have an abundance of time to sew. I've also finally admitted to myself that it will be summer when I'm allowed back in public, so I'm sewing summer.

I pulled this pattern out of a pile after making 45+ buttonholes and sewing on the same number of buttons. I was so ready to sew another type of opening. However after choosing a fabric to go with this pattern, I found myself taking the "Pattern Hacking" on the envelope cover literally. Because my dress only uses the bodice and facing pieces...


Going my own way was necessary because of my fabric choice...


Supply List ~
4 yards of a medium weight border print cotton jacquard from Fabric Mart
22" white invisible zipper
Interfacing from Steinlauf & Stoeller

Pattern Alterations ~
-  This is where I deviated from the pattern instructions because I always saw the entire bodice as separate from the skirt.
-  So I cut the center front and back pieces off matching them to the side pieces.
-  Then instead of using the pattern pieces for the skirt, I cut two 45" wide pieces.
-  The back piece was cut in half so I could insert the zipper
-  The front piece was left the entire width which is different from the pattern instructions


Construction ~
This dress was all about using the border print to the best advantage. I made a couple of changes to the construction of the dress and I'm going to list them below.  However, please feel free to skip over this. I'm documenting it here so when I make this dress again, I can review what I did. 

1.  Shoulder Seams
I should have made this alteration first but of course I noticed it when I tried it on.  So I sewed the princess seams 1" wide until about 4" down the princess seams for both the front and back seams.

2.  Center Front Bodice
I made a change to the center front because the opening was way too low.  I made an mark on the pattern 7.5" from the top of the bodice, after measuring the front piece against my body.

3. Skirt
Since I cut the front skirt pattern as one piece instead of the three pieces the pattern suggests, I had to start the gathering in a different place.  I used the center front side seams as my guide to start the gathering. My end place was 1" before the side seam. I did the exact thing with the two back pieces.

4. Side Slits
I omitted both slits. I didn't want to interrupt the flow of the border print on the bottom of the dress. Though when I make this again I will use at least one side slit...two is a little too much for me now.

One more thing - I will need to remember to add the pockets before sewing the bodice to the skirt. I didn't this time and it was a challenge to add them back in later.

Now A Few Pictures ~




This version is a little looser in the bodice than I wanted. The fabric makes this dress and while its a little stiffer, it works. I will take in the side seams for the next one.  I also want to make it in a drapier fabric so it will have a better hang. So of course I've already picked out fabric to try this again...sooner or later.

Next up on the blog is a cardigan and shirt. While I'm sewing for summer, I'm realistic enough to know that there will be cool days when I will want to wear my white jeans. Plus after six maxi dresses...I'm ready for something else. That's whats next on the blog...


...as always more later!



24 comments:

  1. Oh...I really like your dress. I seldom purchase border prints because I am not as creative as you are when you sew with them.

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  2. As always, you do beautiful things with a border print, and over the years there have been quite a few clever variations. I see what you mean with that pattern and they look like very sensible alterations. I like the little side gathers too, but you could try that on any suitable skirt. What a lovely dress you have made and so perfect for the Summer which can't be far away.

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  3. Love the border print and the pattern itself. It's a lovely dress. Wish the pattern went bigger than XXL.

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    1. Deb - with the number of seams, I think the bodice would be easy to enlarge. Especially if you add an FBA due to larger breast mass. The skirt of my dress is just two pieces of 45" fabric but it seems to me that if you used 54, 55 or 60" wide fabric you would have more than enough to fit your body. I mean that's 108, 110 or 120" of fabric going around your body. This is an easily adaptable pattern.

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  4. Another beautiful creation. Love it!

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  5. Great dress and fantastic fabric. You always accomplish such wonderful things with border prints. I have this dress in my sewing que for this summer, too.

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    1. Catherine, I hope you will share yours. I want to make it again in a solid colored rayon or linen to see how it hangs with a softer drape.

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  6. love that fabric and how you used it in your lovely dress

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  7. You look so happy in that dress! I love it, too! I really like the neckline on this. Is it supported in some way so that it doesn't go limp with washing?

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    1. Curious Daylily - actually I was just thrilled to be outside, taking pictures and engaging in a little pre-Corvid-19 activity.

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    2. Sorry - I forgot your question. That front facing is interfaced and the pattern offers the option of adding a loop and button closure at the neckline. My fabric has some weight to it so I'm not worried about it going limp. However, it's something I will definitely have to think about in my next lighter weight version.

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  8. I love the border print!! I have a dress I want to make whose skirt uses WAY too much fabric and was thinking of just making panels and gathering. Think I'm gonna go for it!

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    Replies
    1. K - Definitely change up the skirt so that it works for you! I rarely use the maxiskirt pattern pieces because they either don't have enough width OR they have too much!

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  9. I always love a border print and you find such pretty ones, perfect summer dress.

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  10. This is really a great dress and it looks wonderful on you! Constance Spaulding

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  11. HI, Love how you show your thought process and adjustments based on them. Really helps clarify what I need to do. Thank you!

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  12. I love how you went 'rogue' with this pattern and made it your own. It turned out so striking and the walk away factor is fabulous. I sometimes wish I had your eye to see how things are going to come out. Beautiful dress!

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  13. It's a great dress and a spectacular fabric. Your changes make sense with this fabric. Will you keep them for the next one? Anyway, you always surprise me.

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    1. Yes, I will be using the pattern with the changes I've made for the next one. And thank you!!!

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  14. I love the way you handled the border print on the bodice. So pretty!

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  15. You look beautiful, and I have enjoyed seeing your maxi dresses!

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  16. You are the queen of border prints !

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  17. Oh, that dress is SO pretty! Your makes are always amazing, & I usually just lurk, but again, just so pretty 😍

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  18. LOVE your maxi dresses and how you place your prints. Gorgeous!!!

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