I was among the host of lucky bloggers Simplicity contacted wondering if I’d like to choose a pattern to review and also hold a give away with. After talking it though with a rather lovely blogger who’s got more experience of these sorts of posts, I gratefully and somewhat gleefully accepted. This was back in June. I owe Hannah a massive apology for the length of time it has taken for me to get the dress sewn and also get the post up. Hannah, I’m so so sorry.
One of the most enjoyable parts of this whole process was trying to come up with a short list from Simplicity‘s massive catalogue. I was intrigued by the Amazing Fit concept having seen Karen’s version of 1882. I was also intrigued as to whether the concept would work for me as I have a 6″ difference between my high bust and full bust measurements. I chose S2217 to try out and I’m rather pleased with the results!
In a nut shell, Simplicity have taken a lot of the flat pattern fitting adjustments out of the equation for you. THere are different sized bodice pieces to fit your bust and different sizes at the hip for those with more (or less) curves.
Here’s how I selected my pattern pieces:
My upper bust is 38″ so I started with a size 16. For each cup size the pattern increases by 1/2″ and an A cup was 40″ (this includes wearing ease) up to a D cup at 41 1/2″. I needed 42″ but for the sake of science decided to go with the pattern piece for a D cup with no further adjustments.
At the hip the options were for a slim fit at 43 1/2″ (again this includes wearing ease), 44″ for an average fit or 44 1/2″ for someone with a little more curve. I chose the curvy fit. And to make fitting even easier the side seams are sewn last and have 1″ seam allowances to make those final tweaks!
And you know what, to get this information I didn’t have to measure a single pattern piece. It’s all printed on the back of the envelope. This is a big deal for me as I can’t remember the last time I used any of the big four’s patterns and had this information so easily accessible. I’ve always had to measure the tissue to work out the ease so not having to do that extra piece of work to ensure a good fit was lovely.
I was really trying to talk myself into using some fabric from the stash but I’d seen this stretch sateen on the Minerva Crafts website and it was just calling to me. I prevaricated and sought the opinion of Twitter. A certain Australian gave me the final push I needed; Lizzy you were right (as always!). I love the combination of this fabric with this pattern! Some of you may have also noticed that the rather wonderful Dibs used the same fabric for her Minerva Blogging Network dress.
Construction wise this was really straight forward. It’s an unlined dress and with the stretch of the fabric I chose I was happy to forgo the lining. If I want to wear tights (and as it’s decidedly autumn now I will be!) I’ll just wear a half slip with it. If you did want to line it Sew It Anyway has a really thorough post on how she lined hers here. She wore it to the Goldhawk Road meet up and it’s a divine dress!
There were three variations I made to the construction of the dress;
The first was to put a box pleat in the skirt. I just could not understand what the instructions were asking me to do and the pattern envelope illustrations and photo suggested a box pleat so that is what I went with.
The second was to use bias tape instead of facings. I really hate facings and avoid them where ever I can and this was no exception. It meant a ton of hand stitching to secure it on the inside but I think it was worth it.
The third was to cut the wrap portions of the bodice on the bias. The pattern instructs you to cut on the straight grain but I wanted to play with the direction of the pattern on the fabric so bias it was. I’m really pleased with the effect.
Inside is finished with the aforementioned bias tape and serged seams allowances. The waist panel is self lined and gives some gorgeous structure to that area; it was supposed to be interfaced but as the fabric has quite a bit of body I didn’t bother.
This isn’t an every day dress for me, it’s a bit too vavavoom for the office but for an evening out its perfect! And the name? I’m drinking a home made juice as I write and the colours of the fruit and veg that went into it remind me of this dress:
2 apples (red & green)
1/2 lemon (yellow)
2 carrots (orange)
1 beetroot (pink / purple)
So, if you’re keen to give this dress a go I have a give away for you, thanks to the lovely people at Simplicity! A copy of S2217 or if the dress isn’t your thing I also have a copy of S3688 a gorgeous vintage inspired top and trouser set that Debbie at My Happy Sewing Place has made.
I have each pattern in both size ranges so four prizes! All you have to do is leave me a comment below letting me know which Simplicity pattern is your favourite and which of the patterns you would like to win and the size range you need by midnight on Sunday 22 September (that’s the midnight just before Monday, I always find that a little confusing!) BST (GMT+1) . I’m happy to post internationally.
**This give away is now closed **
Thank you again Simplicity for the wonderful opportunity to try the pattern and also for the chance to give away patterns to my readers!!