Project: Simplicity Cynthia Rowley 1801

getting startedDear Reader:  now that you’ve seen my zip struggles, may I introduce you to the dress the zip belonged to?

PicMonkey Collage

 So pretty! I’m actually fairly happy with how this turned out. Although this was not a project without issues, in the end it was fairly quick to get sewn up.  The main issues I had were:

1. Sizing:  as usual, there was a disconnect between my measurements and the pattern sizes, so I ended up doing  2 muslins; in the end going  down from a 12 to a 10. In hindsight  I could probably have graded it closer to an 8 , as the back is a little gapey and there is definitely room in the chest. It still fits, though, and is lovely and flowy and comfortable, so I can definitely see it working on a hot sticky summer’s day, when clingy things are anathema.

2. The neckline: now, I managed to get this to work perfectly in both muslins. Like, I was actually getting a little smug, all walking around like “this neckline is so EASY!”. But when I got to the actual garment, it just did not work at all. It was a giant mess. I did not take a photo , it was too horrifying. I think the problem was my interfacing, which was fighting with my soft, drapey fabric.  So I ripped the whole thing out and cut a new facing, which worked a whole lot better. Unfortunately, everything was a bit janky and damaged from the fighting and the horror and the ripping. So in the end, the neckline looked like this:

neckline

Not a nightmarish vision of the hellish reality of  Yog Sothoth or anything, but you can definitely see that the lower point is sort of scrumpy and untidy. And the stay-stitching isn’t really helping, the neckline is sort of… gently not lying like it should.

3. The Fabric: I’ve been trying to find out exactly what this is- it was listed in the store as “Velvet Satin”. It’s a lightly flocked satin- not really velvety, but definitely a bit softer and more subtle than a normal shiny satin. It has the most gorgeous drape, and the tiniest, tiniest bit of stretch- just enough to be annoying, actually.  Everything that had been simple with my firmer muslin fabric was suddenly much… squelchier.

4. The Zip: As you may know, the zip was… a learning experience for me.

I decided that this would be the dress I tried out my experiments with blind hems, even though I didn’t have a blind hem foot. and it turned out pretty good! Although the fabric is so soft, it leaves a little bit of a “bump” at the top of the hem, which is not that obvious IRL, but fairly pronounced in photos:

blind hem

I’m quite happy with this dress, and think it will look great with a pair of heels and an interesting neckpiece.  The sleeves are very different for me, and I’m still not sure about them- my brain keeps telling me they’re a bit matronly for me, but  they are quite flattering and really comfortable. The soft drapey fabric deals well with the heaps and heaps of gathering,  so it doesn’t get that thick bunched-up look I’ve seen people complaining about with this pattern. That being said, I’m not sure I would make this again.

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