Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chasing Summer Dress - Simplicity 2591

Pattern: Simplicity 2591 (2009) OOP

Pattern Description: Dress with princess seaming, front pockets hidden in a gathered skirt panel, back zipper, and neckline and sleeve variations.

Pattern Sizing: Size K5 (8-10-12-14-16) View B I cut a size 12.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Amazingly so. I thought the side seams combined with hidden pockets bit would be tricky but it worked out perfectly.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? When I think of casual wear I think of smock-like dresses with lots of useful pockets. This dress gives me large pockets for practicality and a defined waist for feminine prettiness, which is considered a complete win in my book.

Fabric Used: A 44/45" juvenile cotton print from Joann Fabrics, 22" Robin zipper in Bone, thread, Pellon Easy-Knit (AK130) fusible knit interfacing, and a hook and eye closure.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made?: I started by marking the darts first with tracing paper and then thread basting. I like the precision of this step and thought some of the instructions for the pocket and bodice construction would be confusing so having accurate match points was important for success. I found the construction to be very straight forward and I zipped through it, putting together the front and back quickly before reaching the zipper insertion.

Thread tracing at pocket opening.
I chose to use a centered zipper instead of doing a lapped one as instructed. I'm quite proud of my centered invisible ones for me either, thank you very much.

Basting the shoulder and side seams, I eagerly tried on the dress and found that it fit...perfectly in the part I was most worried about, the waist portion. I may not be able to "pig out" in this dress but it definitely has the hour-glass thing going for it. The only problem was the neckline was gaping in front and in back so that had to be addressed. I not only had to alter the shoulder seams by stitching a larger seam allowance towards the neck but also by creating some back shoulder darts (which
I should incorporate in all my woven makes from now on). I was NOT going to take out that gorgeous centered zipper just to alter the back bodice seam.

Made alterations to the paper pattern for the future.
So in order to fix the front neckline, I consulted my vintage sewing books (all of them!) and ended up
trying two small darts towards both shoulders which did not work. I ended up making two pleats on the front shoulders and gathering the back shoulder to fit. This took out about a one inch width from the shoulders, just emphasizing how I  really need to use Patternmaking to create a bodice sloper sooner than later.
Dress front with gathers and pockets.
The dress is cleverly constructed with the side seam panel combining with the pocket construction.  When made in a less obvious print or in a solid fabric, the pockets could be completely hidden and just thought to be part of the princess seams.

Side seam and pocket pivot point.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes, I would and will make it again. The pattern has a few different variations and I definitely can see it made with sleeves and in thicker fabrics for the colder months. I highly recommend it for its playfulness factor too.

Similar novelty print dress from Mod Cloth.
Conclusion: I first saw this dress in seersucker on All Buttoned Up's blog and loved the simple utilitarian feel of her version. Eventually, I found out that many sewists had also discovered this pattern. Unfortunately, it is now out of print; which is strange for such a popular pattern but I'm sure you could still find it online.

Now, this may be the only item in my closet that I might be "too old" for, but that's only because of the fabric print. I found it in the children's section of Jo-Anns and could not resist the bright colors and the floral cuteness or "kawaii" spirit. I mean, come on...colorful flowers, ladybugs, butterflies, and bumble bees! This will be my off-hours outfit for the weekend, not a work dress, I assure you. Well, maybe on Fridays...

*The working title of this dress was originally Toujour jeune d'esprit = still young at heart because of the print. However, my procrastination made the new title more appropriate.


Robin said...

I really like the dress--it fits you well. The bodice seaming is nice.

Gail said...

Great dress! I'm glad you'll make it again - this shape looks fantastic on you!

Summer Flies said...

Looks great. I love the skirt part with the pockets and the panel down the front. The print is fun!

Beverly said...

Such a fun & pretty dress that looks great on you!

Unknown said...

Just discovered your blog from your Sewing Pattern Review Bio page. Love your blog!

Helen said...

That is a very cute dress and it looks great on you. I think the print is very fun. Thanks for sharing your process!