I couldn’t be happier with my latest make. After my birthday dress and another UFO, I’m glad to have something cute and that was simple to make.
The fabric was purchased from the Mill End (if you’re in the Portland area go there!!) It’s a very light and floaty Marc Jacobs’ cotton lawn. I recognized it as Marc Jacobs’ because I’m an obsessive blog lurker (I’m starting to comment more and be less of a creep, I swear) and remembered this adorable dress by the talented Suzanne. This fabric feels like second skin, it’s very soft and almost silky feeling. Oh and duhh, it’s covered in bows. Cute cute cute!
I took inspiration from this uber cute fabric and said , “What would Zooey Deschanel wear?” I decided this fabric was dying to be turned into a little retro dress with a full skirt and short sleeves. I was right ;)
I used Simplicity 2444, one of the Project Runway patterns, and I love it. The four angled darts in the bodice provide a nice shape and are unique. This will definitely become a “tried and true” pattern for me. In fact, I’ve already got another dress planned.
This is me asking Chris to make sure he takes a photo of the darts
I have had so much luck with Simplicity, it’s like their pattern designer took measurements of me one night while I was sleeping and said this will be our size 12. I made absolutely no modifications whatsoever to this pattern. Love that! It makes sewing a lot more fool proof and fun when you’re not worried about if your adjustments will work or not.
The instructions for the construction of this differed a little from typical dress instructions. It has you attach the front skirt to the front bodice, the back skirt to the back bodice, and THEN do the side seams. I thought that was a little bit weird, but it did make finishing with french seams very easy to do on a majority of the seams. I think I’m going to try to remember assembling this way the next time I want to use french seams.
Any of the raw edges that couldn’t be finished with french seams were bound with bias tape. I also used matching pink lace hem tape to finish the hem and I catch-stitched by hand. Instead of folding under the sleeve-hem and leaving a line of stitches, I used the bias tape as a facing and catch-stitched it into place as well.
The only change I think I’ll make to future versions is to make the pockets bigger. They feel a little too shallow to comfortably put my hands in. Also, you don’t need nearly as much fabric as the pattern envelope suggests. I bought 3 yards and still have nearly a whole yard left over AND I followed the “with nap” layout and nominally tried to match up the bows. If this was solid colored fabric I could have made this with a little less than 2 yards of fabric.
All in all, this dress gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me. It’s super wearable and is just precious enough for a girly girl like me.