Simplicity 1873. No worries, I did not drop off the sewing/blogging world. An unexpected trip and some unexpected sewing foibles just have me running a bit behind. You know how, sometimes, a project will try its best to kill you? Well, I don't know what I did to Cynthia Rowley, but she sent this pattern to do me in. If something could go wrong while sewing this up, it did. But - ha! - it's finished. It can torture me no more. You'll have to try harder to get this sewist to give up, Rowley.
Okay, honestly, the issues were mostly my fault. Cynthia Rowley has designed another delightful pattern in 1873. As I've said previously, I'm not a huge fan of her ready-to-wear designs, but her sewing patterns work really well for me. (Witness the million iterations of Simplicity 2215.) This dress is no exception - the combination of that low scooped neckline and the full, pleated skirt makes me a bit weak in the knees. It's the epitome of my beloved fit-and-flare silhouettes. Right now, if I were forced to pick one dress from my closet to wear everyday for a year, this would be it. How's that for pattern love?
Construction was, itself, a terror. I don't know what I was smoking when I cut out the fabric, but the skirt hem was a hot mess. Not a single piece of the five panel skirt (front panel, two side panels, and two back panels) was the same length. How does that even happen? I also, somehow, ended up with a wider bodice than skirt, which I suspect had something to do with my FBA. Luckily, the side seams are hidden between pleats anyway, so my waist finagling is invisible.
Worse, however, were the sleeves. I know what you're thinking. What sleeves, Mary? Well, originally, I had cut out these darling little self-drafted cap sleeves. They were lovely and so very Maria! They were also too small by a good inch. I had forgotten to add seam allowances. My arms, they could not move. As lovely as it is to walk around with one's arms pasted to one's side, I ripped them out. Naturally, I hadn't realized they were too small until I'd sewn the damn things in. Brilliant, Mary, just brilliant.
So, I then proceeded to stare at this dress for a week, debating the sleeves issue. Finally, I decided that I just couldn't face them again. Who cares what Maria's dress looked like? This was mine and it would be sleeveless!
Sleeves? Who needs 'em? I've got a pink belt instead!
The dress then sat for another two weeks, waiting for me to stop doing work, sewing a pencil skirt (which will make its debut later this week!), and having unexpected travels, so I could hem it. Which, considering that wonky cutting job I did, looks pretty spectacular. There was barely enough length to raise it to the perfect just-above-my-knees spot. Of course, as soon as I finished, I loved it. Why did it take me so long to finish this dress? It's lovely. So springy! So versatile! Why, with just some black peep-toe pumps and sunglasses, it's even so very retro!
Here's lookin' at you, kittens.
The Ever-Exciting Details...
Things I Love:
- The skirt! Is there anything so wonderful as a full, pleated skirt? Barring chocolate and puppies, of course, I can think of nothing. It just makes me want to swish!
- The eyelet! I am a bit of an eyelet hoarder, it must be said. I buy it, then hold it close, so I never mess it up. It's one of my favorite fabrics - so classic & feminine, which is my style crack.
- The scooped neckline! Perfect for necklaces and balancing out bodice proportions. Hooray!
Things I Changed:
- 2.5 inch Full Bust Adjustment, as ever.
- Added a full lining, rather than just the prescribed bodice lining.
Things I Would Change, If I Made it Again:
- Nothing! The pattern is, itself, perfect. If I could change the sewist making this dress, I would. Sadly, no one else seems to be lining up to sew my clothes. I'll just have to fix my mistakes, next time around.
- The trickiest part of this pattern is the skirt pleating. It's a bit counter-intuitive, as the box pleats cover some of your seams. Don't worry! That's supposed to happen. For best of luck, clearly mark all those finicky little pleat lines, put on some Kimbra, and rock out while meticulously pleating yards of material. It will be worth it!
Notions & Fabric:
- 22 inch invisible zipper
- White Eyelet Cotton - Gorgeous Fabrics: $10/yard
- White Linen - Hancock Fabrics: $8/yard, on sale
- Three weeks, or twelve hours, depending on how you count.
And my absolute favorite way to wear Simplicity 1873? With a cardigan, of course! Today I wore it with a mint green sweater, black belt, and black shoes...the perfect outfit for the first days of spring.