Monday, August 12, 2013

Simplicity 1802

I rarely buy patterns from the larger companies. I actually find the pattern books overwhelming and just have to walk away. I bought this pattern after seeing Sew Brusnwick's wonderful version. This dress was actually completed in May, but I was only finished it the night before I had to hand it into the local show so never had time to do get decent photos. For some years now, I have been entering a competition held through the local show, with the finals held at the Ekka (Brisbane Show). The judging at the Ekka was held on Saturday, and I am pleased to have placed Second in the Adult Daywear.
 I actually hadn't planned to enter this year. However, the steward phoned me and asked me whether I was planning to put something in this year, so at the last minute (with less than a fortnight to go), I started planning my entry. I was drawn to the piping and the rounded godets in this pattern. I was really hoping to find a black, white and one other colour cotton print to use for the dress, and I found this print at the local fabric shop.

At the time when I bought it, I did not realise how sheer it was and I had to go back to the shop to buy some fabric to underline it. By this stage, I had 5 days until the dress had to be in, and all I had was fabric. I cleared my weekend (and DH cleared the house of children). I was hoping for a smooth ride but ended up with a lot more challenges.
I muslined the bodice and decided I would make it in a size 10, a size or two less than the size my measurements should have been. I had read there was plenty of ease but I ahd my fingers crossed that the skirt had enough ease for my pear shape. I made a trip to the fabric store to buy rat's tail and piping cord for the piping. I bought I few different widths to experiement with. To be honest, I can't even remember what I went with. It was black and with the ribbons if that helps. It was not piping cord though. I had to make another trip to the fabric store to buy more since I had not bought nearly enough (I was not piping the godets, so had to estimate what I needed - I was off my a lot!). This is the first time making piping, so I am glad the seams were straight. I can't remember but I think it was from the Cherub's Kiss blog or maybe a tip L from Cherub's Kiss put on a sewing forum, but it was useful. You sew the piping to one side of the fabric right next to the piping cord, then stitch along the stitch line when sewing the other side of the fabric. Perfect piping. Well, it is a little lumpy at the neckline since I found I did not remove enough of the ends of the cord. Lesson learnt for next time. That was just amatuer hour from me.

The dress has a small zipper inserted into the side seam. I found the was not adequate and just could not get the dress on. I had no idea what to do, since the side seam finishes at the waist. I seriously considered binning the dress at this point. I could not wear it. After some frustrated crying and discussion with my husband, I went to see if I had enough fabric and underlining to cut a half godet plus seam allowance. I cut the other half godet from the original godet. I had to buy another zipper but I could choose a long one that would make it easy for me to fit into without too much trouble. I actually did not have enough underlining, I had to use the original underlining cut int half and not have a seam allowance. I finished the edge with the overlocker and you couldn't really tell when the side seam was folded back.

the zipper was probably the most shoddy I have put in, ever. It is not invisible but at least I can do the dress up past the piping/thick seams. The hem is finished with purchased bias binding. I  had just enough from the 5m packet. The hem is invisible as the slip stithes are attached to the underlining. I sewed the dress across a weekend and hemmed it over three nights. A lot of work went into this sucker and time does heal my pride, which was hurt over this dress. Not my greatest work but the competition is about the impact of the design as well the the workmanship. I promised the competition coordinator that I would be entering next year, I just need to start a little earlier I think.


  1. Congratulations on the prize - I love peeking at all the entries each year (as well as the Cotton/Wool parades). This dress looks beautiful - well done on all the hard work that went into it...J

  2. I love it! I have this pattern and seriously want to make it, but all that detail will take precious time - just as it did for you! Congrats on the second place

  3. Congratulations on your prize! It looks fabulous on you and well done for the perseverance. I must say I'm impressed with your reputation and the steward following you up!

  4. Congratulations on being awarded second prize! Your dress is lovely so it is a well deserved accolade :)

  5. lovely dress - the print is so striking, and the dress pattern is a perfect match for it because that black piping really makes the design lines pop. Totally deserved a prize!

  6. thanks everyone :)


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