Wednesday, 11 December 2013
The Bowling dress
After I did my Simplicity giveaway earlier in the year, they kindly let me choose a pattern to keep for myself and I went for Simplicity 1882. I've seen some great versions, especially Karen's, but the version I loved was Virginia's from A Sewing Life.
I had an idea for a diner waitress style dress in aqua with black trim, but was thwarted by non-availability of aqua cotton sateen. By the time I got to this one, autumn was approaching, the time for wearing aqua was running out and I spotted this teal sateen in my local Fabricland. I paired it with a black sateen from Ebay.
This was my first Amazing Fit pattern and I really liked the system! It comes with bodice pieces in A-D cup sizes, as well as slim, average and curvy fit skirts. So the first step is to get busy with a tape measure to take the difference between your high bust and full and waist and hips to decide on the pattern pieces to use. Of course if your fabric has a little stretch (as mine did) it's quite forgiving!
Normally I do a 1" FBA on big 4 patterns, so I went for the C cup bodice and the average fit skirt (based on measurements as above).
Rather than doing a muslin, the pattern has large seam allowances for fitting, so it has you baste all the pieces together wrong sides together and try it on so that you can adjust the seams. I did find the unpicking of the basting slightly annoying as the sateen showed every pull and needle hole - probably didn't help that this pattern had a separate 3 panelled front midriff and princess seamed bodice so lots of unpicking! But still, no muslin!
I added the optional homemade piping (if you haven't made piping and like the look you really must try it - I love the effect and it is very easy to do with no special equipment needed) between the upper bodice and midriff pieces and at the waist. It frames the nicely shaped midriff panel so well! I also went for the contrast collar and bow (I was debating not adding the bow but if you saw the finish on the centre front V you would know why I did - not my best work!)
I had no real issues with it - these patterns would be great for fitting newbies as the instructions for fitting are very good. Also the different sized pattern pieces make it easier to get closer to the right fit from the beginning.
I did deviate from the instructions with the invisible zip. As I have had issues inserting these over piped seams in the past, I went for a hand picked normal zip instead. I think I'm going to do this a lot more often in future. As hand sewing goes, a hand picked zip goes in so quickly and easily (certainly compred to unpicking and redoing several times!), looks great and gives you so much more control of the final outcome than a slippy zipper foot that persists in sewing over the teeth and jamming the zip!
I also hand catch-stitched the hem, just because I preferred the look of it on such smooth fabric.
I wore this bowling with the Spoolettes - you'll have seen pictures on Clare, Sally, Janene, Nicole, Kathryn and Emmie's blogs to name but a few! I did wish I had made a name badge but I totally ran out of time.