Happy Fabulous Frock Wednesday, all! Yes I’ve been quite slack with the Fabulous Frock Friday posts as of late as I’m still playing catch up. However, I simply couldn’t delay with this post. I’m just too excited. We are having a small departmental Xmas lunch today so I thought that was enough of an occasion to rock my new frock.
Love the back detail.
And the best part of this dress? I made it. Yes I actually made it. I can’t help but feel extremely pleased with myself as I honestly haven’t made a dress for myself in literally six years. Why so long? Because for the last 6 years, I have either been working on my master’s thesis or my PhD thesis. And these days I am an unemployed fashionista with 3 degrees in either design or textiles so what better way to occupy my time by remembering how to sew!
Yes, I used a (gasp! I mean, I am a trained designer/patternmaker) pattern – Simplicity 1652. But let’s get real here. Making a proper pattern takes more time than to just make a dress and I can save myself a lot of time and headache by using an existing one.
The dress does fit beautifully. I made a size 10 B cup (as we all know, I’m not a B cup but the dress has different bust curves and I used the size it said I should based on my measurements – and it fits fine so I’m not worried!). The size 10 fits beautifully considering the rule of making 2 sizes smaller than the size on the back suggests (I fall between about a 12-14 using the measurements). This rule still holds. Especially for this pattern which has – and I’m not even joking here – a 1″ seam allowance all the way down the side. So yes, you can definitely size down and still have plenty of wiggle room for adjustments.
I didn’t follow the pattern exactly – I’ve fully lined the top as doing a lining is actually way easier than trying to do facings. I also set in the sleeves and fully constructed the bodice and skirt and then attached them (vs. attaching the top of the front bodice to the front skirt and the back bodice to the back skirt and then sewing the side seams last). I would also move the pockets to the side seam in future. I can see what they’ve done here by putting the pockets in the front seams – if they were in the side seams you wouldn’t be able to get that “perfect fit” and make use of the 1″ seam allowance for size adjustments. However, having pockets in the front is a bit stupid and in future I will put them in the side.
AND lastly I would possibly lengthen the bodice by 1″. I am reasonably short waisted and this is sitting quite high on me. I would also use an interfacing on the back upper panels or understitch the seam allowance on the lining? Something to make it lay a little bit more perfectly (not like I am a perfectionist or anything…).
However, the upside is that I used WAY less fabric than the pattern called for (I think I only had 1.5 metres as I purchased the fabric before the pattern – which is pretty much always a no no, FYI). But that was also because I did a lining instead of self fabric facings.
Anyways – I would definitely use this pattern again – the fit really is quite good.
Oh, and let’s not forget – how much did it cost? Well, one of the fabric stores here in Dunedin recently went out of business so I picked up the fabric at 50% off (I think it was $30). Plus pattern ($5 on sale!), zipper (~$5) and lining (~$5) – I think it cost around $45NZD all up. D was aghast of course, he didn’t realize that sewing doesn’t save money. LOL, anyone who has seen how much fabric costs knows that sewing does not save money and it certainly doesn’t save time (I think I spent 10-12 hours total, it took me a week of evenings to make). However, I’d like to think that if I bought this dress in a store it would cost more than $45. And let’s not forget that I know it wasn’t sewn by underpaid workers.
1.5 m fabric (barely enough – the pattern calls for more)
.5 m lining fabric
~45 cm invisible zip
$45 NZD total
Yay for sewing!