The ‘Maria’ Dress: Constructing
Pattern: Simplicity 2444
Material: On sale? I should really take better notice of them when I buy them. I think the blue is a broadcloth, and the floral print is a poplin/cotton. Both were $4/metre.
Amount of Material Required: For the top, I used about 75 cm, and about 1.25 metres for the skirt. (Maybe a little more? I forgot to check…)
- bias hems
- French seams
- semi-exposed zipper
- eased-in seams
When it comes to sewing, I usually jump right in there with a new pattern, and assume it will fit, or I will make it fit, by taking in the sides. I’m not one to usually make a sample, or ‘toile’, to check the sizing or practice the skills needed for the pattern.
I decided, however, to make an exception with this pattern. I knew I’d probably have to make the smallest size, but I wanted to check and make sure. I also love making my own clothes… But I am very wary of them looking homemade, as opposed to handmade. I still want what I am wearing to look good, and like I could have walked out and bought it somewhere.
So, I made a ‘mock-up’ of this dress, in plain, old boring cotton. And I’m glad I did. Fortunately, it fit without alterations, but there were a few tricky parts, that I’m glad I worked out with the cotton, rather than with my fabric.
Oooo, I should add in another story/shout-out here. While I was buying my fabric, I needed to find out how much material the pattern required, but it was quite busy, so I didn’t want to go and ask someone to pull the pattern packet out, and spontaneous me, hadn’t stored it somewhere useful, like my phone. So, I’m standing in the middle of the fabric store; my phone has 5% battery remaining, and I am googling like crazy to find someone who has made this dress before and can tell me roughly how much fabric I need to get…
Not only did this give me a fair idea of how much to get of each material, it also gave me the idea of using French seams, and finishing any other raw edge with bias tape. So thank you! I am so much happier with my dress because of these two decisions. I’ve wanted to try French seams on a garment for a while, and this was just the little push I needed!
I then went ahead, and completed this dress without any major issues, and I attribute that to trialling the pattern first.
However, I did find the sleeves aggravating to say the least. Knowing I was so close to being finished, yet had to attach these two silly pieces of material was probably the hardest part of this pattern.
I really want to make a sleeveless version. I’m already thinking of plans for my next dress from this pattern… It is really that good. I’m thinking a pale pink taffeta/something with a little shine, and maybe lace over the top… not unlike the one Emma Louise Birdsall wore on The Voice the other week…
Highs of this dress:
- This dress has pockets? This makes it automatically awesome.
- Despite the sleeves, it’s quite an easy, and enjoyable pattern.
- French seams. It makes everything look so clean, and professional. By far the best way to do seams unless you have a serger.
Lows of this dress:
- Have I said it enough yet? The sleeves.
- The fact I now have a muslin dress made from this pattern wanting to be worn… but it’s just so unattractive. Dye anyone?
What would I change?
- No sleeves!
- Next time I won’t be lazy, and I’ll do a proper enclosed zip.