I was so excited by my first attempt at Simplicity 2369 that I decided to go ahead and make another one right away. And, since I really like the results, both of these garments are going to satisfy requirements for my year-long sewing challenge. In my first go-round I made the tunic top, view C. This time I made a dress, sort of a hybrid of views A and B on the pattern envelope.
I used the short sleeves from view B, and the tie belt from view A. The length is between A and B, though a bit closer to view A. According to the envelope, there is a 20 inch difference between view B (above the knee length) and view A (closer to lower calf length on me). I cut the view A length, but then took about 6 inches off the bottom of the dress before hemming it. I felt like the original length was really awkward (not a maxi, but not a below the knee length either), but I am glad I cut the view A length so I could trim it down to where I wanted it. Cutting out the view B length would have been far too short on me. I used size 12 around the top, but graded out to a 16 near the hem, so it would be a little more full. Even though I ended up cutting off a lot of that extra length, I think I still got a bit of extra flare, which I like.
For the fabric this time I used and ITY polyester knit that has been sitting in my stash, again from the Michael Levine loft. However, with it having a lot of white, I decided to underline the whole thing with a plain white ITY polyester knit. The double layer makes the weight just perfect – the skirt hangs perfectly without being too clingy or riding up. The only problem I noticed with this fabric is that the back of the neck stuck out quite a bit, so I had to take a 1.25″ wedge out of the center back. I taked it down, so I don’t think you can tell I made a last-minute adjustment. This time I also changed the order of sewing, attaching the sleeves before sewing the side seams so I could use my serger to do all of the main seaming. It worked great – the insides are all nicely finished, and I didn’t have any problem serging the multiple layers, even with everything being lined.
Overall I am really pleased with my new dress! I don’t wear dresses often, but I think this one will be versatile enough that I might be able to get some good use out of it. I am glad I went with the short sleeves – nice for the warm weather, but also great for layering under a cardigan when it starts to get colder. I think the versatility of this dress totally meets the requirements of a Tim Gunn approved “Day Dress” so I am going to use this to cross of that part of my Tim Gunn wardrobe sewing challenge. Another item down! So far I have completed 8 garments in my challenge, so I have finally caught up with my plan to do a garment a month, and as long as I can get something else finished this month I will be back on track to finish at least 12 challenge garments by the end of the year.
Of course, I have a few knit tops that have been distracting me from getting to the rest of my challenge items right away, so look for those reviews in the next few days. After that, back to my sewing challenge plans!