My recent love of garment sewing continues with this Simplicity shirt dress. The simple A-line, button up front and pockets are what attreacted me to this pattern. The Anna Maria Horner yarn dyed fabric was a dream to work with. Having pre-washed the fabric, I am hoping not to have any of the bleeding issues I had with some of her fabric last year. My friend, Krista, and I talked about the "tablecloth effect" of this fabric and wondered if we could get away with it for garments. I'm hoping it doesn't look like I'm wearing a tablecloth.
The pattern was straight forward and easy to follow. But, let's talk about the sizing on patterns these days. Seriously, I know it's just a number but sewing patterns are cut so much smaller than ready to wear clothing. I don't remember this from sewing garments many decades ago.
As usual, I cut the size to fit the best through my shoulders and bust and then graded to accommodate my hip measurement. I am not one to make a muslin, but in this case it might have proved helpful, because when I tried on the nearly finished dress it was tight in the bust and way to small in the hips.
To correct the sizing without having to scrap the whole garment I settled for it being too big in the neck. Here's what I did:
The front finishes with a double fold the length of the front opening. On the left side I finished it with a single fold, first interfacing the front to give it some weight and stability to support the buttons.
On the right side, I finished it the same way the instruction said to finish the sleeves, also adding interfacing to give stability for the button holes and also to prevent any problems making the button holes. (To finish the sleeves the pattern said to make a double folded 1-1/4" hem, stitch 1/4" all around from the bottom of the hemline, then open out the "hem" from the inside, pressing the stitched pleat up)
I have to admit, I was pretty pleased that this worked and allowed me to still have a wearable garment.
Here are a few close-up photos of some of the details. I followed the suggestion of an Instagram friend and added red buttons. You can see that I paid careful attention to match the checks on the front, but failed to match the secondary pattern. I'm going to say it was a design choice to break up the lines in the front giving me a thinner look :-)
My Bernina buttonhole attachment made easy work of making the buttonholes. In no time I had eleven uniform buttonholes. I also sewed the buttons on with the machine and finished the hem with the blind hem stitch. Gone are the days when I dreaded all the hand finishing and my mom would do it for me. Mom was so good for that. She loved the finishing but not the actual making of the garments...the opposite of me!
Another change I made was to line to yoke with the same fabric. The pattern did not call for any lining but I like the idea of it having a finished look inside and out.
All seams were finished with my Brother 1034D serger. Sadly, it died this week and I have decided not to have it repair. The repairs are equal to what I paid for it two years ago and I have already gone this route with repairing it last year when the cutters broke. The good news is Mr. Romance said to buy myself a new one, so I will treat myself to a new and more reliable, albeit way more expensive, serger soon.