Sunday 17 June 2012

Pretty please with a cherry on top

My (dare I say, first) version of Simplicity 2444 is here! 

I made this as a wearable toile to try and get the best fit for this pattern, as I envisage using it to make a lot more dresses in the future. 

This is my second Project Runway pattern - as with 2282, I loved the versatility of this pattern and how creative it encourages you to be. I made the simple version with no frills (by which I mean sleeves or waist ties), and was happy with the result after all the alterations... 

I made it with contrasting fabric - the bodice with some medium weight white cotton with cherries (you may need to zoom in to see them) and the skirt is just red cotton. Can I reiterate how much I LOVE sewing with cotton? It's so well-behaved - easy to measure, to cut, to pin and to stitch... I could go on for days. 

Having read the pattern reviews about the sizing (that it runs a little bit small), I cut a 6 (usually I would cut a 4 with Simplicity) and I think it was the right decision. The skirt was the right size, but I had to make a small bust adjustment ("SBA") on the bodice. 

Instead of doing it on the pattern pieces, I played around with the already cut bodice pieces. Bearing in mind that this was supposed to be a toile, I felt brave enough to alter it. To reduce the excess horizontal ease, I lengthened two of the bodice darts to form princess seams that finished at the armholes. Then I had to deal with excess length in the centre of the bodice - the contrasting fabrics really aren't very forgiving! I took in the waist seams a number of times until the waistline was level. Phew. 

This was also the first time I made pockets :) I'm not sure whether I'll include them in my next version of this pattern but it was nice to be able to tick pockets off my "to-sew list". I'm feeling proud about the pockets...

My other thoughts on the pattern? I agree with a number of reviews that the centre front seam on the skirt is not necessary - actually the waist was just right with a size 6 (whereas usually I would cut a 4 on simplicity) and  for some reason the waist seam on the skirt turned out shorter than the bodice waist. I ended up enlarging the darts on the bodice to make the side seams line up so cutting the skirt front piece on the fold without adjusting for the seam allow may work out better. 

I did like the bodice darts - there are supposed to be 2 sets which is quite unusual, but of course I turned a set into seams for the SBA. I also liked the fullness - I don't usually wear very full skirts this was quite comfortable to wear, especially when I can put my hands in the pockets :)

Would I make this again? Of course! I think my wearable toile has taught me a couple of things about this pattern, and I'm envisaging my next version to have sleeves, with a SBA already done to the pattern (properly!) and without the centre front seam on the skirt. I think it would make a lovely summer dress. 

Finally, I would like to leave you with one thought -- I'm so determined! Just look at my stride... 
P.S. I was told to "walk elegantly" when that photo was taken. 
and P.P.S. All those pics were taken at our wedding reception venue - how lovely?!


  1. Love this! Keep the pockets, they are such fun! And best wishes on your nuptials.

    1. Thank you Coco for your kind words and the advice! They weren't that hard to put in actually so I may just keep them for my next version!


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