Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pattern challenge: Simplicity 2404

I finished the dress April 23, got married in it on April 27, and now have a chance to share my experience in making it with you.

So much went into this dress, both emotion and time sewing, it's hard to be objective about the pattern but I'll do my best.

Sewing with emotion

I was so happy making this dress. It seemed to come together so well. I was nervous because I've never sewn anything so fitted before, sewn with silk, or made anything for so important an occassion.  But with some advice and encouragement, I took it step by step. And I enjoyed making it.

Through making a muslin, to the silk shell, debating an interlining vs. a lining and going with the lining, sewing the trim - thinking all the time about my man and I - it was a real joy.

I loved the silk I chose, off-white silk jaquard, beautiful and not so slippy to sew. My Bernina machine handled all of it with perfect tension, even the slippy Bemburg lining. And mostly, the button I used to close the neckline at the back. My mother wouldn't be at the wedding but I used a button from her dress for the closure. That way I'd have a physical reminder of her love with me. I'm really happy I made my dress.

Pattern critique

I chose this pattern because the dress lines are simple - it's just a shift - and the pattern offered detailed instructions and pattern pieces for sewing and fitting. In general, I'm satisfied with how it came together.

Because I was using silk, I made a muslin first. This was a big help in that it familiarized me with the pattern and showed where I'd have to make adjustments. Worth the extra time because it gave me confidence.

I should have asked for help with the fitting. The bodice seemed okay but in the silk turned out to be a bit large. The pattern uses specified measurements to help you choose your cup size for the bodice. There a pattern pieces for sizes A through D. Based on these measurements, I fit the B cup. However, I am not usually a B. I'm an A cup. I went with the B cup. The end result is a looser fitting bodice, so not quite as good a line and it shows in some of my pictures. Oh well, am I just being vain?

The only other thing is that I would have liked instructions for lining the dress. With a few consultations, I winged it. That worked out okay but I should have hemmed the lining a little bit shorter - I did 2 inches shorter than the dress - because I had to be careful that it didn't show when I sat.

Overall, it's a good pattern and I would recommend it.

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