Saturday, July 2, 2011

Simplicity 2896 How Bright Can You Make a Shift Dress?

The shift dress included in Simplicity 2896 has intrigued me for some time.
I made the pants and the jacket a couple of years ago (and loved them- especially the pants!) but I never got around to making the dress.

I decided to do something about it. I cut this dress out of some bright yellow and orange quilting cotton- the good stuff, from a local quilt store. I love this print, especially the colors, which are a little out of my comfort zone. Alas, the dress is not quite right. I'll still wear it since it's pretty close to how I want it, but there are a few tweaks I need to make before it's just right.

I cut a 16, easing out to an 18 at the hip. I did a 5/8" FBA adding length only, and I added 1" of length at the waist. The 16 was the smallest size in my envelope. I really could have used a 14 through the shoulders. Actually, I'm wondering if I should start using a 14 as my starting point for all my bodices and just do a bigger FBA. I had the same problems with this dress that I have with a lot of patterns: the shoulders and neckline are too wide and there is extra fabric under my arms even though the bust just fits in front. You can't really see it in the photos, but the neckline is just too big. It stands away from my body in front and in back.

I still need to hem this. I wanted to see the photos before I decided if I was going to finish it.

I really like the dress. It's simple, yet streamlined. I love the body skimming fit, the front yoke, and the slight gathering above the bust. There is subtle shaping in the side seams at the waist and vertical darts in back which keep the dress from looking like a sack.

The dress is unlined. The neckline and armholes are finished with facings- one piece for the front and one for the back. I was able to use the edge to edge technique to get a good clean finish. I used an invisible zip at center back to close it.

I do plan to make this again. I already pinned out two darts in the front neck and two in the back neck which seem to bring the neckline and shoulders in where I want them. I think I will also fold out 1/4" of length across the upper back to improve the shape of the back.

The problem is fabric. I'm not sure I have anything else in stash I want to use for this. That means I'll have to do some shopping. Poor me.

My teenage photographer wanted to get some action shots for a change. He requested that I jump.

He was quite proud that he captured this shot of me completely airborne:

Happy sewing!


Karin said...

It's a nice shift dress, it has a little bit of shaping but still looks comfy. I like the bright zingy colours of the print.

Kyle said...

I like this dress, and the print. Just right for summer.
LOVE the pre- and mid-air shots! :) Cute idea from your photographer!

gwensews said...

Your dress looks like a bright, sunny day! Nothing like pretty, happy colors in the summer.

sewing spots said...

Yes, I bet you should use the smaller size in patterns to get the fit in the shoulders and arm. Our local guild just hosted Cynthia Guffey who talked a LOT about that issue. I'm ready to try a smaller size in patterns, too.

This dress is really cute on you and what a fun color!

Saint Nolt Sews said...

I too have been playing with sizes and doing FBA to them. Some have been simple switches and others more tedious. I hope to have one up for viewing in the next few days.

Your dress is so summery and great for the weather in OK. I grew up there and know the heat.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I understand about tweaking the fit but what an awesome piece of fabric you picked to make this dress. It's just lovely!!!

TracyKM said...

I have been having trouble with my necklines gaping lately. Even though the shoulders seem to fit, and the bust fits (thanks to a FBA), there seems to be too much width across the upper chest. I've pinched and pinned the dresses, but I'm not sure how to translate that to the pattern, except to make an actual dart on the neckline, which isn't what I want, LOL.
I LOVE your dress! I have one shift dress (purchased on a whim from Value Village!), and love it, so I'll look for this pattern now!