This is dress number 2 from the Simplicity 1609, my freebie pattern from the Knit and Stitch show last October. As I did with my first dress with this pattern I made it up in a straight size 14. I haven’t made any fit adjustments, I think it fits really well straight out of the packet (that’s my kind of pattern!). I like this pattern as its super quick and easy to sew up, but has some unusual construction methods. I was having a bit of a sewing Sunday and decided at 4pm that I really wanted to wear this dress on a day trip to the V&A the following day, so I did some speed sewing and managed to cut, sew and finish this dress in just over 2 hours. I do like a quick sew, but the pressure with this make was on, and it was a little stressful working to a deadline.
The 2 features that I like about it, and makes it feel different to other sewing patterns are:
1) The all in one arm and neck facing. The first time I tried this with another pattern, there were tears as I just couldn’t work it out. I’d sewn all the facings on, but couldn’t turn my dress the right way out. Turns out you sew up the shoulder seams on the dress and on the facing, but you don’t sew up the side seams before you fit the facing. Knowing this before would have stopped so many tears and time spent with the seam ripper. Why don’t more patterns have this feature, I think its much neater and much less hassle than bias binding on arm holes.
2) French darts. Yes I know they are a bit of a pain to cut out, and the first time I tried to cut the paper pattern I was totally perplexed. But I love it as a design feature, and I really like sewing them. In fact I love all the darts on this pattern, as the back has shoulder darts as well which is fairly unusual.
The fabric was also from Knit and Stitch, and has a little bit of stretch to it. It was a super easy fabric to work with as its a fairly sturdy fabric so it didn’t slide about, and the sewing gods were smiling on me as i didn’t unpick or redo a single thing on this make. It also pressed really well, and I think that makes the world of difference to this fabric.
I can see this becoming a firm favourite of mine, I really like the style and I really like the fabric and its totally work appropriate. Ive also been wearing a long sleeved black t-shirt under this to make it winter-proof as well. It had its first outing during a visit to London and it didn’t crease at all despite lots of tube and train journeys. I’ll certainly be making this pattern again, its fast becoming a fave TNT of mine.