Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Simplicity 1803, First Try

Have you ever bought some cheap fabric just to try out a new pattern (a "wearable muslin" as some call it) and then fell in love with the fabric while you were sewing and really really hoped that it would turn out perfect? That's what happened here and, well, it's far from perfect but I'm going to call it wearable.

I want to use Simplicity 1803 for a great piece of fabric I have that I love too much to risk on a new pattern, especially one with a square neckline, which often does not work for me, so I bought this floral print at Wal-mart. When I bought it I merely liked it. Once I started sewing it I quickly started to love it.

The fit of the bodice is just all wrong and, as I feared, the neckline is a little wide for me. I'm finding it very hard to keep the bra hidden.* But, in spite of that, I mostly like it and I will wear it.

(*Forgot to mention, it does have strap keepers. Where the bra tries to show is at the corners of the neckline. I do have one that works with it a little better. Must buy more of that style.)

I didn't make the tie belt because I generally hate them and whenever a pattern calls for one I put elastic at the back waistline instead and it always works out beautifully. This one wraps around and ties in front though and I sort of like the way it looks on the pattern envelope so I might make one with the belt sometime. Other changes: I don't like unnecessary seams down the front of the skirt so I used a plain skirt from another pattern. And of course I added pockets. Must have pockets.

Here's a look at the back. Believe it or not, this is my first scoop back dress. I wasn't sure if I would like it. I thought it might feel weird because I'm not used to it but I do like it and I definitely want more like this.

I found something that looks helpful: Raising or Lowering the Bust Point on a Princess Seam. I have searched for this at least half a dozen times before and didn't find anything so I was thrilled to find this. It actually looks very simple and it's one of those things that makes me feel a little bit slow for not having figured it out for myself. I don't think this is the entire problem with the fit though. This will require some more experimentation.

(I had the hardest time getting good pictures of this dress. I took a bunch of pictures last week and didn't like any of them, and I had forgotten to take any of the back, so today I set up again and took more pictures and those were even worse so I ended up using the very first picture I took. The more sharp-eyed among you will notice that the facing was turned and peeking out a little bit. Oh well. I don't like to sew down facings because of the stitching showing but I might have to on this dress if it keeps being a problem.)


  1. That is cute! I can see why you love the fabric. I always have trouble with necklines being too wide; I guess they must design these things for linebackers. You could try putting some ribbon in the straps to hold your bra straps. I'm forgetting the name of these things, but I used to put them in all my tank-type dresses. You just sew a piece of ribbon into the inside of the dress at the shoulder; sew the male part of a snap to the end of the ribbon nearest your neck and the female part of the snap to the fabric of the dress. Then you can put your bra strap between the ribbon and the dress, snap the ribbon in place, and your bra strap doesn't show.

    That is probably a really confusing description; I'm not feeling very smart today. :P

    1. Oh yes, strap keepers. I meant to mention that I put strap keepers in it but the top of the bra peeks out at the corners of the neckline sometimes. I do have just one that goes with it a little better.