Friday 16 May 2014

Sewing a Dress....simplicity 2444

 Hello Lovelies,
I have a little ta-dah to share with you today.... happy :0)

But lets start at the beginning shall we.

Back in April the lovely JANE posted about a gorgeous skirt she had the end of her post she shared her latest pattern purchase...........

 I did a little googling and discovered lots of lovely versions of this dress out in blogland. 

THIS lady has made lots of versions....all lovely.
How gorgeous is THIS version
and how classy is THIS version

I had to order it too....hope you don't mind Jane.

 I planned to make mine from some stash fabric and when I shared my thoughts in THIS post I got a very helpful comment from a lovely, regular commenter on my blog.............

Love the dress pattern. I always take my measurements again whenever I make a new dress. I also include my underarm measurement and check that against the pattern itself, as well as making a copy of the bodice to my measurements in calico. It saves a lot of grief. I discovered that my underarm measurement is a size smaller than my bust. Very important so it isn't baggy or too tight across the decolletage. 

Thank you SO MUCH Robyn.....your advice was much appreciated ♥♥♥

Yes, of course I should make a calico of the bodice

I cut out a size 12 bodice in some stash fabric............

Marking the darts with Taylor tacks and sewing as instructed............

it turned out huge.

I ended up taking an inch or so out of the centre front and back.........and also making the armholes smaller......

I'm a complete novice when it comes to pattern adjustment but I'm leaning that Ease is included in patterns....for this bodice the ease is 3inches.........which seams huge for a fitted garment.........

There is even a nice definition of ease printed on the pattern :0)

Making that Calico was invaluable. It enabled me to cut out the actual fabric with relative confidence. I even attempted a "small bust adjustment" by reducing the size of my darts, so that the bodice fitted snugly across the bust without being too tight on the waist.

My actual fabric for this version was still just thrifted stash stuff, but of course I didn't want to end up with nothing to show for hours of sewing.

 I made the bodice to my altered pattern and because my fabric had a checked pattern I even broke the rules and ignored the grain line to get vertical and horizontal lines on my skirt........

An air erasable pen was handy to mark the pleats..........

This was actually an easier pattern to assemble than I had thought.
I loved the way you attached the front and back bodice parts to their respective skirt panels BEFORE sewing the side seams.....

Next I added a flat zip ( the only type I know how to do). I like to sew the opening closed with a long machine stitch before sewing in the zip and then unpick the basting stitches...........

Here the basing stitches are still in situ

The fabric I was using was a thin polyester cotton and I decided it would be best to line the bodice part at least.
I searched my stash and found this old lining that I had cut out of a skirt as it made it too was lovely thin cotton....perfect...........

I cut out the lining bodice in exactly the same way as the dress bodice. 

 The pattern called for fabric facings lined with interfacing , but I just used the pattern pieces to cut out iron on interfacing.............

Which I fused to my bodice neckline before sewing it together...........

A brilliant You Tube video found HERE explained how to join my lining to my bodice ( I would NEVER have figured this out for myself )

Then it was just a case of hand sewing the bottom of the lining to the skirt. And attaching the back edges to the zipper tape..............

I'm so pleased with how this lining worked out.

And here is the finished dress


 I'm very happy with my finished dress

The lining means there are no exposed seams in the bodice. It's so neat and  comfortable to wear.........

 Here is the hem with it's hand sewn finish..........

I think I did quite well with this too.............

And here it is on...........

 Look........IT FITS ♥♥♥

 The arm hole are just the right size. The bust is not too big and the waist is not too tight.....Yipee.

Here's the back view.............

I really am thrilled with this dress. It was a joy to make and I love the finished garment.

I would like to change a couple of things about it. I shortened the hem by a couple of inches and now I wish that I didn't....dang. 
The pockets in the skirt are a bonus but I do feel they accentuate my pear shaped figure.

And the zip looks very amateurish............

 Next time I will try a concealed zip

But overall I'm more than happy with my first attempt at this pattern. I can see why it's so popular.

Don't look at the zip.......look at the lurverly arm holes :0)

I think it looks pretty good for a dress made out of a pre-loved duvet cover...............

The only other things I bought to make this dress ( if you don't count the pattern....which can be used again....and came from Amazon...there's a link in my side bar) is a zip and some thread.

Thrifty sewing makes me happy, but I may splurge on some new fabric especially for my next version of this dress.

Jacquie x

P.S. just in case you were pink polka dot hangers are from Wilkos :0)


  1. It looks great! Very "profy", if I may say so. Don't worry about the look of the zipper, it's not bad at all and you can make it look even better by wearing a belt or smthg.

  2. Well done, it's a wonderful dress.
    I usually make my bodice toile out of lining material, then once I've got the fit right I can use it as, you've guessed, the bodice lining

  3. Oh to be able to buy a size 12 pattern, have to take it in 3", to then to be able to say the waist ' is not too tight'!! Seriously, well done on a great job, there. It looks lovely. Hopefully you'll get lots of sunny weather to wear it. Chris x

  4. Hi Jacquie I love your gorgeous summer dress, so pretty and so beautifully fitted. Well worth the extra effort and there's nothing better than using stash fabric, so satisfying! Lets hope the sun stays out and you can float around feeling all ladylike and lovely! x

  5. It does look good! I love blue and white for summer. I can't wait to see what you make next. And I MUST get my machine out this weekend.

  6. Wow! That's a great dress, love the vintage taste it has, and it really fits you well! I sew myself a couple of skirts last year, no patterns, based on some I had at home, and they fit me pretty well, so I kinda understand your satisfaction - though I must say, I was satisfied with MUCH less! xD Have a nice weekend! x

  7. Cool! You need a pair of heels lady!!

  8. What a lovely make Jacquie! It's so satisfying when one makes something that really fits. Not least because one wears those things much more. Very impressed at your thrifty choice of fabric too - must check out bed linen next time I am in a charity shop. Duvet covers are perfect because you know there will be plenty of fabric so no worriers about not having enough. Looking forward to seeing your next sewing make - you're on a roll! Have a lovely day! E x

  9. I'm so impressed. Have a great weekend. X

  10. Lovely dress! You've got incredible sewing talent! :) Th edress seems comfy and light! Great job Jacquie!

  11. Wow! I'm very jealous of your dressmaking skills! I can just about make bunting and do some patchwork, but that is where my sewing skills end. And now you have the perfect weather to wear it too!

  12. Oh gosh, I think I'm just a little bit in love with you. I bought this pattern last week, and this week I have made two, yes two, toiles in order to make sure the bodice was the right size on me. I have never made a dress before and I wanted to make sure nothing goes wrong with the fabric I have bought for it. I spent about 3 hours last night cutting out all the fabric, and tonight I will be sewing it all together. Thank you so much for the you tube links you've put on here, I think they will come in very useful, I hadn't considered a lining, but seeing yours I think you have persuaded me.

    It's a beautiful dress, well done x

  13. Wow you did a fabulous job - your dress is amazing. I love that you used thrifted fabric.

  14. WOW..... No words to describe.... Such awesome creativity...!! The love of nature... Ur darling cute children.... I really wish I could give u a hug...

    I came across ur blog two days ago.... Believe me, I barely slept... I went on reading every single but from the beginning( not yet finished though) :p just amazed... Love u loads <3 thank u....

    I tried two three of ur crochet tutorial and it came out awesome... I made a biiiig robin according to ur tutorial and I have being hugging it ever since... :)....

    Aaah, if u don't mind, welll, its one of my sister's son... He actually loves angry birds... I wanna make him all six lovely crocheted angry birds... I haven't found a better tutorial to make him one... Can u put up a tutorial for crocheted angry birds, pleasy please...? Its his birthday next month... I'd like to present him all six crocheted angry birds on his birthday... And of course with all ur effort... Please

  15. Your frock is fabulous...... love the fabric!
    Jacqui x

  16. It looks fantastic and fits so well. I was inspired by your last dressmaking post and made a New Look 6022 for myself. I hadn't done any dressmaking for many years and I really enjoyed it and want to make more things now. Thank you very much! Love the cost hangers.

  17. Wow! You did a fantastic job, it fits perfectly.

  18. Your dress is gorgeous, and such good use of your fabric purchase! It really looks good on you and as others have said, a perfect fit, so well worth making the toile. xx

  19. Well done you! I love a thrifty dress. Jo x

  20. Wow! I aspire to making that level of garment... And I love that it's made from an upcycled duvet cover.
    S x

  21. You are so clever- I have made very basic garments but wouldn't really know where to start to adjust a pattern. your dress is so pretty and a really good fit.

  22. Jacquie, that dress is AWESOME SAUCE!!!!!!! I'm glad what worked for me has worked for you. You are on a roll now. Might I suggest a gorgeous vintage frock for you? This is the dress where I learned the secret of sizing, and I would advise that you audition the fabrics and what you choose to line it with. I made it with cotton sateen which had a wee bit of lycra in it for stretch. It was navy with white spot and I lined it with a navy and white check. I should have auditioned it, but I didn't :( I don't think most people noticed the check showing through the dot, but I did. Anyway, the dress pattern in question is a Butterick, I think you'll be looking for A5748, which I think goes from about 8 to 14. The larger sizes are B5748. There are oodles of examples of this dress on blogs, which inspired me to make it! It's classic, timely and gorgeous. It needs a light petticoat under it for the fullness of the skirt. There's lots of sites with vintage petticoat ideas as well.
    You are an absolute inspiration. I love your dress so much, I think I may have a go for myself when the weather warms up. I'm losing weight (because I have to) and don't know what my size will end up being! One of the frocks on the pattern packet reminds me of a dress in Call The Midwife. :)

    1. Darn! The pattern is B5748 and the sizes are either A5 or B5 (my excuse is it is 2.30 in the morning. I'm not as sharp as I am at lunch. :)

  23. Wow Jacquie!! Your dress is gorgeous and fits you beautifully!
    Love a thrifty make too! x

  24. Wow I'm seriously impress it fits so wel,l great job and super thirty too
    Clare xx

  25. Beautiful dress and you would never know the material was previously a duvet cover. Love it, x

  26. Oh wow! So pretty and spring/summer ready! I love the color, great job!

  27. Amazing, you should be so proud! Love the pretty fabric too! Maria x

  28. Bravo! It's wonderful! I copied a favorite top out of some thrifted curtains and love it, I did the same of making it first in some other fabric to work out the mistakes. Look forward to what you stitch up next!

  29. Fantastic and that is a great dress. Isn't it fun to sew things especially when you love what
    you made ☺

  30. Well done Jacquie!! I love your new dress, the fact that the material was thrifted and that you are happy with the out come. Enjoy.
    Anne xx

  31. Good grief Jacquie - I was just wondering about how nice the material was and how much it must have cost when WHAM - a £2.50 duvet cover - you truly are a genius! Well done with your dress -it's really pretty and fits like a dream (mine is still sitting in my 'to do' basket but I have plans ...!) Jane x

  32. Gorgeous dress and you look gorgeous in it Jacquie - it always pays to take ones time and measure, measure, measure .. .. .. very well done! Joy xo

  33. what a beautiful dress, and it fits you so well!! i love it!

  34. gorgeous. you did a wonderful job! I loved reading your steps as you went along...........I am loving everything about your blog and am very glad I found it.

  35. Fab dress Jacquie. My favourite me-made dress is one I made out of some Liberty curtain fabric I found in a charity shop! People always ask me where I bought the dress, which makes me smile :-)

  36. Stunning .... I aspire to making something even vaguely wearable for myself! So far only Little Miss H has worn anything that I've made! X

  37. I wouldn't know where to begin reading a pattern! This is fantastic - next stop Great British Sewing Bee??!
    Jones x

  38. Lovely dress. Wish I could sew but I'll stick with crochet for now. Thanks for all the lovely pics too.

  39. Oh, it's beautiful! Pattern adjustments are such a mystery to me, I'm so impressed--it fits you perfectly. Well done!

  40. Your dress looks fabulous! I've just made the same dress out of a duvet cover too. Well it's been waiting for me to do the hem for a few weeks now, but it will be finished soon!


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