Simplicity 2444

This dress looks pretty much exactly how I imagined it when I first brought this fabric from Spotlight.

I made a size 12, grading out to a 14 in the waist and hips, which according to the pattern envelope I needed to do, however I ended up taking it in again when sewing up the side seams so I should have cut a straight size 12.

Like a few other ladies who made this dress I needed to take a wedge out of the centre front as the muslin gaped a fair bit.  I also did my standard sloping and narrow shoulder adjustment but I didn’t need to do my usual sway back adjustment so that was good.   I did need to take it in a bit at the back seam when sewing the zipper, I needed a full 1″ seam, but that is such an easy adjustment.

I underlined the skirt and lined the bodice, both of which I love.  The underlining makes the skirt sit really well without a petticoat needed.

Oohhh, pockets

I squeezed this dress out of 2.5 metres so didn’t really have any spare for much pattern matching, but I did manage to get the back bodice reasonably matched.  The back skirt actually looks OK despite no attempt at all to pattern much, I think I just got lucky there.

The only problem is that this fabric has a terrible dye job, the colour run the first time I washed it but I didn’t notice (sewing in bad light at night) until I was well underway.  The first time I wash the finished dress I will be using a colour-run fixer-uper-er and holding my breath!!

Other stuff: on the inside I catch stitched the hem to the underlining and love the effect. It looks like a cross-stitch/decorative stitch and was really fun to sew.

All in all, a total winner (aside from the disappointing fabric, which I am hoping to fix).  The side seams are the last to be sewn and this makes this dress really easy to take in in case of weight/size changes (on a bit of a health kick at the moment).  The diagonal darts at the bodice front are also really cool and the pleats on the skirt are flattering.  I did find that absolutely accuracy was needed to get both the darts and the pleats looking good.  In the photo’s I have already been wearing the dress all morning so they held up well after sitting, standing and otherwise being crawled over by toddler (and yes, I was wearing those shoes and my feet were totally killing me).

  • Gorgeous dress and love the fabric pattern and colour. The fit looks perfect!

  • Thanks so much. I've been working hard to learn how to get a good fit on pretty much everything from the bustline up/the whole neck, shoulder, bust, upper back area, so it feels good to finally feel like I am getting a handle on it.

  • I love it! I'm trying to work up the confidence to work with bold patterns. You managed the matching really well.

  • This looks fantastic. I have a piece of fabric from spotlight that seems to have faded in parts after the wash – fab isn't it? Do those sleeves allow much movement? (I ask because a dress I've made recently looks fine but I can't actually lift my arms!)

  • Hey thanks. Yes, the sleeves are really comfortable and allow for a full range of movement. I can't remember if I adjusted the width for a full bicep (I often do) but I did change the curve of the armhole on the bodice quite a bit both front and back based on my muslin plus I changed the curve of the sleeve head to adjust for my shape. The result was worth all the fiddling as the dress is very comfortable to wear. I probably pinned, tried on, basted, tried on, repinned and tried on about 10 or more times though before I got it right. The next dress I made was much easier as I knew from making this dress roughly what I needed to do to get the fit right. I found that just a few mm adjustment made a massive difference to the comfort and fit of the sleeve. Hope that helps.