This dress was kind of an experiment, and I wish I could have done this fabric more justice. This is a pretty quilting cotton with watercolor finch-type birds, from designer Dear Stella, called Paloma Birds. I picked it up at West Seattle Fabric Company while I was out on a fabric shopping trip with a sewing friend. If you get a chance to go to this shop, she’s got a lot of pretty quilting fabrics (cottons and flannels). She even had a couple rolls of Italian shirting, that my friend picked up. Yay for supporting local businesses!
I originally planned to make a Cynthia Rowley dress that had a button-down bodice with this fabric, then decided I didn’t want to. I probably should have stuck with my original plan, because I’m not really digging this design with this fabric, despite the smile on my face.
I added pockets to this dress. I adore dresses with pockets, and this silhouette seemed more agreeable to pockets than the sheath dress I made previously. Since this dress has such a high waist, it was a challenge to figure out where to place the pockets, but I think I figured it out.
Horsehair Braid Hem
Gertie had a tutorial on her blog for adding horsehair braid to hems of skirt to give it a little more fullness. This would probably be more obvious on a circle skirt, but it was a good experiment to try. It was pretty easy to apply, so when I try it next time, I’ll know what to expect.
I’ve heard people rave about this lining, so I bought some to try with this fabric, since it’s a white cotton and it needed more than just facing. It’s slippery, and I used a ton of glasshead pins when working with it, but the end result feels lovely. I’m sure it’s on par with other rayons (which I plan to try next time I make a skirt).
So, while I was making this, I was having issues with liking the crazy long pleats on the bodice to the skirt. It divides the print up too much along the bodice and I didn’t like the way it was looking. I basically like the dress from the bodice up and the waistline down. I wish I had had the foresight to realize what was going to happen to the design on the fabric and gone with either a different pattern or altered the skirt design so that the pleats weren’t so long.
I tried to figure out a way to mitigate the look, and made a belt out of silk dupioni, but I was getting mixed reviews on it. What do you think?
A Project Runway design from Simplicity (Simplicity 2145). Above-the-knee-length dress with a ton of pleats on the front, and a pleated bodice.
I went with size 12 through the bodice to the waist and then graded out to size 14 at the hips. Also, adjusted the back waist length 3.5cm less. That adjustment was made on the skirt, so I was kind of paranoid about the length of the skirt, but it seems to be okay.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Pretty much, except I didn’t add any sleeves or any of the wrap decorations.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Even though “laundered cotton” was one of the suggested fabrics, I don’t think this worked well with this pattern. I left off the wrap decorations on the front, and that left these incredibly long pleats along the front. I also don’t think the back pleats worked well… they kind of just… stuck out. Another reviewer on PatternReview.com made a similar observation.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made
Left this as a sleeveless design; added my own lining along with the facing around the neckline; and added pockets.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don’t think I’d sew it again, but with a fabric that drapes well, I would recommend it to others, especially if they wanted to add the front wrap decoration.
This was the first Project Runway from Simplicity pattern I’ve made, and I wasn’t super impressed with it. I think it looked better on paper than made.
Lastly, put a bird on it.Share on Facebook