Sunday, April 18, 2010

FO: Simplicity 3503 Dress

I haven't really done much sewing lately... I've seen such great inspiration through many blogs and planned so many things to sew, but when it came down to actually making it... I just didn't want to sew.  There was a wedding this past Saturday and I didn't have anything to wear. So of course, Friday night I decided to trace, cut, and sew a dress for the wedding the next day!  :)

I used Simplicity 3503, which was 2009 best pattern on PR, and it's well deserved.  There's many great versions of it here.  I chose to make view E, which has good coverage in the back.

Pattern:  Simplicity 3503 View E
Fabric:  from the stash - Robert Kauffman knit from Hancock Fabric and nylon tricot from fabric.com

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I had a lot of firsts with this dress. I've listed them out below.
  1. I traced a Big 4 pattern. I usually just cut-out the tissue, but I need to grade down in size so I felt safer tracing the pattern. Also, I felt like I would reuse this pattern in the future and didn't want to ruin the original tissue pattern.
  2. I graded a size down. I bought this pattern awhile back... before my weight loss, and didn't have the size I needed.  I was really nervous about this, but it turned out pretty well. This dress was still a tad bit big, but I didn't mind. Since it was a knit, it was probably more forgiving of any mistakes that I made.
  3. I hand slip stitched the facings and linings. I didn't like the idea of hand sewing because I thought it was too time consuming, but it was actually therapeutic. The initial stitches weren't done correctly, but I eventually got the hang of it, and now I actually like to hand-sew! I never thought that I'd enjoy that process.
Some errors I made along the way:
1. Do not iron nylon tricot!  See this big hole (look below)?? I forgot that it was made out of nylon and put the hot iron directly on top of it... bad idea. Luckily it is on the inside and it isn't TOO big.

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2. Instead of using tricot, I should've used the fashion fabric.  I little bit of the tricot can be seen on the outside, but you have to look closely.

3. I would use a contrasting band like Eugenia's version.  I think that the band blends in too much with the dress... especially on the right side.

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Overall, I learned a great deal in making this dress. I surprised myself in finishing it, too, since I traced, graded down, cut-out, and sewed the dress all in less than 24 hours... I also got 7 hours of sleep.  I would definitely make this dress again, and I would recommend it to anyone that hasn't already made one. ^___^

I think I have a new perspective on sewing, too.  In the past I just wanted to finish an item and didn't really ENJOY the process of making it.  Hehe... I don't really know how to explain it... for example, I didn't like cutting out a pattern much less think about tracing a pattern. But much to my surprise, I liked every step in making this dress, and I think it's due to all the great sewing blogs I've been reading. They're so encouraging and helpful! Thanks! Hopefully, this is the beginning of getting back to sewing.

19 comments:

Byrdie said...

Very pretty dress! You look so nice and the style is very flattering. Cute couple picture too!

Lori said...

Wonderful dress. You look so great in the style. Congrats on all the firsts for this dress.

Adelaide B said...

This is super cute!

Karin (the Mrs.) said...

That dress is lovely. And you look fabulous wearing it. Very nice!

Juebejue said...

aww, this dress looks great on you! i remember you saying that you are short, but you dont look short in this dress at all! :)

Trudy Callan said...

Your dress is stunnng.

AllisonC said...

Brilliant job, your dress really suits you and I'm super impressed you made it in time!

SuBoo said...

I LOVE maxi dresses and this looks great! I'm in a bit of a sewing rut myself so this is great inspiration - if only winter wasn't on its way over here!
Keeping this pattern in mind for summer when it comes around again.

Joyce in NC said...

The dress looks very good on you. The print is very nice. Cute couple!!

Shari said...

Very pretty dress! Love your fabric..you look wonderful in the dress it fits you so well. What a cute couple you are!

Heather said...

Oh! I love your dress! The colors are so great and you look beautiful in it!

Andrea said...

You look to beautiful in this dress. Nice job.

Eliana said...

Really FAB dress!!! And you look gorgeous with your hubby :)))

Amanda S. said...

What a super cute dress! I love your fabric choice and think it looks wonderful without a contrast color thrown in. I am actually using this pattern at the moment, but only for the midsection down. Great job on yours!!!

meli88a said...

I hope you don't mind me asking, how tall are you? You look so lean and elegant in this dress!

Tanya said...

Very pretty, every time I see this pattern I love it, I made it last year, in a zebra print with black contrast.

Angela said...

Wow... I'm so shocked by all the wonderful comments. Thank you everyone! Hehe... this is one of the reasons why I love this community... because everyone is so encouraging!

@juebejue - hehe.. I'm only short by standard pattern sizes, but even then I don't make petite adjustments. However, I do have to say that I LOVE heels... I think most of my heels are 3.5-4.5". ^_^

@meli88a - I'm 5'4" but I'm wearing 4" heels... hehe.. so I'm way cheating! :)

Barbara said...

You look so beautiful!
Sigh, I wish I had somewhere nice to go dressed like that...:-) But it's also great looking at you! Thanks!

Lynneb said...

That is a very flattering style for you Angela...you look so cute!