Their competition started on Friday, but I couldn't join them until Saturday because I had to work. So rather than sit at home and just pout that I wasn't with the boys I decided to make myself a new nautical themed dress.
Normally I avoid Simplicity patterns because I always end up swimming in them if I make the size indicated on the package, but they were on sale and I didn't want to spend a lot so I was leafing through the lookbook and I found Simplicity 1080 (I made view A). They called it a "Granny Chic" tunic. I don't really understand why. Maybe because they posed the model holding some yarn? (Let's all try not be offended at yet another implication that knitting/crocheting as a thing only old people do) It certainly doesn't look like anything my grandmother would wear.
So I was looking at the pattern and I spotted something I had never noticed before (probably because it's been so many years since I made a simplicity pattern and when last I looked at them I didn't really understand ease). At the bottom of the envelope was a list of finished garment measurements. And no wonder I always ended up swimming in my finished garments because they give, like, four inches of positive ease. I mean, it's a pull over in a woven fabric, so you need some ease, but four inches seemed truly excessive to me, so instead of making the large the pattern said I needed to accommodate my bust, I went with a medium, and low and behold the fit was perfect!
Here I am in Port Townsend wearing the dress. It was an absolutely beautiful sunny day with tons of adorable sailboats in the water behind me all day, but I couldn't pull Fiance away from his build long enough to take pictures then. So instead you get a gloomy twilight shot with my sweater on because it was cold and windy by that point. (Also, do you recognize the bag? It's the one I talked about in this post. I brought it with me because it was all I had big enough to carry two meals worth of food for four hungry men)
And here is a badly lit shot of the whole dress so you can actually see what it looked like. Isn't that nautical fabric adorable!
The pockets were a huge reason that I picked out this pattern. Normally I'm not a big one for patch pockets, but these were cute and big enough to actually be functional. And most importantly not right over my breasts. I don't understand why designers seem to insist of putting pockets on nipples like I need to be drawing any extra attention to my boobs. Anyway, I'm a sucker for a dress with functional pockets.
The dress had some interesting construction details. The neck, shoulder, arms and hem were finished with single fold bias tape. I've never used it to finish a hem like this, but I rather liked it for the neck and arms. Next time I think I will skip it in favor of a narrow hem on the bottom because the dress is just wide enough that you need a second package of tape for the last four inches of hem.
This is also the first pattern I've seen that includes instructions for finished seams. In this case, it called for french seams on the sides. Even if it hadn't I would have done them anyway because I like my clothes nice and neat and finished on the inside, but I liked seeing a pattern that agrees with me.
Another note of interest on the pattern, the pieces were not nested so you had to hunt out the size that you needed for each piece. It certainly made it easier to cut out, but it also makes for a very thick envelope when you are trying to put all the tissue away.
And last but not least, this dress illustrated the importance of back-tacking. I was tired and in a hurry and I somehow completely forgot to back tack the tucks on the front of the dress, so by the end of the day they had pulled completely out. It's a good thing the back ties were attached first and then hidden by the tuck instead of doing it all in one seam or I would have lost the ties on the dress too.
If you look closely in the picture you can see the needle holes where the tuck used to be.
I followed those holes to quickly fix the tucks before I washed the dress. It was a bit fiddly to do the second time since the back was attached to the dress now, but I got it and now it is fixed, and back-tacked so it won't be going anywhere a second time.
Overall I am super pleased with this dress. It's comfy, it fits well and it was really easy to make. I think it only took a couple hours Friday night. Oh, and don't let the thought of turning those long skinny ties turn you off, they are folded lie bias tape and top-stitched, so no turning required! I am totally going to make this pattern again. Next time I think I'll do it in the tunic length.