Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sewing Project--Simplicity 1716

I've mentioned before that being a nursing mother requires different accommodations in dressing. When my husband and I planned a trip to Tennessee for our anniversary last October, I knew I wanted to make and wear a dress out for our traditional date night dinner. However, having the baby with me would mean a neckline that could work for nursing. Enter Simplicity 1716:

Ah the beloved draped neckline. When I purchased this pattern, I thought I could probably get a lot of mileage out of it. I'm not thrilled about the twisted knot on views A, B, and C, and the instructions make it look pretty complicated. However, I like having a pattern for a flutter sleeve and a shirt or tunic.

I wanted to make View D, the draped neckline tunic, but our trip being in October necessitated some sleeves. I simply used the long sleeve piece from views A/F and added it to D. I had no problems doing so. The whole dress is made from size 4 of the pattern.

The fabric is a polyester knit from Jo-Ann's. I was determined to find a red and black stripe for this dress, for no particular reason except that it was stuck in my mind at the time! I lucked out and this fabric was on sale for 70% off or something crazy like that. Normally I take very good notes on what I pay for stuff, but I think I cut into this so fast that I have no records. Oops!

This project was my first with polyester knit. I wanted a fabric with some sheen so it would be a bit dressier. I took my time carefully cutting so that the stripes would match at the side seams. The worst thing about this fabric was that it would not hold a crease when pressed. I'm sure that's probably true of all poly knits. Hemming was a real challenge. Luckily, the drape didn't need hemmed and I left that raw, which just left the sleeves and the bottom.

I forget what I did with the sleeves, but I think there was just a lot of pinning involved. With the bottom, I tried a trick I had read online of using Steam A Seam and then sewing over it. It...kind of worked. The hem is still ultra-wavy. I probably wasn't using the right kind of Steam A Seam. I've since purchased some tricot interfacing, which has some stretch, and I've read that you can hem with it in the same fashion.

The pattern envelope calls this a mini-dress, and it is. I've only worn it with leggings or jeans. If you wanted to lengthen it and be more comfortable without pants, I certainly think it would be easy to do.

I definitely want to make this again, maybe with the flutter sleeve next time. The draped neckline was perfect and the rest of the pattern fit me pretty well. There is binding on the back neckline that turned out very professional, even though I had my doubts while sewing it. All in all, a great pattern to pick up during a Jo-Ann's 99 cent sale!

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a great dress! and I love your fabric, I've been dreaming of blk/red wide stripe as well. Will look on JA's! you might just practice with the steam-a seam, on small scraps. I use it on my knit hems, 1/2" width tape. I sort of push the fabric against itself as I apply the tape (I put it above and along the fold line, not below it, then fold the edge up, pushing a bit as well and trying to avoid letting the fabric stray from the 'straight' line). I've found that I can then use a long straight stitch on the right side to topstitch and finish. Pretty much gets out the wavys!


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