Thursday, August 14, 2014

Simplicity 2443 in Pink Piqué

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about my frustration with size charts, in connection with a muslin I was making for Simplicity 2443. I'm back today with the completed dress!

I think I should change the name of my blog to "110 Pink Creations".

I received Simplicity 2443 as part of a pattern pyramid giveaway (it's out of print, sorry!). I kinda like the jacket but I LOVE the dress (on the envelope anyway, more on that in a second). Someday my husband will come home from work to find me buried under a mountain of knit dress patterns that finally overwhelmed me.

I'd like to find a TNT racerback knit dress pattern, and I was hoping that this would be it. It might be. I finished this a month ago and I'm still not sure. After finishing my muslin, there were a few problems. First, the neckline was WAY lower than it appeared on the model on the envelope. Second, cutting according to the size chart (12) it came out much too big (thus the ranting post about size charts).

For my final version, I cut a size 8 in the bodice, a size 6 waistband and a size 6 skirt. My measurements are 33"-27"-37". The straps were shortened 1 1/2" on both the front and back (I'm 5'4"). This raised both necklines considerably and also made the sides of the bodice fit differently.

Because I shortened the straps so much, I think the overall proportions of the dress are slightly off, though of course it looks fine in these photos. The waistband is slightly higher than where my natural waist is located. I normally like my dresses hemmed to just-above-knee length, but that looked weird when I pinned it. The longer skirt helped with the proportion issues.

The fabric used for the straps and center panel is an interlock that I got, of all places, from Wal-Mart. The rest of the dress is a cotton piqué knit from Mood (sold out, but this appears to be the lightweight version?). Piqué can apparently be a woven fabric also, but my experience with it has always been in a knit. It's the type of material used for men's polo shirts. This was my first time buying/sewing with it, and it was comparable to a heavy weight waffle/thermal knit. I have some of this fabric left over and I'd really like to make a tennis skirt with it.

I'm glad I used the interlock for some subtle visual breakup (it was also easier to sew). I only had enough for the exterior panels, so the facings are piqué. This dress calls for in-seam pockets, which are basically useless when made in a knit. I used a woven quilting cotton instead, making sure that it had a similar color scheme so you couldn't see them through the skirt. The knit is opaque, but I wanted to make sure the pockets didn't look stupid in case you saw a peek of the fabric.

All things considered, this was a faster, easier sew than it appears at first glance. The instructions are excellent, and there are smart drafting choices like a smaller seam allowance for the straps. The straps take the longest, of course, but both times I sewed them (the muslin and the real dress) I managed it without ANY tucks/puckers/seam ripping. For me, that's GREAT. My advice is to go slowly, follow the directions in the pattern (i.e. baste first then sew) and to do it in two parts. I pinned the back together and sewed it, took it off the machine and checked it. Then I pinned the front together and sewed it. That way I could use a lot of pins, but it didn't feel like I had this monster porcupine dress to maneuver around the machine. Also consider changing the order of construction, sewing the straps to the bodice before assembling the rest of the dress. It's just easier to deal with when there is less fabric to manhandle.

The only part I don't like about this pattern is that the straps aren't serged to the dress (no way Jose) and the insides look crummy. What a stupid thing to not like, but there it is!

The hem was finished on my coverstitch machine, which I continue to fall more and more in love with every time I use it.

I don't have a hankering to sew this again anytime soon, though I can see it happening (with a slightly longer bodice) next summer. I a...l...m...o...s...t feel like this dress is too fancy for a weekday, but you may disagree. Let's just say that I've only worn it to church and I got makeup on it within 10 minutes. Normally lighter colors scare me since I have 1 toddler and 3 pets that enjoy making messes. What do you think? Too dressy for the grocery store? Oh and also, while wearing this someone asked me if I was in high school, so maybe it looks young? (Seriously, high school?!)



  1. I really like the pink/white combo, it looks so cute! I would absolutely wear that dress everywhere :)

    1. Thanks Nilla! Do the straps look white? They're actually a very very light pink. It was a lucky coincidence that both fabrics went well together.

  2. I don't think it looks too dressy for weekday. But I don't really wear dresses other than work. When I do put them on if it's anything other than a knit I feel like I'm dressed up. That's my crazy logic anyway. If I got asked if I was in high school while wearing it I'd probably wear it every day after that. ha!

    1. LOL! The problem with looking like I'm in high school is that I usually have a toddler with me...I don't want people to think I snatched her!

      And I get what you mean about woven dresses, I NEVER wear them unless I'm dressing up. Even then I prefer knits!

  3. I love knit dresses and this one I have made twice now. I have also made the jacket and it is one if my favourites. I made both one size smaller than the pattern measurements but tend to do this with all big 5 patterns. I usually measure the pieces to check the sizing before cutting. I turned and handstitched the inner facing on my dress so actually looks neat inside. It may actually come out to play again this summer in one form or another. I love your pink version!

    1. Oooo that's a good idea for the facings! I'll do that next time. Thanks for the suggestion!


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