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Simplicity Blog Social & Giveaway

April 5, 2012

Hey hey! Several weeks ago I found a fantastic surprise in my inbox from Simplicity patterns. They asked if I would like to participate in a blog hop and pattern giveaway. Why, yes. Yes I would.

They sent me each of the three patterns in the giveaway, and my task was to choose one, stitch it up, blog about it, post for y’all to see, and link to my fellow participants. Easy as pie! I knew immediately that I wanted to make Simplicity 1913, a lovely sheath dress. And I knew that it would be in a navy linen, with the front tab, and either flat or standing collar. A fun nod to nautical for the coming summer months.

Fantastic, right? With plans set in clay, I started shopping around for the perfect linen or linen/silk blend. Then came the email listing my fellow bloggers. I let out a little squeal upon seeing the talented ladies who would be participating, and then countered with a dangitall. Miss Zoe is the Queen of Nautical. Her post is coming up, so I don’t know which pattern she chose, but still. So I then started shopping for a red linen blend locally, in vain. Good thing that didn’t peter pan collar out, because Miss Sunni is so smashing in her rust 1913 dress. Prom drama avoided by lack of desired fabric! Though we’re all hemming this blind, so it’s all good.

After my initial efforts to procure the perfect red linen/silk blend turned fruitless in the allotted time, I did what any stash-buster does. I have my mom to thank for this dress. Every single bit of it comes from the bundle of goodies I recently confiscated and made my own. Chambray, red bias tape, turquoise metal zip, Yale blue lace hem tape. Everything but the thread and interfacing has been waiting patiently for decades to be used. R did not trust my vision of this sheath in chambray, but I like the casual simplicity. Pun intended. Not my original intent, and I still plan on making a nice red dress, something my wardrobe is seriously lacking. Yet this dress is still welcome to shine while that one waits in the wings.

These patterns are fantastic, and have that “choose your own adventure” aspect of the Project Runway line. Seriously, they beg you to throw every design feature their way. Dare you… make the bias collar and the flat collar, add the buttons and the tabs. Go overboard. Draft some captain’s epaulettes, why don’t you. In the end, I stuck with the flat collar, jazzed up with red piping. I had made the front tab with red piping, too, but it was overwhelming, so left it off. I’m a huge vintage fan, but find I feel like I’m in costume if I go too far. This is the brink for me, though if I’d left off the red contrast, the tab would have been an okay addition.

Eek... looks like I'm coming unzipped. Saucy photographer.

I hand-picked the zip, and opted for red contrast bias tape on the neck and armscye instead of lining the bodice. Everything was absolutely perfect. Until I put it on. Oh. My. God. Neck gape. Yes, I made a muslin. Nope, it wasn’t present then. (***maybe i needed to change my contacts. or just wanted to start cutting out the chambray. in any event, most likely user error.) Neck darts fixed the back, caused problems in the front. I had just enough fabric to redo the bodice. Lots of unpicking (serger threads, too) later, I’m fairly happy with this dress. I slashed/spread to compensate for my round shoulders, added neck darts, pinched out the CB/CF to bring the armholes up a bit more snug. Because I’d used up every bit of the red bias tape, I unpicked the topstitching, understitching, seam stitching on that, too. Sheesh. There’s still a wee bit of neck gaping. I should have angled my neck darts a bit more, and this may also be in part because of the bias tape (despite stay stitching). I’m okay with that, though I will make the thread bar smaller.

The bodice is not super fitted, but I have to say it left just enough room for beer and dancing at the latest Pretty Things party. Their new Fluffy White Rabbits brew is oh-so-tasty! As usual. That’s where my dress made its debut. Then again on Ben & Jerry’s free ice cream day. Again, thank you semi-fitted bodice. These shots were taken at the Harvard Lampoon building. My cone of choice? Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCone Dream. This dress taunted me that much.

After all that, I just had to put off my regularly scheduled spring/summer sewing program one garment further. My inner Little Urban Achiever told my inner Dude to put down the white Russian and make another dress. That dress will make its internet debut on the Sew Weekly some time next week. It will make its real life debut for my mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday Mummy!!!

In honor of the lovely lady that started me on this stitched path, hop on over to the shop for a sale. HEYMONA will get you 20% off any item, pattern or clothing, until midnight Sunday.

And while you’re at it, go check out what my fellow seamsters have made with these patterns! Be sure to enter the giveaway, too! Five winners will receive three patterns: 1913, 2444, 2282. You’ll be choosing your own adventure before you know it. Entries are accepted until April 15, 2012.

38 Comments leave one →
  1. misscrayolacreepy permalink
    April 5, 2012 11:27 am

    Love everything about this!!! You did good! Red and blue are one of my favorite color combos :)

    • April 6, 2012 6:48 am

      I love that combo, too! Especially a more aqua shade… it’s just so much fun!

  2. Fashionable Stitcher permalink
    April 5, 2012 11:52 am

    I LOVE this Lavender! And I’m terribly, terribly jealous that you can sport the gathers at the waist, which look super cute on you. I love the chambray pick and the fact that you’ve added red piping – sigh – you are a girl after my own heart! It’s a smashing take on this pattern. I love your term of “Choose your own Adventure” patterns because that’s exactly what they are! Ha ha ha! I loved those books too! He! Fabulous rendition – love the lipstick!
    xoxo, Sunni

    • April 6, 2012 6:53 am

      LOVED those books! I’d read through once, then go back and read through every combo of choices. I have to say, your pleats are pretty awesome, and had me wishing I’d thought of that. I don’t consider myself a ruffly, gathered type so was on the fence about them. Danke!

  3. April 5, 2012 1:26 pm

    Oh, Lavender, this is adorable. I love this. Such a flattering cut for you! You eat all the things, you deserve to eat and drink and be merry in your gorgeous dress. So far everyone has picked this pattern! Curious.

    • April 6, 2012 7:07 am

      Maybe not all the things… don’t want to trace out another size :) I bet it’s those cute buttons and tabs everywhere. They draw you in and don’t let go. I can see Tilly in 2444 (which I also made as my extra credit).

  4. April 5, 2012 4:51 pm

    “You look marvelous”! Loving your dress!

  5. April 5, 2012 5:10 pm

    gorgeous, and sew brilliantly written…

    this is what i love about simplicity’s PR line (my fave of the big 5), all the dresses look so different on the blog social! would be pretty funny if 1913 ends up being the choice of all…

    and happy birthday lavender’s mum:)

    • April 6, 2012 7:27 am

      Oh, sewing puns, keeping me in stitches. There’s something about 1913, right? Weird! I blame it on the mix & match buttons & tabs & collars. Want them all.

      • April 10, 2012 9:06 pm

        those PR patterns can keep you occupied for months with all the choices.

        by the way, i just read your burdastyle featured member, loved it! especially the younger you who was the dreaded client :))

  6. April 5, 2012 5:52 pm

    I love red and blue together, the fit is just right to look like a lady and still be comfortable . I chanced upon free cone day as well (I chose Schweddy Balls, because, well, duuhh). Winning!

    • April 6, 2012 7:29 am

      Hehe! Scweddy Balls! I kind of wish it were more snug at the waist, but at this point I really can’t be bothered. My body is so wonky, that if I took it in now, the skirt would be atrocious over my hips.

  7. April 5, 2012 6:24 pm

    Nice, I love the piping and the location you used for your photos. Happy b’day to your mum!

    • April 6, 2012 7:30 am

      Thanks! That building just makes me smile! It looks like a face :)

  8. April 5, 2012 8:27 pm

    This is so, so cute! It looks great with your buffalo check jacket! And the red trim is the perfect touch! Bravo, lady, bravo!

    • April 6, 2012 7:31 am

      Glad you approve of the jacket! R thinks I’m crazy, but I thought it was okay. He didn’t cross to the other side of the street, so it can’t be that bad of a combo ;)

  9. April 6, 2012 8:17 am

    I think the chambray works perfectly! Is there anything chambray won’t do? I also love it with the buffalo check jacket – a surprising woodsy americana twist (or was it already americana? my references are confusing me…) Anyway – great dress!

    • April 9, 2012 9:18 am

      It’s a total workhorse, right! I want to make breezy summer tops from it now. Classic homespun woodsy americana heritage… throw ’em all in there and push purée… sounds good to me :)

  10. April 6, 2012 12:02 pm

    I love it! Especially the red piping. It’s very feminine and it fits you so so well!

    • April 9, 2012 9:19 am

      Thanks, Maddie! It’s not the perfect fit, but I can live with it… for now!

  11. April 6, 2012 9:08 pm

    Love it! You are a babe in it!!! A famous babe! I saw your name posted in my email from Simplicity and was all like “Hey! I know that lady!” lol

    • April 9, 2012 9:24 am

      Aaw, thanks! And too funny… which reminds me, I should probably sign up for their newsletter :)

  12. Tilly permalink
    April 7, 2012 2:33 am

    It’s lovely! Really like the chambray and the red trim. Haha that’s funny that you were trying to predict what the other participants would make… I had the same thought process about avoiding nautical chic because of Zoe!

    • April 9, 2012 9:30 am

      Right! I just assumed you were all over 2444, and my WASPy visions of sailing off the cape in 1913 were tossed out the window like a scratched Christopher Cross 7″. As if I know how to sail anyway :) I can’t wait to see what you made, as it looks like I was wrong all around so far!

  13. April 7, 2012 5:33 am

    Great dress, I love the piped collar! And such a lovely lace hem tape! And how cool to be chosen for such a project, congrats! :D

    • April 9, 2012 9:32 am

      Thanks, Alessa :) I have two more packs of that same color hem tape, and I totally love it!

  14. April 8, 2012 3:18 am

    Oh my goodness, this is one DAMN AMAZING dress!!!!! I totally know how you feel with all those design elements to choose from, but I really think you made the right decision to step away from the extra tab detail, and I admire your restraint! Shesh, that was a lot of refitting to go through though, I so glad the resultant dress allows for consuming all those goodies you clearly earnt in the process. I haven’t made this pattern, but I have to say I have also experience a baggy back neck. Not that I bothered to make a toile (as usual). Your dress looks like exactly the kind of thing I’d see on Modcloth and then save in my ‘inspirational image’ file!

    All the best
    Zoe xxx

    • April 9, 2012 9:39 am

      Thanks, Zoe! Seriously, you could go spastic with all of the options, but that’s what’s so fun about these patterns – the built-in mix/match, customization they offer. Ugh… fitting – some day I’ll get to a point where I can look at a pattern and automatically know how to make it fit me… inching closer, but obviously not there yet.

  15. April 8, 2012 11:38 pm

    Ben & Jerry’s free ice cream day! I wish Amy’s Ice Creams did that here.

    I definitely would’ve picked this pattern, too, and would probably go crazy with those button details. And I don’t know why, but I have a thing for chambray. And you’ve nailed it–kind of nautical but waitress-chic. (Or maybe I’m thinking about this because I’ve just seen Keri Russell in her cute little waitress outfit in that pie movie.)

    I’m still thinking about ice cream… even though I totally stuffed myself with easter brunch goodness today. what does Americone dream taste like?

    • April 9, 2012 9:45 am

      Mmmm… Amy’s Mexican vanilla! Americone is vanilla ice cream with chunks of waffle cone that have been dipped in chocolate, so tasty, but a little goes a long way! I really want to sew up some breezy chambray shirts and shorts now. I never knew how great it is to wear, and think something more relaxed would be perfect for it. Waitress-chic! Love it! Put me behind a counter and toss me a pack of gum.

  16. April 10, 2012 2:51 pm

    Lovely outcome to a long frustrating process!! You know I feel your pain on the neck gape… but in the end it turned out just lovely! The fit is awesome, not too tight – just enough room for ice cream :) *hi fives* ^__^

  17. njeri permalink
    April 12, 2012 4:52 am

    You look lovely in a dress,

  18. stephanie u. permalink
    April 13, 2012 1:09 pm

    SO cute and I love the photo shoot. That’s a great dress, Lav. It fits you beautifully. Your hair is getting so long! Pretty, pretty.

    I would love this pattern. It’s such a great, classic silhouette!

    • April 17, 2012 2:57 pm

      Thanks, Steph! It still has some issues, but I can live with them for now. Oh man, wait ’til you see new photos. I got antsy with my hair :)

  19. April 29, 2012 12:41 pm

    You created an impressively gorgeous dress!


  1. Stitching Spotlights 4.6.2012 » A Fashionable Stitch

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