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Finally I finished another garment! It’s the Simplicity 2145 dress from the Project Runway pattern collection. I wanted to make this dress for a while and also had found a fabric that I thought would make it justice. I like the shape of the dress, that it has a wrap neckline, a defined waist, a flirty skirt and long sleeves. Even though the pattern doesn’t call for a knit fabric I again used a rayon blend knit fabric with a lot of flow. I’m quite happy with the result.

Simplicity 2145

My new Simplicity 2145 dress

The dress wasn’t to difficult to make though some of the steps were time consuming. It has quite a few pleats both in the neckline and in the skirt, both front and back. Some of the pleats where folded from the right side of the garment which gave me some conundrum of how to make the marking for the folding lines. to avoid marking with a pen on the outside of the garment I tread traced these markings by hand. When making the folds I also chose to bast them in place my hand instead of on the machine. This way it was easier to take out the basing tread in the later stages, but the hand sewing took some time.

The upper bodies

The upper bodice

Basted pleats

Basted pleats

Before cutting out the fabric I adjusted the pattern some:

  • First of all I lowered the shoulder seam at the neckline 2 cm, tapered out to nothing at the shoulder. I don’t think I have particularly straight/boxy shoulders but I have found that I like to make this adjustment on tops in order to avoid gaps in the neckline. I had to make the adjustment both to the bodies piece and to the facing.
  • Also I raised the neckline about 1 cm in the wrap in order to get better coverage and make the dress more appropriate for the office. 

I didn’t follow the pattern directions to the minute but saved the underarm and side seams as the very last step before hemming. In this way I didn’t need to give up fit to chance. I made french seams under the arm and on the sides (as well as in the shoulders and sleeves). For french seams on knits I use a tutorial by Amanda on Amanda’s Adventure in Sewing. Before stitching the french seams I basted the seams, by machine this time, to make sure the fit would be good. This was a very exiting step as it was the first time i could try it on and you never know what your labor so far has ended up with… It had turned out great but I decided to take in the sleeve 4 cm and the top of the bodied (top 5 cm) about 3 cm on each side for it to be even better. The pattern suggested a standard zipper, but I chose to use an invisible one instead. However, since it is a knit fabric I could have done without a zipper and still get the dress on and off. But there is something about zipping up dresses…

I like how the neckline fits me and the look of the waistband, even though it could have been i a little tighter.

Front of the dress

Front of the dress

Here I make sure it also looks good from the side and the back. Yep, the length is good as well.

Side/front of dress

Side/front of dress

This is the first of many dresses I am planing to make that is appropriate in the day, at the office (or in the classroom as I’m teaching at the university) in a climate like ours in Sweden. I’ll be able to use it already now with a jacket or a cardigan on top and later in the spring on it’s own. Here I have styled it with black tights and black shoes, but the colors in the dress make matching with other colored accessories a nice option.

Styled

Styled

That is it from me for this time.

Happy sewing everyone!

Annika