In my last post I promised a second version of Simplicity 2403 and here it is -
This dress started out with a piece of fabric at Metro Textiles (in New York), seized upon during my recent shopping trip there with Carolyn, Elizabeth and Opal (thanks to you all for your valuable input on my choice). There was only just over a yard left but I thought, that’s fine, it will make a very nice skirt and, at $5.00 for such a good quality piece of stretch cotton, it’s a bargain.
Later, (in New York Elegant Fabrics) I happened to chance upon a piece of cotton lawn that perfectly matched the aqua/mint shade in the print. So I thought, great, that will make a nice little blouse to go with the skirt. Next I found myself in M & J Trimmings and chanced upon some grosgrain ribbon that was exactly the same colour. And that’s when it came to me. Forget this separate skirt and blouse idea - why not use the Simplicity pattern I had just used for my last dress to combine both fabrics into a shirtwaist dress?
I have to say that when I got back to London my heart did sink a little at the prospect of making another version of this dress because (as I moaned in my last post) there is a lot of work with this pattern. However, my enthusiasm for the project overcame my reluctance. This time I decided that I wouldn’t have the tie belt but instead I sewed grosgrain ribbon onto the middle of the waistband before attaching it to the dress. I also decided to add the front ruffles that are one of the ‘designer additions’ included in the pattern.
Ah, yes, the ruffles. They nearly defeated me. The pattern has you cut four ruffle pieces and you’re supposed to narrow hem each of them, then place them one on top of each other in pairs – two for the left side and two for the right side. Now normally I’m not too bad at narrow hemming but the fabric was very fine and the pieces were small and the curves at the bottom were very curvy! Readers, it was horrible. I tried several times but in the end I just had four sad chewed up little rags – definitely not fit to be sewn down my front! Now, of course, I could have just binned the ruffles and gone without but I WANTED RUFFLES!!
Then it came to me. I cut four more ruffles but this time I sewed them together in pairs with the right sides together then turned them right sides out, pressed them and, voila, beautiful ruffles. So what I have is one double layered ruffle either side, rather than two single layer ruffles either side. Here’s a close up of the bodice –
So, there it is. Conceived in New York, fashioned (with a lot of faffing) in London - another dress came into the world and I like it quite a lot.