Sunday, February 24, 2013

FO: A Fitted Tribute to Jessica, Simplicity 2798

It has been a very productive weekend!
Hot on the heels of a finished knit, I gathered my energy for a burst of concentrated sewing and spent the past two days working on a project outside my comfort zone:  a fitted dress.

This is Simplicity 2798.
When I saw it on Melissa's All Buttoned Up blog, way back then, I really liked it but I didn't think it was "me".
Then Jessica got a hold of it, and I started to see its potential as a smart work-dress.
Not that I saw myself as a smart work-dress-wearer...!

Then just recently, Jessica sent me the remains of her amazing purple Marimekko dress fabric - ooh!  How kind is that?  She knew how much I loved it!
There was only a small piece, but more than enough for yoke, cuffs and pocket linings on the 2798.
The teal fabric came from the p-hop table at the Shed Gathering in York. 

Stats:
Pattern:  Simplicity 2798, a Project Runway pattern from 2008, in size 4
Fabric: Less than 2 metres of teal herringbone-weave cotton with a brushed back from an unknown Shed-person (though I have my suspicions about who the previous owner might be!);  remnant of mad purple Marimekko cotton sateen from Jessica.  Thank you, both of you!

Process:
I cut and sewed a size 4, which is supposed to fit a person with a 29 1/2 inch chest.  No way is that me!  Luckily, I followed the "actual measurements" chart,  which showed that the bust is actually 34 inches.  As you can see, it's a pretty neat fit.  I didn't try it on until I was ready to sew in the zip, and I could tell it was going to be a close thing.  It is possibly slightly too figure-skimming through the hips, and I have to give a little wriggle to get it off over my head, but the 6 would have been too big.

I don't like this back view.  My shoulders look enormous!

The sleeves were a puzzle.
I opted for the long pleated-cuff version, and found the instructions incomprehensible.  I initially followed the direction to sew along the dotted lines, but this made a long tight cuff in the teal fabric,which looked really strange.  I also couldn't raise my arms far enough to do up my zip!
So I unpicked the pleats and did my own thing with them, attaching contrast cuffs for no other reason than that I wanted to.

Would I make this pattern again?
I'm not sure.  The princess seams and high neck give it a retro look, which looked a bit frumpy until I lopped 4 inches off the length.
I like the pockets, which stand out a little, like the Portfolio dress.
The sleeves are... unusual.  I think I would leave it sleeveless next time, but obviously that would make it less suitable for local climatic conditions.

Verdict?
Not bad... not bad at all.
I'm still not sure about the sleeves, and I definitely can't eat a three-course meal while wearing it, but I think this will be a useful addition to the smarter end of my work wardrobe.
And I love the colours.
The contrast is pop-tastic :D

23 comments:

jessica said...

When this popped up in my blog reader, my first reaction was - "What brilliance, Roo!" The colors, the contrast that is, as you say, pop-tastic ... it is a lovely, smart dress that will have other women at work surreptitiously eyeing you and thinking that they shall have to dig through your purse while you are in the bathroom so that they can figure out where you shop ;-). Haha, just kidding, that only happens in the States! (OK, I don't think that's actually ever happened here before, but it makes for a nice mental image, no?)

What a clever use of the Marimekko! My brain had gotten as far as "tote bag" or "cushion cover" but this really lets it shine, especially next to the teal. One of these days we should do a meetup, I will wear teal tights with my dress.

Donna said...

Fabulous, I love it and it looks great on you!

Marie said...

I love this so much, I think it's terribly flattering on you and not at all too tight! You have a cracking figure lady!

Lynne said...

Ooo!! What a fab dress! I think the fit looks great on you, and I love the colours. You have such a good eye for colour.

Sadie said...

That's gorgeous - I really love how the colours work together.

Scruffybadger said...

Now this is a great winter dress, I really like the lines of it and yes, the sleeves!! It all works really well, and the length plus beautiful contrast makes it really funky lady. I'd call it a resounding success, but clearly don't have to wear it, you don't have that much stretching to do in your job do you?! ;-)

rosyragpatch said...

Good idea to cut some off the length, it looks very good like that. I love the contrast fabric - lovely smart dress.

Kestrel said...

I love those colours together and that looks like the perfect length to balance the sleeves and neckline

Sarah said...

Roo....still love your creations, and admire your talent.

Things have been pretty quiet, at our house, not much to blog about.
I will get back to it, soon.

Hope you and FL are good.

Hugs from afar....

Miriana said...

You look really great in more fitted clothes - a fabulous dress. And I enjoyed the random Christian book / two way radio riff.

LLBB said...

Love this on you!!

Stephanie Farinelli said...

Wow! This looks fantastic!

Sabs said...

You look fab and it's not tight at all - figure enhancing I would say. And def appropriate for work and play. Colours are wow, very Roo!

Minnado said...

I love it, and you are very clever with the way you used the marimekko scraps. I remember admiring Melissa's version. The sleeves make it look so different. If I weren't so lumpy and bumpy I would defintely make a version!

Anonymous said...

Enviable style and beautifully fitted. Your shoulders look great, too - nothing to complain about there!
-- stashdragon

velosewer said...

Roo you look stunning and in a very elegant way. These are great colours and you've worked the style to your distinct advantage.

Alessa said...

Beautiful colour combination and great use of contrast! It turned out a very lovely dress!

Lorelai @ www.lloralye.com said...

Such a brilliant color combination! I'll definitely be following you to see what else you make :)

xoxo Lorelai
Seams Unbiased

SimpleFibreLife said...

I really like the colours and the pocket construction. It looks really great on you.

I think shortening the skirt was the right way to go. Show those pins off!

France Parijs said...

Gorgeous pattern, colour combination and choice of fabric - it suits you really well!

acharmofmagpies said...

Oh oh oh oh! This is stunning! I love it. And the colours are beautiful on you. Just gorgeous!

liza jane said...

Ah, I love this pattern! I've had this pattern in my stash for several years now. I've pulled it out and almost made it up many times now. I need to do it. Part of the reason I haven't yet is because it seems to take a lot of fabric. I love your version! The pockets are my favorite part though the contrast bands on the sleeves are very smart, too. The length is perfect and it most definitely does not make your shoulders look big.

mumasu said...

I love this dress. The colours go together beautifully, it looks really smart for work, the fit is perfect and with the sleeves it's great for winter. You have much talent my dear.