Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Simplicity 2648: Cythina Steffe (material) dress

This is Simplicity 2648, a pattern that I've been wanting to make since last year. 






The fabric is a thick textured cotton/poly from the designer Cynthia Steffe, purchased last spring at Paron Fabrics in New York (stashbustin'!).


This pattern has cup size variations, and calls for 1 inch seam allowances on the sides so that the dress can be fit as you go.  I originally cut a size 12 in the B cup version, my normal size, but even with the extra 3/8" allowance, I had to grade out to a 14 at the waist and hips.  Too much sewing and not enough working out over the past months! 

I've been taking a new approach to muslining: I make a "muslin" out of the garment's lining fabric, making sure I have extra in case I need to cut new pattern pieces.  I baste together the seams I know I'll have to rip out to construct the garment (like the bodice side seams).  It's been working out so well because - if the "muslin" fits - the lining is done and ready to be essentially dropped into the fashion fabric.  I never liked constructing a piece and then having to construct it all over again in the boring lining fabric.

I had another fitting victory with this dress: there was major gappage at the top of the princess seam near the underarm.  Increasing the seam allowance at the problem area didn't work because the 2 seams would no longer meet evenly at the fabric edge.  I tried the alteration in Fit For Real People - which requires removing some of the seam allowance but also popping out the top of the piece so that the 2 seams align at the fabric edge - and it worked perfectly. 

The altered pattern is on top of the original so that you can see where the top of the pattern is dropped and shifted to the left, and more armscye curve is added.  (Ignore the line - I use scraps of old patterns to as tracing paper).

= no gapage!

If you are a new sewer, I highly recommend getting this book.  I did not buy the book for a long time, thinking that a book could never teach me how to alter patterns, and that I wouldn't be able to learn on my own, but I in fact have been able to achieve pattern alerations with this book.  I'm rather amazed, frankly.

This pattern has been made by so many sewers for a reason: classic style, nice shape (neckline perfect - not too high, not too low), great for work or dress.  I think this will become a TNT pattern for me.  It won't supplant McCall 5753, The Perfect Shift Dress (now OOP), but perhaps this will be my Perfect Princess Seam Shift Dress.

44 comments:

Vintage Girl said...

I love the close up picture of the bodice, you can tell that the seams are just beautifully sewn together. It looks so professional. Love the fabric too! Yes, you are right about Fit for Real People. I am a new sewer and I got the book last month, it's been like a sewing Bible for me.

Faye Lewis said...

You did a WONDERFUL job with the fit. The color is magnificent, and I just love the texture of the fabric. Can I have that dress?

tigergirl said...

perfect! so basically, you took a wedge out of the pattern?

MayMade said...

I just bought this pattern, and I love your version! That fabric is perfect!

Sophia said...

Wow! The fabric and the fit are both amazing, great job!

Aminat said...

Simply beautiful.....You did a great job on the fitting...Lovely

montanachic said...

Really pretty, I love it with the beads. Thanks for the tip of using the lining as a muslin, that is a FABULOUS idea! I also love that book and think it is a must have :)

JoanneM said...

GORGEOUS!!!! Love the color and the shape is perfect. I like your philosophy with the muslin lining.
Oh how I hate making a muslin.
Oh how I hate when I don't make a muslin.
:)

Gail said...

I love this pattern. I've made it twice already in the v-neck style. Your fabric choice is exquisite and the sewing perfect.

Lori said...

amazing dress, it looks fantastic on you, perfect fit.

Rebecca said...

LOVE it! Great idea with the muslin lining! I think I'll try that.

MushyWear said...

That's what I am aiming for too, "The perfect princess seam shift dress". Yours really turned out spectacularly! The fabric is beautiful and looks so good on you. The sewing looks impeccable. VERY NICE!

Karin said...

Wow! The fabric is really special and it fits you like a glove! A great simple dress to have in the closet.

Eugenia said...

Great job. You can't beat a perfectly fitted sheath dress and yours looks fabulous on you. I love the fabric!

didyoumakethat said...

That's beautiful. I love it. The fabric choice is inspired - very Jackie O. What a lovely dress.

Colette said...

Stunning work and dress!

Chapstick Fanatic said...

wow that fits perfectly! and what a great color for spring!

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meli88a said...

How nerdy is it that I am agog at the perfect princess seam and armhole in the last pic? Nicely done. That dress is so perfectly sewn and fitted, plus the fabric is a great choice. So chic!

Antigone said...

ı love the pattern and the fabric. and it perfectly fits on you..

pendlestitches said...

I'm so thrilled to see such a beautiful version of this dress. It gives me hope, as I have the pattern on my sewing table ready to cut this weekend. If mine turns out half as nicely as yours, I shall be a very happy sewer!

Rachel said...

That is absolutely gorgeous and you look fabulous in it. I love the turquoise beads with the yellow dress.

Clio said...

Great fit and lovely fabric choice! I also will use lining as muslin when it makes sense. It's a big time saver.

Angela said...

Ooo.. it's beautiful! Such a perfect fit... I must get that book and that pattern!

Cennetta said...

Excellent dress! Beautiful fabric.

Nancy said...

Love love love love love that fabric!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

That is totally perfect. I LOVE the fabric and it fits like a glove on your lovely figure.

Karen in VA said...

Beautiful dress, so well put together...love your muslin idea also.... I have this pattern, really need to make it up...

JoanneM said...

I went and bought this pattern tonight. Simplicity are a $1 at Hancock. I need another sheath dress pattern like....a hole in the head.
They are all slightly different but I plan on owning them all. I LOVE sheath dresses!!!
Thanks again.

K.Line said...

How utterly pretty! It's a beautiful fabric, a lovely shape. Reminds me of daffodils in spring. Great job - and good idea about muslin making.

Marybeth said...

That dress looks so high end! It is exquisite! And I love the blue beads with it - very pretty!

Nettie said...

The fit on this is AMAZING!! I love everything about this dress!

I may have to pay closer attention to that book...I never even consider buying this type of pattern because they never fit me correctly.

Bobbi Bullard said...

Your fit is great. Now I have another book to find. Good work!

Rosy said...

Perfect!!!! That dress is incredibly cool, the foundation of any outfit! Fabric is beautiful.

Robin said...

I love everything about it - the fabric, the fit, everything! Now you have inspired me to finally try that pattern as it's been sitting in my stash.

Cindy said...

All I can say is perfect! The color, fabric, fit, style...sensational! Also I love the choice of necklace with it!

Carolyn said...

Gorgeous classic dress, in amazing fabric! Your fit is perfect. And magnificently sewn. Beautiful work!

Sheri said...

Love it!

Wish Me Luck said...

that is one lovely dress! I love the fabric you used!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

What a totally lovely dress this is! I love your fabric choice and how it fits. I also love that you are discovering things in your sewing and can't wait to see what else rolls out of your sewing machine!

Sheila said...

How in the dickens did I miss your beautiful dress. Love the color and fit.

Lillie said...

Excellent fit. Great job!

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amber said...

See what I'm saying, your fitting skills are getting quite good! :) Lovely dress and a lovely fit!

ice pink stars said...

I literally looked at your pictures of this dress and said "WOW!" The fit is absolutely perfect on you, and this has got to be one of the most beautiful dresses. So inspiring!!!! :)

Wanda said...

Lovely job on that dress! It fits so well.

I have been looking for a slim-fitting, princess seam dress pattern because I have a large chest, narrow hips and a flat bottom. Very hard to find a LBD that fits me well. They are always too small in one place or the other.

I am going to get this pattern NOW.