Sunday, 2 September 2012

Pattern Notebook: Simplicity 1810

Have you ever gotten an A in a Calculus test and then not be able to do a simple addition problem?  That's a little bit what I feel like with this dress. I thought I was getting better at this sewing lark, and though construction of this dress was simple and fine, I didn't bother to do a few basic adjustments to the pattern, and now I'm not really happy with this dress.

Simplicity 1810: Loose fitting v-neck dress

View / Size used: View B, Size S

Fabric Used: Very light flowy cotton from Fabric Planet, Downtown L.A.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 
None, but I probably should have.  I list the alterations I should have made below.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yep, pretty easy, but I needed help for the binding finish on the armholes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the little yokes and gathers at the shoulder in the pattern, though they didn't release as much fabric as I'd have liked in the actual garment.

I also liked that it's loose fitting, and had easy construction.

I didn't like the neckline that much, it's a little high, and the V shape is a little rounded off.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the finished garment?
I love the fabric, it's got a brushed feeling to it, and it's super soft and light.  I don't like the neckline, it's a little high and doesn't sit right on me.  The armholes are also a little tight.  The shoulders are also a little wide for me, for some reason the right one is more off than the left one.  I think maybe my fabric shifted when I was cutting it out.  Next time I use this fabric, I'll think about stiffening it first.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I might, but I would adjust the pattern to give myself narrower shoulders, more circumference at the bust, lower the neckline, drop the bottom of the armhole, and finally raise the position of the ties.  Phew- perhaps I won't make this dress again...

Review on Pattern Review HERE

Fitting notes: 

I often find it difficult to see fit problems with the tissue paper.  It drapes so weirdly, there's still seam allowances to take account of.  I guess I'm just not that experienced with it.

Nonetheless, I did see some issues with this pattern, but was lazy / chicken to adjust the pattern, and forged ahead with the pattern as it was.  Well those fit issues did bite me in the ass, so at least I can say I'm getting better at spotting them, even if I don't quite know how to correct them yet.

Issue No.1: The waistline was too low.  I was looking out for this one, because it looks like the tie is an inch or two too low for the model on the envelope.  It's obvious that the marked waistline is too low when I let the tissue hang freely, but when I belted it, it was actually exactly in the right place.  I thought that meant it would fall in the right place in the finished garment, but I never checked where the back ties were placed in relation to the marked waistline.  If I made the pattern again, I would raise the position of the back ties by an inch or two.

Issue No. 2: The armholes on this thing are small.  Now that I made it up, I see that they're pretty close fitting on the model on the envelope too.  Once again, I noticed this in the tissue fit, but thought that maybe the seam allowances made it seem worse than it was.  

In the finished garment I could really have chopped an inch out of the bottom of the armhole and made it more comfortable.  Again, I was too chicken to do it.

Construction notes: 

The pattern has facings for the neckline but uses seam binding for the armholes.  I'm guessing that they didn't do seam binding for the neck because of the v-shape.  I'm not crazy about facings, so I would love to figure out an alternative.

The instructions on using the seam binding for the armholes was O.K. but I also referred to this tutorial by Lladybird, which had really helpful photos.

Machines / settings used: 
I got my featherweight working, so I used it for sewing up this dress.  I used a 10 stitch-per-inch straight stitch for sewing.

I didn't bother to change my serger from the setting it was already on.  This is probably not the optimal settings for this fabric, but it looks OK to me.

Brother 1034D
Differential Feed: 1.5
Stitch Length: 3.5
Stitch Width: 5.8
Tensions:  Left Needle: 4, Right Needle: 3.8, Upper Looper: 4.8, Lower Looper: 4.8

Simplicity 1810 - S1810


Anna R. said...

I like it. If you wanted to, you could scoop out the armholes and re-bind them for comfort because its an attractive dress and the fabric choice is perfect.

Ms. McCall said...

Thanks Anna! You're right of course, I'm 95% of the way there, so perhaps is IS worth ripping out those armholes...

Anonymous said...

i'm thinking about this pattern right now, and believe that your example might decide me.

i think it looks really good on you. the drape is excellent!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the size medium would have been better. The dress is billowy, and tied at the waist, so it's not like you would have a gigantic dress if you went one size larger, since on the tissue pattern, even the xs seems huge. BUT, with one size larger, your armholes would have been deeper automatically, and your v-neck would have been lower. If you wanted the shoulders to be less wide apart, you could trim off say a half inch from the whole length of the tissue pattern, where it goes up against the fold. It would make the entire dress a little narrower. With it being so billowy, it won't make much difference in the width, but it may give you just enough in the shoulder area to not have the straps set so far apart on your shoulders. Also, if you felt it was needing more ease across the bust, the Med would add a couple of inches also. I've been sewing for years, and never realized that you have to measure yourself and then look at the pattern measurements to find your pattern size. I wear a ready made size 8 (J.Crew, Loft, Macy's clothing etc, sometimes even a 6) but in patterns I am a 14! I used to use size 10 years ago, ( used to be a 10 ready to wear) and at the time, fitted dress patterns always seemed a little tight, and I had to rip the waists out and make the seam narrow to get a little extra room.… I could not figure out what I was doing wrong… A college textile and design professor friend enlightened me a few years ago.. that you must go by the measuring on the pattern to find the correct size, and you will have to just know, that you are going to be up to 2 or even 3 sizes larger than your ready to wear size. When I switched sizes, my sewn clothing finally fitted correct. I am making this exact pattern right now and am using the Med, since it is 12-14, my sewing size range.