Archive for the ‘dress’ Category

My new favourite dress: adding a Peter Pan collar to Simplicity 3833

May 6, 2012

Lately I’ve been revisiting my stash of vintage and reproduction vintage sewing patterns, and the associated stash of fabric to go with it. First up is Simplicity 3833.

This is a reproduction of an original 1960s Simplicity pattern and there’s an interesting comparison of the original pattern with the newer version here.

In the past month, I’ve made this pattern twice.  The first is the simple short sleeved dress in some owl print Japanese indigo fabric I had bought about 3 years ago for it.

simplicity 3833

The second version has been more of a challenge.  I’m a sucker for a Peter Pan collar. I have been known to wear multiple layers of peter pan collar in an outfit. I believe that there are very few dresses that I would wear that could not be improved with a peter pan collar.  So, I wanted to add a peter pan collar.

Now, the problem with adding a collar to a pattern is that necklines are unique to both the individual pattern and the size you make it in. Those universal peter pan collar tutorials will work as an accessory, but don’t really integrate into the dress as they’re not quite the same size.  So, I made my own pattern using the front and back interfacing pattern pieces as a template for the neckline.
Simplicity 3833 collar
I think the end result turned out quite well.

New dress: Simplicity 3833 with collar modification
A few extra details: The collar and patterned buttons are made from a fat quarter of fabric from Ray Stitch. I made all that bias binding myself to make sure I got an exact match to the red in the patterned fabric – the edging of the collar is 1/2 inch tape, made with a bias tape maker. The neckline (a late edition when I decided I needed a bit more of the plain red) is 1 inch, made without the bias tape maker. This tutorial on the Colette website for continuous bias tape is great.

This is now my new favourite dress
New dress: Simplicity 3833 with collar modification


A mad idea: my knitted dress

February 13, 2011

So, I had the idea for a knitted dress a while ago and had a cone of Yeomans 4 ply merino stashed away.  And I’ve found that I like a lot of the slightly sheer drapey knits that are around at the moment.  Yes, they are acres of stocking stitch, but acres of stocking stitch is what suits me best.

The one that caught my attention was Veera’s Folded jumper.  But it wasn’t quite what I wanted from a jumper.  And, really I wanted a dress. So, Folded became a dress.

There were a few hiccups. I started it while my father was still in hospital and the nursing care home, so ended up ripping out everything I had done up to that point and starting it right from the beginning again.  And I kept putting it aside while I pondered the modifications that I wanted to make to turn it into a dress.

My modifications:

1. I started at the waistline with a provisional cast on, so that I could make the skirt the length I wanted by trying it on as I went.

2. I didn’t really like the way the ribbing brought in the hemlines, so I used turned hems on both the sleeves and bottom hem.  At the bottom of the dress I also added stripes in the same contrast colour that I edged the sleeves and the neckline in.

3: I added short rows for the bust and sewed the pleats into place so that they were more like tucks and the dress has a slightly  more empire line than the looser shape it was before sewing.

4: I think that the shaping of the shoulders with short rows is genius, but was cautious about the neckline as some projects on Ravelry mentioned the need to add extra rows with decreases to tighten the neckline. As I have narrower shoulders but wanted to keep the slight boatneck, I wanted something to hold the neckline in place.  So, I did an contrast colour i-cord bindoff as a trim.  As those who know me and my loathing of doing i-cord will realise, this was a real labour of love and a means to an end.  It is horrible to do, but it really does hold the neckline firmly in place.

All in all, I think it turned out very well. The fit over the top is beautiful and the sewing into place of pleats transforms it from something a little sacklike into a gently shaped and draped dress.

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