Beach Party!

The Dress for Thing 2. It all started as Simplicity 2989, a Project Runway pattern. This was one of my 99¢ pattern finds that just SCREAMED "Anabella" to me. Or at least the blue and white one did. One thing I love, love, love about the Project Runway series of patterns is that you've got OPTIONS. Lots of 'em. Mix it, match it, you name it. The only real problem I have with it is that it's a Simplicity pattern. Which everyone knows is an oxymoron. USUALLY, the sewing instructions in a Simplicity pattern just plain suck. I don't know about the ones for this pattern because I didn't even bother with them.

I had some AMAZING fabric in my stash from a couple of years ago - and when I say "some", I really mean close to 5 yards worth - that had been acquired to make all three of my kids matching outfits. The funny thing is, I bought both the girls sandals for the summer this year to match that fabric, so it was imperative that I make it up. See how adorable the sandals are? I mean really. How could I not?

So off I went with my rotary cutter - my new best friend -  and miles of fabric determined to make something awesomely awesome. Until I opened up the pattern. You see that lovely contrast band on the bodice up there? Guess what. It doesn't wrap around the back of the dress. It stops under the armpits. Now SRSLY folks. It's the DETAILS that matter and take an outfit to a "who' nuvah level". So what's a girl to do when faced by such a travesty? You got it. Redraft the pattern piece! Now don't get me wrong, I make no claims at being an "expert".

Now my biggest pet peeve is mismatched patterns. Or off-center motifs that draw the eye away in a weird way. So when I was redrafting the piece, I realized that with the contrast fabric I'd chosen (a wavy stripe), it was going to need to be cut all in one piece, rather than three pieces. I think the result is pretty good, if I do say so. While I was in the modifying mood, I added the piping to the edges of the bodice and straps and waist to really define the pattern and draw attention to the hula dancers. This also acts as a distraction. If the bodice and skirt patterns aren't perfectly matched, you can't tell because the pink line bisects it and makes it look like a distinctly different section. Check out the pattern envelope up top and just look at the right side of the bodice/waist junction. Think about it for a second. THAT was what I was trying to avoid. In the words of the judges of Project Runway, "I can't believe you'd send that down the runway".

While I was at it, I really wanted to give the new Bernina's zipper foot a run for it's money, so I opted for an "invisible" zipper. Now I've had mixed success with them in the past, largely owing to the fact that I didn't have a zipper foot. But hey, this machine came with one! So I had to try it out. And boy howdy does that thing work GREAT. See what I mean? A truly invisible zipper! And check out the matchy-matchy of the piping! SUCCESS!!!
Check out my happy girl during the first fitting. She's so happy with it and it wasn't even halfway done when she tried it on. I added some piping to the bottom contrast piece as well. And for the lining, I added two rows of rick rack trim and let Briar Rose (the Bernina) kick out an awesome decorative stitch of bows. The slip part will probably never show, but I just had to embellish it. See? Anyhow, the dress is finished except for finalizing the straps in the back. That will happen tomorrow. Then on to the outfits for Thing 1 and Thing 3. I'm using my "go to" pattern for Lorenzo's shorts/shirt. It's Simplicity 5982. I could make that one in my sleep, I've done so many of it. For Gabriella, I'm making McCall's M5798. It's a replica of a dress that I bought for her at Justice (if I remember right). It's one of her favorite styles.


Lee Ann said...

Simplicity pattern directions are um, unreal. I have a couple of patterns for my new grand-daughter (due in 5 weeks!) and may I say I have never seen anything more confusing. Except for the directions to a romper (also a Simplicity pattern) I made for her mother out of yellow gingham 29 years ago--it took me three days of staring at the directions to figure out what on earth they meant.
You do very nice work, and yes the Bernina invisible zipper foot is incredible!

llama,llama not yo mama said...

@Lee Ann - it's weird. My vintage Simplicity patterns are amazing. Easy to understand and classic designs. Now? AAAAAAAUGH. The latest? In my Home Dec sewing class we had to make our own piping for outdoor cushions. The pattern envelope said to buy 9.5 YARDS of cording to make piping for ONE 20"x20" cushion. I did the math, and 4 2/3 yards is all you need in reality. Talk about a misprint. Perhaps the extra is to throttle whoever proofed the envelope?