The Traveler

More precisely, Simplicity 2246, AKA the Lisette Traveler dress.

Simplicity 2246

I had a brain fart and made the mistake of cutting a 12 (my typical Big 4 size for knit patterns) when I really needed a 14 (my typical Big 4 size for woven patterns).  Though, I made a muslin of the dress body and my bust adjustments fit me perfectly.  It was a proud moment.

Simplicity 2246

My bust adjustment – I moved the dart down 1″ and did a 1″ FBA.  Perfecto!

However, I didn’t bother to pop the sleeves on my muslin, and the finished dress ended up a bit tight and uncomfortable across the back shoulder and upper arm.  Even though this dress will not be too wearable for me,  I’m excited by the potential.  This also happens the one time that I decided just to cut out every pattern piece (except for the front), so now I either need to re-buy the pattern, or fish the little bits of the size 14 cutting line out of the trash.  I’m still undecided on which way to go, but don’t worry – there’s just fabric scraps and paper in that trash can.

Honestly, though…I think it’s OK that this one didn’t quite turn out perfectly.  ‘Cause, umm, look at it.  I really should’ve just tried making my dad a shirt with this fabric (Mr. 5 is not so into plaid).  I feel like I need to shimmy up a tree and cut that shit down with a weathered axe.  And maybe hang out with my blue ox.

Simplicity 2246

I also accidentally hemmed it 2 3/4″ (which is the sleeve hem depth) instead of the 1 1/4″ the pattern calls for.  The pattern pieces were in the basement in my cutting area and I was too lazy to look for them.  So, it was my fault, but it would really be helpful if they would list the hem depths and alternate seam allowances in the pattern instructions.  Because of this, there are only 8 buttons instead of the 9 the pattern calls for.  Not a big deal, but it would be nice to be able to slap another button on there for the sake of coverage sake without it looking silly.

Speaking of alternate seam allowances…when I was cutting this, my brain automatically used the standard 5/8″ SA for the center front, but the placket is sewn on with only a 3/8″ SA.  Because of this error, the center front repeat does a bit of a jog instead of continuing the plaid consistently.

Simplicity 2246

Sadly, I only had 2 5/8 yards of this fabric, so once I realized the mistake, there was no going back and re-cutting.  On the flip side, it’s pretty amazing how well I was able to match some of the other seams using a plaid this large and a 1/4 yard less fabric than the pattern envelope called for (size 12 and 14 = 2 7/8 yards of 45″ fabric).

Simplicity 2246
Side seams meet up pretty well

Close up. Sorry about the dog hair and threads!

Simplicity 2246
Check out that collar – nicely aligned with the upper back

Simplicity 2246
The matching from the sleeve to the dress front is the most miraculous of all…it
 was UNPLANNED. I had no choice but to cut out my sleeves on that section of the
repeat, and they ended up matching perfectly! I didn’t even notice this before I set
the sleeves in, so it’s pretty crazy that I didn’t even pin them specifically to match.

Here’s what was left after cutting.


I had to omit the chest pockets (no way I was going to do the lower pockets…who needs FOUR patch pockets?  Dorky!) because I wanted them to blend into the plaid, but I didn’t have a piece left that was big enough to cut them!  Needless to say, matching plaids is such a pain in the ass.  I’m happy that I only have one other length of fabric in my stash that’s a plaid.

I’ve sewn a couple of button down shirts before, but this was my first time sewing up a 1 piece banded collar.  I think a 2 piece collar would look better, but it’s the shortcuts like this which make this project so easy and accessible to the first time shirt maker.

Speaking of collars…the one on this dress can be very versatile:

Simplicity 2246

Buttoned, AKA prison yard chic.

Simplicity 2246

One button undone, AKA cool-casual.

Simplicity 2246
Two buttons undone, AKA woodsy va va voom.

So, thar she be.  Despite my fitting issues, this was a satisfying and fast project.  I’m looking forward to trying again with the following alterations:

1.  Cut a size 14 instead.
2.  Use a 1/2″ FBA instead of a full inch due to the larger size being cut.
3.  1 1/4″ hem instead of 2 3/4″


19 thoughts on “The Traveler”

  1. You did an excellent job! I’m a little scared of sewing dresses/shirts with plaid… I don’t know if I could match those stripes as perfectly as you did. The dress fits you well and looks lovely. Pretty pattern on the fabric, too.

  2. Woodsy vavavoom is a awesome! Tell me that you sang a little Big Country during he photo shoot- it would only add to the fab! I hope you get some wear out of her, she looks great!

  3. I think this is a winner! Even with all the oops! The dress looks great and it fits you really well! Time to do some Monty Python and sing that ‘ole Lumber Jack song! Yeah, I know I am REALLY dating myself with that one.

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