The Wishy-Washy Dress

Why do I call it so? It took me a while to decide what to think of it!

Simplicity 1877

My initial reaction: “Well, this isn’t very flattering.” And it made me realize that I feel this way just about every time I see myself in a dirndl skirt of any kind. Perhaps I should take a hint?

Simplicity 1877

I was definitely glad that I had made it out of this fabric as a wearable muslin instead of the fabric I had intended for an engagement dress:

Greenfield Hill Voile Mrs Aster Cranberry

But then I wore it for a while. And it was comfy. I finished it on a Sunday afternoon and then proceeded to wear it for the rest of the day. When I woke up Monday morning, I put it right back on again. I’m not sure if this decision was dress specific or delicious feeling rayon challis related, but whatever it was, I was OK with it.

Simplicity 1877

After all of that, I’ve decided I do like it.

Simplicity 1877

This is Simplicity 1877, which has been much lauded by divabuddha of PatternReview (to the tune of 4 versions!).  And there’s no denying how hilarious Anne is with her awesome take on this dress.  I kept eyeing the pattern, but they finally convinced me to give it a go.

Simplicity 1877

I used this fab rayon challis that I bought from FabricMart in May. I had intended it to be a shirtdress, but got shorted a bit on yardage and decided to use it for this instead. I cut out a 14 with only 2.25 yards (less, after straightening the grain), and the pattern calls for 3 yards. Not bad! Things got a bit tricky when I got to cutting the self-bias, but it all worked out.

Simplicity 1877

I didn’t bother adding the pockets because I heard multiple reports of them being too small, and I was too lazy to make them larger, or cut and sew them.  I also omitted the shoulder flounces because I wasn’t feelin’ ’em.

Simplicity 1877

Simplicity 1877

I made a few small changes in the bodice, including an FBA, which fit splendidly:

Simplicity 1877

I also took 1/4″ off the neckline edge of the shoulder to get a better fit, raised the neckline 1″, because I didn’t read the instructions regarding the self bias and thought there would be another 5/8″ turnover at the neck, and I had some side-bra peekage, so I raised and curved the underarms just a bit.  I probably could’ve left the neckline as-is and been OK.

Simplicity 1877

Simplicity 1877

On my bodice muslin, I took out a total of 1 1/2″ at the waist, thinking I’d left myself with 1/2″ of ease.  Despite that, I still had some issues with the waist during construction.  Once I got the skirt sewed onto the bodice, I tried the dress on again and the waist was huge! I’m thinking I accidentally stretched the bodice while sewing. It is rayon, after all.  I’d definitely recommend stay stitching the lower edge of the bodice!  I ended up taking out another 3/4″ from the center back and another 1/2″ from each of the side seams for a total of another 1 3/4″.  Yeesh.

I also decided to use a regular zipper that I had on hand, instead of going out and buying an invisible zip.  No big thang.

Simplicity 1877

Lastly, I decided to slap a baby hem on this puppy instead of pressing up the whole hem.  So nice and easy peasy!

Simplicity 1877

I also got another thing finished lately…

Percy Shawlette

…but that’s a post for another day.


18 thoughts on “The Wishy-Washy Dress”

  1. I love the dress. The print is like “wow” at first but then it grows on you and by the third picture I was like “ooh I like the print”. Your cute puppy was distracting as well :D I love me some puppies!

    Overall I think it looks great, and I do like the other fabric you mentioned too. I hope you find your engagement picture dress sometime ;-)

  2. Cute! I also have made several wishy-washy things – I often end up liking something more later than right when I finish it. Maybe because all the things that aren’t perfect about it aren’t so fresh in my mind? Anyway, glad it grew on you!

  3. I’m always in awe of people who will attempt FBAs. :) And I love that angled underbust seam. The dress looks great on you – congrats!

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