Amazingly Sparkly {Simplicity 1914}

Sizing: 10, B cup, curvy fit
Supplies: rayon blend fabric, lining, invisible zipper, hook and eye
Cost: 12.99 for 2 yrds fabric, zipper 3.00, bias tape 3.00, hem tape 3.00
Assembly time: 12 hrs maybe 20---It took me forever! We are talking weeks to complete.
Instructions: Is it possible to have instructions that are written too well?
Modification: added a lined bodice
Recommend: Neither here nor there. If you like the pattern picture, yes. If you are in limbo, no.
This dress should be could called dedication.  I had the hardest time completing this project; my heart was simply not into it.  At first, even before I cut the fabric out, I had scruples about the dress.  The neckline though was something that lacked in my wardrobe, so I thought, "why not." 

Simplicity 1914 is what is called an "Amazing Fit" pattern.  It gives many options for customizing the fit, which is absolutely great for someone like me who needs to learn more tailoring skills. However, I am pretty lucky that I can use a standard pattern without having to enlarge the bust, so the Amazing Fit pattern proved to be just too much information.  This is probably why I had such a difficult time.  I should say there is absolutely nothing superbly wrong with the design, pattern, or fit; the pattern was just not able to keep my attention.     

I did take my time determining which pattern pieces to cut out; after all, there is a worksheet to complete.  After that, I selected a mixed linen material that has a metallic weave.  I typically avoid shinny fabrics.  I really am uncomfortable wearing the sheen to, let's say, the grocery store.  Looking back on it, I am pretty confident that this factor played a part in my lack of urgency in completing the dress. 
The pattern does not call for lining the bodice, but I prefer to line all my tops mainly because I like the structure.  So, I just cut a duplicate of the bodice pieces, minus the neckline facing.  This method worked out well, but if you choice to do it, make sure to mark the seam allowance so you know where to stitch the bodice lining to the skirt and neckline.  I used the sewing machine to sew around the arm holes.  The pattern calls for using bias tape to finish them; but I prefer how the lining makes it a cleaner look.

The bodice was lined in cheap polyester.  I thought about which fabric to use and decided since this is a transition piece from summer to fall, I wished to have something that would provide some warmth, if not a little protection from wind.  I also choose no sleeves, just in case it happened to be a warm day.   
While the neckline looks fabulous on the dressform, the cut makes me look broader in the shoulders.  I think this cut is not that flattering on me, which is probably why this neckline is not in my closet.  (How come I could not discover this before all the work?)

I also have difficultly accepting the fact that the curved neck band does not lay flat against my skin.  I am certain that I am the only one who will notice this detail, but one side flares up because of the bulk of the fabric and interfacing.  I had finished the part where the front and bodice piece attach to the neck, but was unable to ease the material into place to my liking.  My advice is to mark the seam allowance so you know where to sew. 

I did find one element absolutely annoying.  The darts! Ok, I know I cut the pattern out correctly, and I know I marked the pleats accurately, but the darts came out not matching the first time.  In this side-by-side picture, can you see my tailor marks? 

The darts are nearly a 1/4" off in the rear. The front pleats did not align either.  I spent about an hour working the material so all the lines meant accurately.  On the front, I ended up cutting off roughly 1/4" from the side seams so it would match the other side.   To me, it just seems that something was a bit off with the pattern, which is understandable since there are so many options with sizing it to fit your particular body.
I did have one itty bitty tiny oops. I forgot to sew the darts into the bodice lining. This little oversight did cause a problem while I was finishing the dress.  You see, I had all this extra fabric, and before I was observant to my mistake I cut the extra bulk out.   I then had to sculpted the lining to match the outer shell. 

Besides finishing the bodice with lining so the raw edges were not exposed, I used seam binding to cover the edges of the skirt.  I had a hard time finding single fold bias stripes, and even tried to make my own.  Unfortunately, the self made bias was too thick and make the skirt not lay correctly.  I then switched to the metallic bias tape, which matches the metallic threads in the fabric.  I used hem  tape to finish the hem, which honestly is the best part of the dress.  It turned out perfect.

For more, visit patternreview.com or the solittletimecrafts.blogspot post.

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