Kelly’s “Happy in the Navy” Sundress

     Here’s my contribution for this week’s Sew Weekly challenge, done in a hue of blue.  This dress was made early/mid summer of 2011 and was the first project after too long of a remission from sewing.  I had just found a place for my old Singer machine and, of course, I needed to see how it worked.

I hope you can see by the pictures that I am very happy with this sundress.  The navy and white flowered rayon is super soft and flowing and I feel great wearing it!

     Needless to say, I’m also a big fan of this pattern, Simplicity 2362.  It is a very smart, very slimming, cute, and feminine – all in one dress.  The open, hidden-in-the-side-seam pockets are a clever design and were fun to sew.  Yay for pockets!  It’s a shame the print hides the cool details.  All those inverted pleats took time!

     I made view B nearly unaltered.  I graded the pattern, like I always do now, and I am glad I made the sizes I chose.  The fully lined bodice fits WELL, and any tighter it would probably fit like a corset…

I sort of feel bad making something directly from a pattern without adding something of my own to it (silly I know).   So, as a discriminating artist, I did find two problems with this dress which I fixed before it was considered fully “done”.

Problem #1) The sleeves had the tendency to droop off my shoulders.  The way I fixed it was to make a band, out of the dress material, and fit it across the back between my shoulder blades.  I sewed the left side down on the strap edge and other side closes with three snaps on the right strap edge.  I figured I didn’t want my idea to make the dress hard to get into with the back zipper below my band between straps. Does this make any sense?

  Problem #2) This dress had a cleavage exposing bodice.  Why didn’t I figure this out earlier!? Oh well.  I minded this “problem”, but the hubby probably didn’t.  So I sewed an insert that is not as professional as I would like it to be, but, I think, works very well because I can easily make it better.  I retraced the neckline from the pattern and sewed on an identical one a few inches higher.  As it lacks gathers or lining, I plan on fixing this insert when I have some free time (like, never!) to dedicate for finishing this part.  I just wanted to wear the dress at the time when it was finished…and I have been wearing this dress LOTS since last year.

Does  anyone else have any suggestions on how to keep the edges of my bias ruffled sleeves from rolling?  It seems like when I do those turns on the grain, my hems never lie flat.  That doesn’t keep me from loving ruffled sleeves though, because I plan on doing a 1930’s ruffled sleeve dress soon:)

THE FACTS:

FABRIC:  100% rayon challis (the soft and luxurious stuff) from my stash and some cling-free lining from the stash

NOTIONS:  I bought 1 zipper and navy thread

PATTERN: Simplicity 2362, year 2010

FIRST WORN:  to church and then to our local public library

TIME TO COMPLETE:  I don’t remember anymore, but not too long – at least 6 hours and probably more

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