Friday, 6 March 2015

Lisette Continental dress - Simplicity 2059


Last year I bought this fabric in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It was the only piece I managed to buy on that holiday, despite high hopes for a fabric shopping extravaganza. Apparently the shops were not allowed to sell fabric during Ramadan. I have no idea why and I'm still trying to come to terms with the disappointment!

Simplicity 2059

After some thought, I decided to use the light cotton, actually Japanese cotton, for a simple and light summer dress. I have had Simplicity 2059 for a while (it is now out of print). The dress is a very straightforward design. It has an A-line shape, no sleeves, a gathered front neckline and a waist tie. The neckline and armholes are bound with matching bias binding.


As is evident from this maternity-esque side view, I omitted the waist tie. I'm not a huge fan of me in belts and it just looked all wrong on this dress. I liked the unbelted front view and thought I could modify the back somehow to bring it in a bit.

This is the back unmodified. The next few pictures show my trials and tribulations as I fiddled with darts, belts and elastic to create some shape.


Here it is tied with the suggested belt (the belt was cut out but not sewn together).


Awful. And the front. Ugh.


 How about darts? 



How about not.

Shirring of the middle third of the back waistline?


No, no and no!

What then??


In the end, the answer was simple: step away from the sewing machine. Leave it alone! 

The back of the dress is un-darted, un-shirred, un-belted and a bit un-derwhelming. I've just decided to avoid standing side-on to anyone while wearing this. The verdict? It's fine. The pattern worked well for the fabric. It's not my favourite dress, but it's cool and comfortable and I will wear it a lot. 

OK, onwards to something fabulous. Here's hoping.

14 comments:

  1. I don't mind the sash! Maybe tie it at the back? I love it anyway and will remember not to approach you side on.

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    1. Much appreciated! Thanks Bronwyn x

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  2. What about sewing a channel for elastic on the inside waist. This will allow the sash to pull you in, in a more flattering way. I have a Butterick dress that uses this technique. Use 5/8" wide bias binding tape.

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    1. I was just going to say a channel for elastic in the waist too. What about just at the back? Or you could just leave it. It sounds like you've spent a lot of time agonising over it already!

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    2. Yes, I think that probably would look better. I will give it some thought (agonisation)!

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  3. Pretty fabric and it looks lovely from the front. I bet it's really cool and comfortable on a hot day.

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    1. Since the front is what I see in the mirror, I'm pretty happy. I'll have to forget I ever saw those side and back views! It is lovely to wear.

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  4. I love it unadorned and think it is totally flattering. The fabric is fabulous and I'm so sorry you couldn't go mad on the fabric shopping in Sabah!

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  5. The fabric is lovely. What a shame you are not totally loving the results. I do understand the whole belted scenario though. I always feel like a sack of spuds tied in the middle with a waist tie.

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    1. Sack of spuds! That is exactly how I feel with the belt. Somehow a shirt dress seems to work with a belt, but a fuller style is far more difficult. Something to ponder...

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  6. It looks perfect just how it is! you made the right decision. That is such a nice use of that interesting print from your holiday, and you'll think about your fabric-buying adventure every time you wear it! :) I LOVE your new haircut too, so fresh and lovely on you.

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  7. Fabulous fabric. and I love all of your back trials! I go through similar experiments, so I love that you documented yours. And yes, I think leaving it loose & breezy suits the fabric & your summer perfectly ;)

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  8. I love it! The fabric is lovely, and I think the simple A line shape is fantastic with a busy print. I will say I think the belt is the worst option, but I do think the darts were too low when you sewed them in. I can imagine a scenario where ties that were sewn on to the back to give a little shaping might work, but honestly since i like the simple A line, I wouldn't keep fussing, it looks great as-is.

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