Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review of Simplicity 1318, View D

Short story: A while back, I found a lovely pattern and just had to make it as a selfish sewing project. Except it was supposed to be fast. And at the last minute I gave in to incorrect thinking and made a different view than the one I fell in love with. Still, I am very happy with the results.

I bumped into Simplicity 1318 in the vast recesses of Pinterest and just loved the example, View C. I do not wear kimonos generally, or even a bathrobe, but I have an unnatural affection for wrap dresses and I liked this so much I was, for the first time ever, able to mentally embrace the potential of a hi-lo hemline. Craziness.

My plan had been to simply make a version of view C as well, using 3 yards of a lovely, vaguely tropical, floral printed poly crepe de chine I had purchased via thrift 6+ years ago for about $3. Did somebody say stash busting? Yes, I am so proud of myself. I figured view C would swamp my petite proportions so I had planned to shorten it, but at the last minute, with scissors glinting over still creased tissue paper, I figured, what the heck, I’ll make this one view D and use a georgette or chiffon for a view D closer to summer.

Ummm… wait, what? As you can see in the line drawing, view D has literally MILES of hand sewing to secure the inside of the wraparound band. Like 10 miles. Anyway, I began cutting into my $1 paper pattern. I cut it as offered for a size medium but eliminated the back seam and extended the sleeves several inches (it’s winter, after all), and then added bands to them too a la view C. Because why not add 2 more miles of hand sewing when you have the chance? I quickly realized the way this was going down but figured it would be character building and I could work on my technique. *Newly older and wiser me rolls her eyes.*

 The construction was fine until the bit where I was supposed to be sewing a concave band to a convex front section or two. The end result was also fine, but it was pretty finicky going and I was not at all sure it was going to turn out right in the end. I pinned like a crazy woman. There was much sweating. It wasn’t pretty, but in the end it came out like a peach. Except it wasn’t done. There was the hand sewing. That part took 3 days of here and there stitching. Again, the end result is beautiful… just as lovely inside as out. I had used French seams (and notched and reinforced them in three places under each arm), so I was clearly in a perfectionist mood. I cannot say with certainty that my ladder stitch is any better now than 12 miles ago, but I’d like to think I did take home a little fortitude.

View of the inside of the band. Not too shabby…

I used the last little bits of fabric to sew a long sash to rein in the volume and define the waist, before the holidays while I still have one. It’s not really designed to overlap, so it’s a bit awkward doing that but the bold print hides all manner of fashion sins and I will continue in my errant ways. I think the mild hi-lo situation (in this application only) is actually flattering… it breaks up what would otherwise be a eye-hogging horizontal line across a wide area. Again, I’m astounded that I’ve just admitted that. I’m old, I know…

Overall, I am incredibly pleased with the end result, even for as much pain as it was. I do love the fabric, and I think it can dress up or down as the occasion requires. I wore it out with dark jeans and a black camisole and felt stylish, but I think it would also do well with a black pencil skirt to fancier events. And in that regard it was a total success… a multitasking wardrobe builder. I am not sure when I will go about making a view D in a sheer fabric, but I have confidence that it will turn out again should I ever attempt it. And, if I ever get my act together to take photos of this project on my actual body instead of my stand-in, I’ll be sure to update this post.


Anonymous said...

Thanks. Very helpful. I'm starting C

Afifah.n said...

Hi, I'm starting this project soon, and am a real beginner. I'm wondering why does the facing needs hand stitching? Can I use machine instead?