7.24.2013

Summer of Dresses - Simplicity 2443 The Tree Dress

Early last week my in-laws called and invited us to an outing at the Morris Arboretum. You know what you need for an arboretum trip? Yes a Tree Dress! I sewed one up real quick with some stuff that's been laying around in the stash.
 My husband's a little rusty with non toddler photo work so it's a bit hit and miss here.  I told him that I was going to send him to photography school........ he was not amused.

 Pattern
Simplicity 2443, I tend to like all the Cynthia Rowley patterns and buy them during the dollar sales even if I don't know if they'll ever get made.  Did I buy this one for the dress or the jacket?  Who knows, maybe it was purchased to stare at those shoes.  What dainty ankles you have vaguely grumpy model! *Whispers behind hand* You can totally tell she hates that jacket.
Fabrics used
Tree print rayon/lycra jersey from Marcy Tilton and black jersey mystery remnant.
Pattern changes/alterations
I found this pattern to run big and had to take in the bodice just about everywhere.
1. Took in shoulder seams 3/4".
2. Took in side seams 3/4".
3. Cut 2" off the bodice length.
4. Wanted the entire tree repeat in the skirt so 6" of length was added.
5. Instead of constructing the skirt with two rectangles I used the entire width of the fabric and seamed it in the back.  Since I had no side seams the pockets were left off.

Confessions/Advice
1. Either the instructions for this pattern were copied and pasted from something else or the pattern writer was high on crack.  Half of the steps would make sense if you were making a woven dress but are ridiculous for a knit dress, WHICH IS WHAT THE PATTERN ENVELOPE SAYS TO USE!  Stay stitch the bodice pieces so it doesn't stretch?  It's a knit, what the hell are you talking about?  Put a side seam zipper in the dress?  Ummm you know this is a knit right and you can pull that over your head?

2. The straps are a complete bitch to put on and my tiny brain couldn't come up with an alternative way.  The instructions have you stitch the neckline and armholes together, then turn the pieces right side out and stitch the shoulder seams together.  This results in a bulky shoulder seam but you can't turn the straps right side out if you do it another way.
3. The curves on the straps and the bodice did not match up for me. The black jersey and the tree knit stretched a different amount which could have been part of the problem. I trimmed down the bodice to make the curves fit and it looks fine.

4. Because of the giant print repeat I had to get a little creative with the cutting. There was only one complete repeat of the trees in the two yards of fabric, so I decided just to make the skirt one piece.

Husband Comment
He LOVES this dress and told me so enough times that I've forgotten exactly what he said.  I just remember him shouting, "Why did you take that dress off!" when I was showering at the end of the day. Would showering in your dress count as doing laundry?

My Final Thoughts
I'm a bit ambivalent about this FO.  While I'm pleased to have found a use for this fabric the dress seems vaguely maternity to me. The length is a little weird but I really don't want to cut down the tree print and there isn't enough of the black contrast to make a hem band. If I could go back in time I'd make the skirt maxi length instead.  At least my man likes so it's not a totally wash.
 
And on that note I leave you with this idyllic family portrait right before the giant ant apocalypse.
Just biding my time until I eat their puny human brains.

25 comments:

  1. J'adore, darling! It's different from your usual makes, but it really suits you! And sometimes a good tank dress is just the thing! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gillian, I'm glad you think the dress looks good. Maybe it's the different style that's throwing me.

      Delete
  2. Well, it doesn't look even vaguely maternity. I think it's awesome! You look terrific in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Meredith, you've taken a load off my mind!

      Delete
  3. I love this, especially that you were all "Oh, I am going to look at trees, I will make a tree dress out of tree fabric that I just happen to have in my stash!" I want to be you when I grow up.

    I see what you mean about the length, but maybe you can find some black contrast and add onto the hem to make a maxi. Work it into the fabric budget. Your husband will understand.

    And showering in your clothes totally counts as laundry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heee heee, well step one of being me is buy too much fabric. Step 2 is think of crazy ideas involving fabric, step 3 is to ignore everything else to meet self imposed deadline. See it's totally doable.

      Thanks for the suggestion, I will try to sneak it into the budget. :)

      Delete
  4. I love this dress! Love the fabric and your pattern choice. It fits you so well. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, I'm lucky that it was too big and not too small. :)

      Delete
  5. OMG. i want all your fabrics!!! this dress is so cool. <3 i really like the bodice on this one too. love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sweary, I'd let you come by and touch my lovely fabric babies except I'm afraid some might go home with you. ;)

      Delete
    2. you're right to think that. never let me near your stash. i have giant pockets! ;)

      Delete
  6. It probably feels more maternity than it looks! I think it turned out really well despite all the frustrations you had making it! And I don't mind the length - I like that you didn't interrupt the print or chop it off. Love the fabric!

    I love the giant ant in the last photo! lol!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this! The fabric is absolutely gorgeous and I really like how you added the black contrast. Maternity does not come to mind at all. Interesting instructions in the pattern (I would have been totally confused).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Um. you look great. Very cool! Don't worry and wear the sucker!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Em, I'll turn off those silly voices in my head and wear it. :)

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Haa haaa! Thanks Rae and I love any statement that ends with "that is all."

      Delete
  10. You sucked me in. I've had this pattern on my 'I've read your instructions, you make my face hurt list' and now I am back to wanting to make it again- you stretchy vixen! How you toy with my knit fears and push me toward a textile precipice!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muhaaa haaa haa /\ my evil plans have come to fruition. I promise to digitally hold your hand if you decide to take a dive off the textile precipice.

      Delete
  11. I love your use of that exquisite fabric...doesn't look maternity to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Guess the maternity thing is all in my brain. That's good to know. :)

      Delete
  12. Love the dress... just happened to have that fabric lying around, huh? It's great when that happens and why we have to have STASH! ~Laurie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Thanks Laurie. It is true that I might not have had the idea of a tree dress if there wasn't appropriate fabric in the stash.

      Delete
  13. i love the dress, the fabric.
    greetings
    monika

    ReplyDelete