Ginger Made: Simplicity 2444

Hi, friends!  Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and readers in the States!  Hope you all had a lovely holiday, and that you’ve found time to reflect on the things that you’re thankful for!  I’m currently in my hometown, spending time with friends and family.  I also spent some time in Michigan visiting my parents, and I was able to snap a few pics of my mom in her fancy dress!

Sorry for the weird lighting-- you have about 20 minutes a day to take photos during winter in the midwest!

To refresh your memory, this is Simplicity 2444, and it’s made in a simple cotton sateen from Mood.  I stupidly forgot to take any photos of the inside of the dress, but it’s fully lined with bemberg rayon and all the seams are finished with Hug Snug (sooooo time-consuming, but it really looked nice).  I spent a LOT of time on this dress, and I tried out tons of new techniques, so it was a real learning experience for me.  It could have fit a little better, and I feel kind of gross and nitpicky when I look at the photos, but honestly, I think I did the best job possible with my limited experience and no way to check fit as I went along.  Still, I wish it was a little more fitted, particularly in the neck/shoulders area.

As far as the pattern goes, I definitely recommend it.  I found the layout and instructions much clearer and nicer than Big 4 patterns usually are, and it’s very easy to mix and match the different style options (collar, sash, sleeve options, etc.).  I did find the instructions for the pleats at the CF and CB confusing and unclear, but in the end, I just winged it and moved on.  But it’s a nice style and it’s easy to imagine making multiple versions of this dress for different occasions.

I really like the soft pleats in the skirt– they’re so pretty and flattering!  Now, if you’re an eagle-eyed, observant, Sherlock Holmes-y sort, you may have noticed that the final dress is a bit different from both the line drawing and my earlier version.

Mom didn’t like trying to tie the bow on herself, so she went to a family friend who is a master seamstress and asked her to tack the bow down to the front of the dress.  It’s a little wrinkly, though, because it’s sort of hard to press now.

Mom also didn’t like that the sash was set into the side seams, so Pat (our fearless seamstress friend) moved the sash all the way to the center back, gathered the ends, and secured them with hook-and-eyes.

Look at my mom's freaky skinny leg!! OK, maybe that's just the shadows, but it still looks pretty funny.

This photo pretty much tells you all you need to know about my mom– she’s goofy, girly, and doesn’t take herself too seriously.  Plus, she’s cute as a button!

Guys, I’m so glad these dresses are behind me!  I’m getting a super late start on my Christmas gift making extravaganza, but I’m really looking forward to making some nice handmade gifts.  Man Friend thinks I’m insane in the membrane for wanting to make gifts, but it really is something that I enjoy doing.  But I’m going to go easy this year, make what I reasonably can, and avoid tantrums, tears, and all-nighters like the plague!

How about you guys?  Are you making holiday gifts?  What else do you have on your agendas?

Oh, and I’ve really enjoyed reading your “Sew Grateful” blog posts, and I just want to echo them and thank you guys for the support, encouragement, advice, and inspiration you’ve blessed me with this year!  I don’t think I would still be sewing if it wasn’t for you guys, so THANK YOU!

Muslin Help!

Why, hello!  I hope you are all enjoying the new crispness in the air that signifies the arrival of fall disgusting humidity and rain that is going on in NYC right now!  Ah, September in the city!

I have to beg for your expert guidance yet again, gals!  I’m working on Simplicity 2444 for my mother, and I need to add some width to the waistline (5”, to be exact… I knew that the waist measurement for the size 12 wasn’t even close, but for some reason I thought I would just make it as is in case there was a huge amount of ease in the pattern… dumb…).  So I need to add 5” to the waist—should I do this at the sides?  The hitch in this is that I also need to nip in the armhole a bit.  Should I add 1 ¼” to each side, then just taper it in dramatically to the armhole?  The bust fits perfectly, so I don’t want to disturb that.  Basically, the fabric doesn’t meet along the back and forms a sort of open triangle at the lower center back (I was super rushed fitting the muslin and didn’t have time to take photos—nooooo!).  I can’t seem to find any tips online and I’m worried about getting this right, especially since I won’t see my mom again until the day of the wedding (!).

Question #2: I need to add 1” to the bodice length and the darts also need to be lowered 1”—is there a way to do this in one fell swoop?  The darts scare me!

What do you guys think?