Pattern Challenge: Simplicity 2443

This is Part II in my Pattern Challenge series.  If you have not already, please consider joining me in a challenge to sew your way to a new wardrobe! 

Well…this one was significantly harder than I thought it would be!!!  I loved the look of the jersey dress on this Simplicity pattern by Cynthia Rowley.  Or wait…did I love the dress or just think it would make me look like the adorable model on the cover?  I think that may have been my first problem!! 

A quick word on sewing with jersey.  This stuff is tricky, really tricky.  But, it’s not impossible.  I would not have attempted this dress without having a machine that has a stretch stitch.  What is a stretch stitch?  Mine looks sort of like a zig zag that’s set on an angle (first picture below).  But, I’ve also seen it look like any of the following:

A stretch stitch is essentially what allows the fabric to stretch with the seam, so you don’t end up with puckered seams and a major headache! 

Here is what I ended up with…I know, MUCH different!!

Everything went perfectly with the dress, until it came time to attach the straps (the front and back straps and upper bodice are all one piece) to the bodice top.  I had the strap pieces constructed beautifully, but when I tried it on before attaching it to the bodice, the fit was terrible.  It was causing the back of the dress to sag horribly, while the front of the dress stayed pretty much in the right spot (coincidentally, the exact same problem I read lizziwhiz had with this dress).  I realized that the back racer back was WAY too long for my torso.  It had the waist part ending right about at my buttline…not flattering at all!  So, it was time for some major adjustments.  I decided to scrap the top strap part entirely and cut off the weird sagging racerback and adjust the front to be a soft strapless sweetheart cut.  I created a facing for the entire top front and back bodice and sewed that to the bodice, turned it to the back and topstitched it down. 

Luckily (yet with much tailoring needed) this dress fits very tight, tight enough that the strapless top stays up on its own.  Although it’s made of stretchy jersey, it still needed an invisible zipper on the side.  This proved to be somewhat challenging since the dress also has pockets right at the same line as the zipper, but I followed the pattern instructions and this went fine.  Pockets are fun, but I don’t suggest adding them when you will also have a side zipper, just another added frustration!!

All and all I am pretty darn happy with the dress.  I’m thinking about making some removable straps for practicality’s sake.

Here’s a closeup, which you can click to make even bigger, for those who are interested in the details:

I’ve posted links to the lovely participants of the Pattern Challenge in my sidebar now, so go check them out!  You can also see our Flickr page here.  If you decide to join, be sure to let me know so I can post a link to your blog!!


11 Responses

  1. So cute, Sarah! You are so talented!

  2. hi sarah
    so cute
    yes, i would like to be part of the challenge, please let me know as to how to go about it
    thank u

  3. Wow, great job Sarah! I’m impressed with your improvising and “saving” the dress – so many people would have gotten frustrated and given up! I love your fabric choice. Teal is one of my favorite colors to wear. Can’t wait to see your other clothing creations!

  4. It is so darn cute on you and the top fits great! I think your version looks even better than the original. Improvisation is the way to go when things aren’t working out. Do you recommend this pattern? Would you make it again?

  5. oooh Sarah, so cute so cute, don’t you wish for the warm weather to come soon so you can wear this cutie?

  6. love it! you are so organized!

  7. I love jersey and this pattern and this dress. You better take a picture of yourself wearing it in Europe!

  8. It’s so cute! I love the fabric choice.

  9. I picked this pattern up as well. I’m going to add it to my to do list, but I’ll definitely pay attention to your pointers. Your dress turned out great though!

  10. Super cute! And nice save.

  11. i am starting this pattern today. wish me luck. thanks for the pointers.

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