Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Simplicity 2373 -- Sundress

This little dress, from Simplicity 2373, was made pre-blog (summer 2011), but since I'm on a sewing jag here I thought I'd throw it in.  It's a sundress, made out of a cotton print fabric from Hobby Lobby.  I don't remember where I purchased the turquoise grosgrain ribbon trim.

Again I made a size 10.  I was concerned about the front pleats being too 'poufy', especially with the stiffer cotton (and they were), so I sewed the pleats down probably another 6 inches, but far enough to keep the abdominal area flat.  I think that was the only place I deviated from the pattern instructions.

This pattern is classified as "easy," which I find to be a relative term.  A more accurate terminology would be "easier than some other patterns you could try but still takes effort (and concentration, and seam-ripping.)"  The trickiest part was topstitching all that ribbon down.  I used a gray thread to sew the dress together, but the ribbon top-stitching needed to be done in turquoise to match. 

I feel a little decadent about admitting this, but I used two sewing machines on this dress:  my Singer 401 for the main construction, and my Singer 301 for topstitching the ribbon.  This worked wonderfully because the way the dress is constructed, you can't save all the topstitching for the end.  It needs to be done as you go along, which would have necessitated changing the threads out several times, along with the stitch settings, etc.  Also, because the Singer 301 is a straight-stitch machine, the feed dogs are closer together, helping it to do a great job of stitching right on the edges of the ribbon.  So if you need justification for picking up a vintage straight stitch machine, this could be one of your excuses:)

Here's a back view:
There is an invisible zipper underneath the left arm.

Again, I am just happy to have made something my daughter does actually wear.  Prior to this dress I had made her a corduroy dress, and I had worked very carefully on it, but it was simply not wearable:  the style was just "yuck." I try not to let those kind of failures discourage me (remember Mrs. Frizzell:  "Go ahead! Get messy! Make mistakes!:), but instead just chalk it up to more experience and keep moving forward.  I advise you to do the same because it's very rewarding when things do turn out well.


  1. What a darling dress...no wonder your daughter likes it! And perfect justification for having two sewing machines...see, you needed them!

    I am also encouraged (?) that you have had a few fails in your garment making. Not because "misery loves company" but because it says that making a blunder does not mean that the next garment won't be a smashing success!

  2. Dear Angela, I wish I had a sewing machine! My sewing machine broke a time back.
    I used to sew everything! I love it and it is rewarding. The prices today are crazy for anything from clothes to curtains.
    I think sewing is becoming one of the "lost arts" but I think will definitely have a come back with the way prices are.
    I love the dress and I am glad that your daughter was delighted too.
    Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  3. Another super make, Angela! you really are so clever and the way you seem to know what to do when things don't lie quite as you want them to I find breathtaking! My experience is generally that when things don't look quite right I don't know what to do to improve the situation or I end up making it worse! Sad to hear about the corduroy dress that didn't make the grade - it's a perilous business sewing for teenagers! Talking of which, I need your advice about a project I'm just starting on but I'll email you about that separately! Keep sewing, with all the machines at your disposal - you're on a roll here! E x

  4. This dress is so cute - the ribbon trim really makes it something special. My favourite is still the stripy dress though. Every time I look at it I just think, wow!

  5. You certainly did a beautiful job with your sundress!


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