Back in the fall sometime, I cut a bunch of projects out. Okay, I’ll admit it, several of them were pajama pants. I still haven’t completed all these items, and since I found myself with some rare time between costumes due to delaying the Liono costume, I decided to work on this list.
In comes Simplicity 1418, a Project Runway pattern. Both versions on the envelope are super cute, but I loved the criss-cross pattern on the back of View A.
Since I had already cut the awesome Marvel Comics fabric – complete with Avengers, Spiderman, and Wolverine – I went right to work. Most of the work for this pattern is involved in the bodice.
I was a little bit confused by how the pattern handled the facing around the neckline – it told me to put wrong sides together and stitch along the neckline. But after I thought about it for a moment, I realized it was because the seam created along the facing would get hidden in the bias tape edging. You can see how the facing connects in the leftmost picture below.
BTW, I can’t figure ot why the pattern leaves that weird triangle cut in the armhole where the bodice pieces connect. I used it to make a dart when I was fitting, but admittedly I never transfer pattern markings, so have no idea if this was its intended purpose.
The pattern instructions were weird for combining the two sides of the bodice. But if you read them enough times, they begin to make sense. In the middle picture above, you can see that you attach the middle bias tape, then connect the two bodice pieces at the center front seam. In the final picture on the right, You can see how this looks from the inside afterwards. And from there you just begin stitching down the bias tape.
Next up was the back of the dress bodice, which had an interesting criss-cross pattern done in bias tape. Here are the steps I followed to put this part together.
1. I traced the layout helper piece of the pattern onto some other tracing paper, since it would have to be stitched into the dress temporarily. I also prepped my bias tape by folding it and stitching it closed.
2. I measured the pieces and pinned them to the layout tracing paper. Note – Put your pins in the center of the paper, between the two vertical lines. You’ll thank me in Step 3.
3. Pin the bodice back to the tissue paper, with the bodice matching the appropriate side’s vertical line. Pin this down, and stitch over your previous line of stitching in the bias tape. Repeat for the other side.
Okay, I guess that’s the end of the steps. I got a little carried away with the photos above. Image four shows what the back looks like when finished from the inside. Image five shows it from the outside while it’s on Deirdre.
Next up was the skirt. I folded the pleats in and basted those down on the front and back pieces.
As an aside, when I cut this fabric, I ran out of space to get both skirt pieces done. So I split the back of the skirt into three pieces – a center, and two sides. The side seam lines fall right where the pleats wind up in the skirt so they are barely visible. Hopefully this little trick helps someone else out there!
I did have an issue where the skirt waistline was a good three inches more than the bodice waistline. It wound up working out okay for me – I just trimmed the excess of the skirt part – but you may want to cut the bodice a size larger than normal just in case.
The final steps were the zipper insertion and hemming. The zipper was mostly uneventful because when you attach the bodice to the skirt, you keep one side of the dress open. Then I used my invisible zipper foot to stitch down the zipper, but the pattern has you stop before you reach the bottom of the zipper tape. And then it shows you this lovely image.
New levels of WTF were achieved! I decided to ask some friends on Facebook what this image represented to them.
It’s good to know that in a world of constantly changing things, pattern companies can still maintain their crappy usability. What I think this image was actually asking for, was for me to fold the skirt sides together, pulling the zipper part that wasn’t attached out of the way, and continue stitching. The boxy mess in the image is supposed to be the presser foot of a sewing machine, with an invisible zipper foot attached. Since I have never seen an image with the presser foot included in all the patterns I’ve sewed, it really did just look like they wanted you to destroy the zipper with lasers.
Anyway, the bodice fit on this dress was a bit strange when I tried it on. It was large in the back, and needed some weird darting on the front and front sides, but after some pinning and stitching, I felt like I could wear it happily.
I feel like this needs some red shoes to go with it. Amazon to the rescue!
I like this dress a lot, and it’s not a highly difficult pattern, but I don’t feel like it’s a great pattern for a beginner. If I had tried to sew this three years ago, I’d have screamed a lot of obscenities, and might have gone all Hulk on some poor unsuspecting sewing machine.