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Completed Project: Simplicity 2444

August 5, 2013

Whoop whoop!  I finally got round to sewing this dress!  I’d been coveting the pattern for a long while, but hadn’t gotten round to buying it.  Then Julia aka Aileen gave me a free copy of the pattern, as she already had her own and then got another free with Sew Magazine.  Lucky moi!

The fabric for this dress was also a freebie, as it came from The Amazing Tara Cat in my Spring Sewing Swap parcel a few months ago.  I fell in love with this fabric as soon as I laid eyes on it – it’s so me – red and navy, nautical, and hearts.  Perfect!

I was pretty sure I’d need to alter the pattern in some way, so I cut the pattern based on my full bust measurement and went from there.  Here is my first toile:

First toile

First toile

As you can see, it gapes at the armhole and at centre front.  The wavy side seam was also indicating a bad fit: I needed to add to the front waist seam to accommodate my post-baby belly!  The back bodice, luckily, didn’t need alteration.

When I pinned the excess out at the armholes, things started to look a little better:

Bit more pinning...

Bit more pinning…

When I began to transfer these alterations to the paper pattern, however, I realised that I would not be able to take out any excess at the centre front as the piece is cut on the fold – d’oh!  I therefore removed the pins at centre front, and took in the armholes a tiny bit more on each side, and after that, no more gaping!

I decided to change the design of the pattern in order to more easily accommodate my alterations, so I cut out the inner waist dart, and the excess at the armhole, and joined them together to make a princess seam.

I did consider cutting out the outer waist dart as well and incorporating it into a single princess seam, but it would have meant totally changing the design of the dress and missing out on that double V effect, which I think is quite distinctive.  Also, I could have used the outer waist darts instead of the inner ones for the princess seam, making a less dramatic curve, but it didn’t occur to me at the time!

Pattern alteration - changing to a princess seam

Pattern alteration – changing to a princess seam

I also added a bit extra to the front waistline, at each side seam.

New pattern pieces

New pattern pieces

Here is my second toile, which I was happy with.  No more gaping, and the side seam was sitting better.

Second toile

Second toile

After that it was all plain sailing.  I pinked my raw edges for the first time ever!  Even my first projects were at least zigzagged, but this cotton was so floaty and light that I didn’t want to add any unnecessary bulk at all.

The insides - pinked!

The insides – pinked!

I decided on a lapped zipper for this dress, and I’m very pleased with how it looks:

Lapped zipper

Lapped zipper

I hand sewed the hem!  This is totally uncharacteristic of me, but it just seemed like the right thing to do.  Machine stitching would have been pretty noticeable, but my hand stitching hardly shows:

Hand stitched hem

Hand stitched hem

Here’s how the dress looks on Delilah:

Front view

Front view

The princess seam and outer waist dart

The princess seam and outer waist dart

And here’s a photo of me and Philip Larkin, at 05:02am in the morning, ready to catch the train to London for the Goldhawk Road meet-up!

Me with a larger-than-life statue of Philip Larkin, a famous British poet who was born in Hull.

Me with a larger-than-life statue of Philip Larkin, a famous British poet who was born in Hull.

I love my new dress!  It held up well around London, which is approval enough I think.

Thanks again to Julia for the pattern, and to Jo for the fabric.

This sewing lark kicks ass!

  1. August 5, 2013 10:54 pm

    Love the fabric and love the dress, it looks great on you!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2013 11:15 am

      Thanks Kirsty. I am also a little bit in love with it… 🙂

  2. Amy permalink
    August 6, 2013 12:44 am

    That turned out so great! I would never think to modify a dart to a princess seam. That is a fantastic idea. Really cute dress.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2013 11:18 am

      Thanks Amy. I think my pattern cutting classes have really helped me to understand how patterns work.

  3. Amy Harvey permalink
    August 6, 2013 7:58 am

    This looks great; perfect fit and fabric! I’d never have picked this pattern from the envelope front, but it’s lovely (and now on my wish list…).

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2013 11:16 am

      The pattern envelope rarely does its contents justice, I think! I’d seen many a lovely version in the sewing blogger world so I knew that the pattern had definite potential!

  4. August 6, 2013 9:23 am

    Lovely dress! The fabric is perfect for it. Great work.
    ps/ I am very envious of your collection of sewing books after seeing your bookshelf!!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2013 11:19 am

      Thanks! There’s no doubt I’m a bit of a bibliophile!

  5. August 6, 2013 9:32 am

    Oh my God I am so impressed! This is a perfect fit and you used the fabric! I love it! I just wish I’d been able to see it in real life at the meet up. You have totally done the fabric justice, it’s a gorgeous dress.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2013 11:21 am

      Thank YOU for the fabric. It was perfect. Maybe I ought to employ you as my fabric buyer, haha!! 😉

  6. August 6, 2013 10:45 am

    It’s gorgeous! Love that fabric too. Though tbh, really like the fabric you used for your toiles too! 😀

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2013 11:22 am

      Thank you! The first was from some bedding, the second from Ikea! x

  7. August 6, 2013 4:31 pm

    Wow, you did a lot of alreations. Well done! I didn’t know that you can change the darts to a princess seam. Thanks for sharing 🙂 And I really love your dress it fits you perfectly. The fabric is so pretty as well!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2013 4:48 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  8. August 6, 2013 4:40 pm

    Your dress is gorgeous! The photo of the inside is great!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2013 4:49 pm

      Haha thanks! Always trying to come up with slightly more interesting photos… I like the lighting in that one & the way you can see how light the fabric is.

  9. August 6, 2013 9:00 pm

    Lovely, and looked great in person! Fit is great, well worth the two toiles.
    I picked up a copy of this in the swap and may have to try princess seam after doing my FBA.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 6, 2013 9:21 pm

      Thank you! Good luck with your version. What fabric do you have in mind? Lovely to meet you on Sat!

      • August 6, 2013 9:26 pm

        2444 is way down my making list at the moment – have elisalex next on the list – but had to grab the free pattern as so many people have made great versions.

      • tabathatweedie permalink*
        August 6, 2013 11:14 pm

        It’s a good one to have in reserve!

  10. August 8, 2013 2:54 pm

    Cuuuute! I love this on you! What a smart move to add the princess seam– it really gives you a great fit without totally eliminating the style lines. Great job, dude!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 8, 2013 8:59 pm

      Thanks so much! I think it definitely still looks how it’s meant to, but the fit is better. Hurray!

  11. August 8, 2013 2:59 pm

    I have this pattern too but still haven’t made it – really should get on with it as it’s such a great dress. I love yours, great fabric choice. Oh and great idea re buying toile fabric at IKEA, I’m going to stock up next time I go!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 8, 2013 9:01 pm

      I originally bought that Ikea fabric to make cot bedding for my daughter, which I did, but I still seem to have tons of it left!

  12. August 9, 2013 1:25 pm

    This is seriously fierce! I love the princess seam look on your bodice- I swear this is some kind of magic pattern that makes everyone who tries it look like a sewing rockstar!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 11, 2013 8:11 am

      High praise indeed! Hehe! 🙂

  13. August 10, 2013 7:27 am

    You have fitted this so well without loosing any of the original design. It was lovely to meet you last Saturday which led me to your blog which made me investigate a Boyles which is a shop that I’ve never made through the door before – I was pleasantly surprised.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 11, 2013 8:12 am

      It was lovely to meet you too! Hurray for Boyes!

  14. August 12, 2013 4:52 pm

    Fab dresses ! You are SO clever taking the picture through the mirror 🙂 Nice idea re the photo of your lovely zig-zag seams too.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 12, 2013 11:17 pm

      Thanks Sue!

  15. May 13, 2014 10:57 am

    Just stumbled across your blog whilst googling ‘How to make adjustments to 2444′!!! I think you have answered my questions perfectly. Thanks for the detailed blog post. I am a relative sewing novice and 2444 will be my first ever dress. I made a toile last night and have the same problems as you- gaping under the arms and at the front. Would I need to do a princess seam or could I get away with adjusting at the neck? Taking some out of my paper pattern for when I cut the fabric the next time? Thanks in advance for any help x

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      May 13, 2014 11:13 am

      Hello, no, you probably don’t *need* to do a princess seam, it’s just one option! If you’ve made a toile then just pin out the excess until you’re happy with it, then as it’s a toile you can actually draw onto the fabric itself where you have pinned. That way, when you remove the pins your drawn markings will show how much you’ve taken out, and you can use these markings to alter your paper pattern. Remember if you alter the neckline or the armhole you will need to alter the facings to match! Good luck.

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