My November Minerva Make – Simplicity 1882 Ikat dress
I’m a sucker for a nice print. When deciding what to make, most of the time I will look for a nice printed fabric, and only then will I think about what it might be suitable for. That’s how I came across the fabric for this month’s Minerva project – I was lurking their quilting cottons to see what grabbed my attention, and this ‘Mint to Be’ collection stole my heart. I had a hard time deciding which print to choose. I really love this Mandala print, but I decided on the navy ikat design (which also comes in mint green and orange) because it’s something a little different in my handmade collection. I had no idea what I was going to make with it, but I hazarded a guess at a dress and ordered 2.5m and a matching zip.
The pattern, Simplicity Amazing Fit 1882, was sent to me by Simplicity a while back, and was perfect in terms of fabric requirements – I used the full 2.5m and had none left over. I like it when that happens because there’s no waste, and no holding on to scraps ‘just in case’. I bought co-ordinating ivory fabric from Boyes for the collar, pocket flaps and piping.
I’m a big fan of the Amazing Fit patterns – the ones I have made so far have turned out well – so I was pretty confident to go ahead and make this dress without making a toile first. I measured myself carefully and looked at the ‘finished garment measurements’ to help determine what size to cut. In any case, the pattern instructions are designed to help you ‘fit as you sew’, and include larger seam allowances to adjust accordingly. The pattern guides you through basting the dress together with the seams on the outside, so that you can try it on and very easily make any adjustments.
My adjustments were as follows:
- Decreased shoulder seam allowance to 3/8″ to provide an extra quarter inch of length in the bodice
- Extended collar by 3/4″ to accommodate shoulder seam adjustment
- Decreased seam allowance between the upper bodice and the midriff (probably by about 1/8″) to give a bit more length in the upper bodice
- Shortened the skirt by 6″!!!
- Took in 1/2″ each side on the princess seam of the front bodice at the armscye and tapering to nothing at the bust
- Made my own bias binding to make my own piping cord, ensuring a perfect colour match with the collar and pocket flaps
The dress was quite tricky to make. There were a lot of pattern pieces and I found myself wondering why I always seem to choose complicated things to sew. I think I’m ready for a break now – I just want to sew simple things for a while!
Anyway, I love the dress! The collar makes it feel quite smart. There is an option for a bow which, although I cut it out, I didn’t sew in the end as I thought it would look a bit too fussy. I like the length of it, too. Above-the-knee seems to work with both flat shoes and heels. Hurray for new dresses!