Sunday, 1 April 2012

Finished Project & Pattern Review: Vintage Simplicity 3222, Hot Pink Party Dress.

Happy April Fools Day!

Today was an awesome day, firstly today was the day of Julia Bobbin's Mad Men Challenge reveal!! Secondly, it was the end of daylights savings in Victoria so I got an extra hours sleep. Lastly, I tested out my new overlocker (serger)!

I get bored practicing with calico so I used my already cut vintage Simplicity 3222 pattern and made a practice dress! I cut the pattern traced and cut the pattern in my dressmaking class, it's the dress I'll be working on this term. Today I made the blue one, but without the cummerband. The dress I make in class will have the cummerband.

Simplicity 3222 
This is the first dress in a long time that is not lined. I really wanted to line it, but that would defeat the purpose of serging, so I followed the pattern and made facings. I spent the morning cutting out my fabric - stretch poplin (poly-spandex), $10 for 2.5m on the remnants table at GJ's Fabrics. 

Bodice front. Only four darts. Yay!
Oh, and two more on the back bodice... and four on the skirt.
I was happily sewing my bodice together, using the muslin I made in class as a guide, then all of a sudden the electricity went out! I thought I had tripped the switch because I had too many things on, turned out someone had smashed into a power pole and electricity was out for 2.5 hours... I left the house and bought zippers and boning for class, then met my sister and mum for lunch. Nom.

Raglan sleeves.
After lunch, electricity came back on, phew. I love the color of this dress, I am mad fan of hot pink. Some modifications were made for my thick waist, and I think possibly because of that (with the help of my sometimes rushed cutting) some things (darts and side seams) don't line up on my dress. I ended up taking it in heaps at the back anyway so I will trace the origin pattern again, the original measurements will definitely fit, and hopefully everything will line up perfectly.

Such a cute neck line! 

Even though the side seams on the bodice and skirt don't match up, I don't mind the dress. Making this dress gave me the opportunity to brush up on making facings, and I got to use my serger! I love it! The sewing process is so much quicker!! I no longer have to zig-zag stitch my edges!! Saves on thread too, hehe. I used white overlocking thread because it was already threaded, and I am not prepared to change the threads yet... I know how to, I just want to take it one step at a time.

The bodice fits but a little big in the bust, I should have got the 30" pattern, but I didn't realise at the time. I love the little detail on the neckline and the raglan sleeves. The skirt had some interesting soft pleats, which took me a while to figure out!! Thankfully, these vintage patterns are very detailed and had arrows pointing at this-and-that which was helpful. I took the back bodice in 4cm, then graded to 2.5cm at the waist and skirt. 

Vintage Simplicity 3222 (front)
Finished the sleeve on the machine, twin needles.
Skirt has soft pleats at the front.
Vintage Simplicity 3222 (back)

Even though the side seams weren't aligned and some of the darts didn't match up, I am so glad the waist line matched up at the zip. The zipper is the thing that I am completely OCD about. I can hide the dodgy darts with a belt :) 

Sorry, the shiny pink fabric was very hard to capture on iphone.

Now for an inside look of my unlined dress!!! 

Vintage Simplicity 3222 (inside, front)
Vintage Simplicity 3222 (inside, back)
I trimmed off the excess fabric next to the zipper by overlocking it after I had stitched the skirt back.
I was planning on hand sewing the sleeves and hem, but because of the electricity outage, I lost 3 hours so I finished them on the machine with twin needles.

Pattern Review: Vintage Simplicity 3222, purchased from Etsy.

Size: Size 12, Bust 32".
Fabric: 1.4m Stretch Poplin (poly spandex).
Notions: Invisible zipper (american beauty) 20", Gutermann thread (733).
    • zipper at the back instead of the side, added SA to back bodice,
    • added 4cm to waist,
    • took the back seams in 4cm at the back and 2.5cm at the waist and skirt,
    • shortened skirt pattern by 26cm,
    • 5cm hem.
Time: 8 hours.
Total cost: $35 ish:
    • Pattern $20
    • Fabric $10 for 2.5m... so $5 cos I only used half
    • Zipper $4
    • Thread $4
    • Whisperweft - from stash
TIPS for next time: 
    • Revert back to original pattern measurements, should fit,
    • More care with darts on the bust, didn't sew to a straight point, and they look odd. I'll probably unpick and fix later on.
New techniques learned: 
    • Used my overlocker,
    • Refreshed my facing making,
    • Raglan sleeves
Even though this dress isn't technically perfect, I love it. I have gotten over feeling naked in an unlined dress and I think I will make more so I can play around with the overlocker. I'm a kinestetic learner, and this is the only way I will achieve perfection :) 

This is my first time sewing with an original vintage pattern, and I think it went well. Now I know what size I am: 30" bust!! Or less... Here I come Etsy!

Next time, I'll finish the hem by hand. I really love the wiggle skirt, and the soft pleats at the front. I look forward to making this dress again in my floral cotton sateen with the cummerband! 

Goodnight seamstresses!


  1. You make me laugh when you say thick waist. There is nothing of you. The dress looks fabulous. I can't wait to start making dresses, lost my sewing mojo, probably because of this bag am making. Only my blog motivating me to complete it lol.

    1. I can't wait till you finish your bag, I have always been interested in bag making, but I have already too many handbags!

  2. Awesome! how did the raglan sleeves go? easy?

    1. So easy Sue!!! The bodice took about 30 minutes to sew up! So quick! The raglan sleeves took a while to figure how which goes where, but the vintage pattern is so details - each notch has a number, and you match them up!

  3. Great color on you! Those sleeves and that neckline detail are also fantastic. I, too, feel naked in an unlined dress, but I don't have a nice serger to play with, so I'll continue lining mine for the time being. Loved seeing your serged insides this time!

    1. I love the color too!! I love hot pink!!! I think I will still line my dresses, the lining makes it feel so luxurious :D

  4. Wow this looks gorgeous and the colour is amazing! It looks so good on the inside, you've done really well! I know what you mean about lining a dress, it sometimes feels half finished without it! XxxX

    1. Thanks Rose!!! I love the pink... but I have been questioning whether it is TOO PINK for real life!! I feel like people can see my underwear in an unlined dress!! Before sewing, I had never bothered to check if my RTW had lining... not it's become an essential! :)

  5. I love hot pink too. I have some hot pink fabric I need to use too! But your dress... your dress! It's so pretty! :) You seem so confident! I need to get me some of that!

    1. Thank u!! This is my latest pattern obsession.. don't be surprised if I abuse this pattern like I did with the M5845! Dresses are my comfort zone, next up i have to tackle jackets, and blouses... hopefully I can carry some of this confidence over to working with new patterns and fabrics :)

  6. you make the most stylish dresses! Adorbs

    1. So do u!! I cannot stop admiring your Simplicity 2444 v2.0!

  7. Love the colour!!My next challenge is to try something with sleeves. Hopefully I won't screw them up!

    1. I think you will be fine with the sleeves now that you have Liz by your side ;)

  8. I love how you styled the finished dress :) Great choice in color (both the fabric and the belt you picked, inspired!)

    1. thanks hun! I was lazy and didn't prewash... and my ironing board is hot pink now cos of the steam! FML! LOL!

  9. I absolutely love this dress !!! Great job !!

  10. What a lovely dress, you look so great in it!


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