Thursday, January 13, 2011

Simplicity 3619- Velvet Update

I'm happy to report that I have made some progress on my dress-- it's been incarnated in muslin!  I thought I would need to grade the dress since it's a 14 and I think I'm probably a 16, but decided not to make any changes until I had first sewn it up.  I wanted to see the construction of it so that I could better understand how the pieces work together.

The dress, amazingly, fits pretty well. I didn't realize until I took these pictures how uneven my shoulders are-- do they really do that in real life or am I just standing strangely?!?  It does seem to create a wrinkle that pulls from one shoulder to the opposite side of the waist (in both the front and back), I'm thinking I can correct that by either having better posture (which probably isn't going to happen), OR by adding a bit more padding in the sloping shoulder.  The dress does call for shoulder pads, which are not in use in the photo-- so maybe the shoulder pads will fix everything?  What do you think? I know in many patterns you can adjust the shoulder seam slightly on the one side, but this shoulder seam isn't on top of the shoulder-- it's actually brought forward to the front of the dress where it meets with a line of gathering, so I'm reluctant to fiddle with it much.

There's lots of gathering on this dress (on the sleeves, at the shoulder in front, where the bodice back meets the back yoke, under the bust, and of course, in the skirt), so some of the "wrinkles" in the photo are actually supposed to be there.

The only other change I may make is that the gathering below the bust feels like it sits just a tad too high-- maybe 1/4" (2.5cm) .  It's not really noticeable to the eye-- it's more about how it feels on me, so I might just leave it alone.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the length?  I kind of like the length where it is, but now that I'm looking at the picture, I wonder if I should go a tiny bit shorter?

This is the fabric that I am planning on using.  I bought it at Jomar Discount Fabrics in Philadelphia (if you live in the region, it's definitely worth checking out!  It was the go-to source in college for fabric for all of the design students).  It's a pink-ish red (perfect for Valentine's Day!), but I'm not sure of the fabric content.

I washed and dried the velvet in my washing machine/dryer (eek!).  I was a little worried about ruining it, but I really HATE dry-clean only clothing, so I risked it.  It came out much softer (the sizing has been washed out), and overall it looks pretty good.  I'm going to give it a good steaming, which will hopefully perk up the pile.


  1. Your shoulder pad fix may work, or you could try fiddling with the waist seam to get rid of the puff of fabric. I vote for shoulder pad, though.

    Just add a little bit to the bottom front of your bodice, tapering to nothing at the side seam.

    I like my 40's dresses to hit just below the knee, that seems pretty much the way they did it, though my 40's dress patterns end up at mid-calf more often than not.

    Looks good!

  2. So glad you washed and dried the fabric and you are happy with the result. And I agree with Steph about shoulder pads. The design of the dress calls for a strong shoulder.

    I am really liking this length on you.

  3. Stunning pattern and it looks fab on you! Good luck with the velvet - I have yet to establish a healthy relationship with that fabric!!!