Motherhood.Adventure.Slow Fashion.Sewing.Womanhood

Monday, 7 July 2014

Simplicity 4744

It's been a long time since I decided to do any selfish sewing (sewing for myself). In fact, I haven't really ever done any selfish sewing. (!)

There are a few important dates coming up in the diary, so I decided to sew myself a dress. I used vintage sewing pattern Simplicity 4744, which is from the late 50's or early 60's. I used this pattern when I sewed up my first ever dress a few years ago, but I made the view with sleeves. This time I decided to try out the sleeveless version, with the fancy back tie.

The fabric I bought from the Remnant House online. They have a brilliant range of fabrics at really affordable prices. I had not ordered from them before, but I can't wait to put in my next order! I went for this Cotton Spandex fabric, with a beautiful water colour flower print. I hadn't worked with any cotton spandex before, and to be honest I didn't get it because it contained spandex, I just loved the print. However, because this pattern was a tiny bit too small for me, I guessed that by using this fabric with a stretch to it, I could get away with not grading the pattern up at all. The fabric is slightly sheen, and has a wonderful hand.

To start with, the pattern was fairly easy to follow, all going together nicely. I got into a bit of bother when it came to attaching the back ties and facing, but with a bit of patience, it worked out nicely.

The pattern instructions call for under-stictching all of the facing, however, as this was a rather heavy fabric, I also top-stictched around the neck and arm holes. I think it finishes it off and makes it look a bit more professional.

When it came to pleating the skirt, I could not make head nor tail of the instructions. Eventually, I think I managed to get it right, but as I marked my pattern markings on the wrong side and not the right side of my fabric, I think my pleats point outwards rather than inwards. However, I think I prefer it this way.

As I am only small (at 5ft 4"), I was pretty sure that I would end up having to take up the skirt quite a lot. When I made this dress the first time round a few years ago, I hacked off quite a lot and it ended up above the knee. However, as I tried it on, I really quite liked it. Keeping it this length as intended, is much more authentic, and flattering, I feel.

Lastly, I had to put the zip in. The zip on my previous attempt at this dress is horrendous, but I had never inserted a zip before and didn't even have a zipper foot! Now with some knowledge from the college course earlier this year, (and a zipper foot!), this one actually went in OK.

Et voila!

I am so happy with how this dress turned out! I wore it recently to the Fling Festival and got quite a few compliments on it. I love the back of the dress, and the ties on the scoop of the back. It's such a simple, beautiful detail that you just do not see on dresses these days.

All in all I ordered 3 metres of this fabric, which at £5.99 a metre, means this dress cost me less than £20!!! And I have tonnes of fabric left over! I think it's definitely the fabric which makes this dress. As it has a stretch to it, it really hugs me in the right places, and the sheen on it makes it look like a very expensive garment. Plus, the floral pattern in so on trend right now. 

I think this dress will be making a regular appearance, and can't wait to move on to my next sewing project!



  1. The dress is lovely and the colours really suit you, love it.


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