Friday, September 9, 2016

80s Simplicity Tee Dress

After my last few sewing disappointments I put off going back to the sewing table. I did some embroidery, some tidying and organizing of the sewing space, and so on... but I was finally inspired to sew something up again after a day at the thrift shop.

I picked up a handful of late 80s patterns (uncut) in one of my regular rounds of my local thrift shops:

The same night, I decided to cut out a simple tunic circa 1988, Simplicity 8684, View 3 (the blue one on the cover). I scrounged around in my stash and found a very soft, thin mauve knit I was planning to make something from someday. The day had arrived.

I laid out the pieces to see how they'd fit, and realized I'd have to shorten the pattern by 3 or 4 inches to have it the tunic length as on the pattern illustration. But then again, I'd only have to lengthen it by 4 or 5 inches to get a knee length dress... I finally decided to cut the dress length and if it didn't look good or feel comfortable, I could chop it off back to tunic length.

I carefully pinned the markings for the extra length - I extended the A-line of the pattern out further to the hem, so it's quite a full skirt. Despite our more modern methods of sewing knits, I decided to try out the suggested neck facing finish on this, as I wasn't really concerned about the fabric or really all that hopeful that my sewing slump was actually over.

I actually really like the way it turned out. It didn't pucker up or get all bunched. I just pinned and sewed slowly, and it's a smooth finish. They suggested sewing a second line (I guess to copy the RTW look) -- I could've used my double needle but I didn't -- and I didn't want to risk getting it all bunchy in between another stitching line so left it at one. Same when I did the sleeve hem, which was just turn under and stitch. When it came to my huge circle hem at the bottom of that skirt, I just left it unhemmed. I couldn't imagine that a stitched hem would turn out nicely on so much fabric. This knit didn't curl or fray so it's not noticeable anyhow.

inside shoulder with stay tape & neckline facing
smooth finishes

 And there sure is a lot of fabric with that A-line from the bust all the way down!

Anyhow, with a belt and some jewellery (and very important with this light knit, the right undergarments so the outlines don't show) it's a great dress for casual Fridays. It's really just an oversize tee, which gathers nicely and swirls around my knees in a soft and pleasing way. I think this simple 80s pattern has got me back to the machine and feeling like I can tackle my queued projects once again.