Pattern in Action: (It’s So Easy, It’s) Simplicity 2421 (out-of-print)

Time for another pattern!  While I take the long route with my Summer Solstice Dress, I thought it would be appropriately festive to share my Fourth of July dress.  I made this dress last year on the holiday when it was broiling hot in the city and the best escape was in the shade of my air conditioned apartment and a stack of Netflix to keep me and Mr. Giles company.  This was back in my Valley days when I shopped mostly at JoAnn Fabrics in Sherman Oaks and I found a really charming red, white, and blue floral print cotton for It’s So Easy, It’s Simplicity #2421.  (Since I first made this project, the pattern has been moved into the out-of-print pattern collection on the Simplicity website.)

I’ve been wearing this dress ever since, but I always accessorize it with a wide belt.  In this case, it’s my usual Target belt (I plan to write about this magical accessory in a future post!), which cinches in the waist to take this from looking like a potato sack into a more flattering silhouette.  Now that this pattern is out-of-print, I can see why — it’s not a pattern I would complain about being out-of-print, unlike my beloved Simplicity 2591!

This year for the July 4 holiday my mom and dad are visiting and I treated them to a concert with fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl.  We saw Barry Manilow perform with the L.A. Philharmonic and enjoyed the “big ass fireworks” (Barry’s words, not mine!) and a relaxing picnic before the show.  I figured, why not wear my Fourth of July dress?  It was just great!

Styling this dress is ridiculously important to avoid looking like a sack of potatoes!  Here are the details:

  • Yes, my hair is beach-wavy for the summer!  Thanks to the lovely Vanessa at Styles by Vanessa.  I only trust Vanessa with my hair!
  • My usual shades by Old Focals in Pasadena.
  • The infamous Target belt (more about this in an up-coming post).
  • Leggings from Discount Dance Supply, my secret frugal shopping site that I began using back in my ballet days.
  • Last, but not least, my signature red Toms shoes!  These shoes have been to the other side of the world and back with me and they are a staple of my wardrobe.

Sometimes I also accessorize this dress with a black sweater from Cotton On.  I think you can get these sweaters here in the USA, but I bought mine in Hong Kong on a trip last year while visiting family.

Things I like about It’s So Easy, It’s Simplicity #2421:

  • It’s truly an easy pattern, so if you’re a beginner, you can make this and feel really satisfied!
  • The hardest thing about this dress is the lapped zipper installation but because the lines are so easy, it goes in like a breeze.
  • Love the pockets!

Things I don’t like about It’s So Easy, It’s Simplicity #2421:

  • There are absolutely no darts in this dress so it is truly a big ol’ sack when you put it on.
  • You would need to be model-skinny to wear this dress and look great in it without strategic accessorizing.  And I am neither tall nor reed thin… it’s simple math, really.
  • The straps tend to slide off my sloped shoulders (I just learned from Threads Magazine that I am a “teardrop” body shape, which explains a TON!  More about this soon in a future post!), and I’ve had to take them in a couple of times as I’ve been slowly shrinking in size.

All-in-all, it was a great Fourth of July!  The weather here in Los Angeles has been absolutely stunning and I’ve been able to show my parents around to some great new spots they haven’t seen yet.  Here are pictures from the Hollywood Bowl and the Getty Villa in Malibu.  I fell in love with the Getty Villa location and I think I want to take my Summer Solstice Dress there for some photos when I’ve finally finished sewing the whole thing.  Stay tuned for more pictures and I hope my USA readers had a great July 4th!

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