My wardrobe has been missing a little black dress for a very long time and every girl should really have one in her closet. I decided for Halloween that I would be “Couture Witch” because if Coco Chanel was dressing as a witch, she would totally wear an LBD. For this dress, I decided to try Simplicity #2444 because it has a fitted waist with a full skirt and a flattering neckline.
I decided to use some left over midnight blue, black satin backed taffeta from last year’s steampunk dress I made for my sister. I used the reverse side so that the blue is on the underside and the black became the right side of the fabric. I knew that this taffeta would hold its shape really well and add a little additional glamour to an otherwise plain dress.
The major hangup I had before sewing was which dress design to sew. I’m not a big fan of the cape collar because, as you all know, I try really hard not to create dresses that skew too cutesy otherwise I start looking like a little girl. I turned 33 this summer and I really think I should strive for “sophisticated” more than “cute” — this is a lot harder than you would think. Then I vacillated between the cap sleeves and the 3/4 sleeves. Stand collar? No collar?
In the end, time was my determining factor. The Dia De Los Muertos bag took three days longer to complete than I had planned, so I was left with one night (yes, just one night) to pull a Project Runway home challenge and sew my LBD in time for Halloween. I went with the ultimate in sophistication… total simplicity. No collar, no sleeves. Just clean lines.
Things I like about Simplicity #2444:
- Pockets!! This is me grinning. I had fun with these pockets and sewed them so that the blue was the right side. It gives a little peek-a-boo factor.
- The vintage style of this dress is really accessible, but it still looks modern.
- The back bodice fit incredibly well without any special alterations! This was a fantastic discovery since I usually have fit issues with the back bodice on most dresses.
- The neckline is incredibly flattering. If I make this dress pattern again I don’t think I would put any collar on it because I wouldn’t want to ruin the flattering neckline.
Things I don’t like about Simplicity #2444:
- The front bodice darts. I feel much more smushed in a bodice with darts like this and still prefer princess seams that shape well but let me breathe better.
- The zipper installation was completely different than anything I’ve sewn before. It’s not lapped and it’s not invisible. It uses a regular zipper and then you match the fabric in the middle so that they cover the zipper. Hmm.
- This final point is more my own problem than the pattern’s fault. But the skirt is quite full (more full than you might realize at first) and I didn’t have time to slip stitch the hem. Instead, I opted for a blind hem, but found myself in a make-it-work moment when all the fullness gathered at the end of my hem job. This is something I need to rip out and re-do. Just be aware that you will have a lot of fullness to ease in as you hem this skirt.
Here is how I wore my dress on Halloween to the office. From Party City, I added some fantastic striped tights and a very chic little headband hat. There was a mesh veil on the hat that I ripped out as well as a fake silver fabric buckle (less is more, my friends, especially when rocking feathers). The shoes are Carrington signature soles from ShoeDazzle (in black patent) and the pearls are 100% real. The pearls were a gift from my mom, the first set she bought way back in the day. They are a classic graduated string from Japan (with matching earrings and a ring) and every time I wear them, I feel like a Lady Who Lunches. I love that my cat eye glasses (prescription) from Old Focals instantly took this look into Retroland!
And Instagramed! Samantha on Bewitched would have been proud.
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