Halloween this year was really fun! Some of us in the library dressed up and we saw a lot of charming costumes walk through our doors all day long. My favorite was Baby Willie Nelson (*grin*). I wore my Simplicity 4055… with a back story. As my friend Autumn said, “This isn’t just a costume, it’s performance art!” I began the day as Jane Austen, author of Regency era romance novels. At lunchtime, I became the victim of a terrible zombie attack (gasp!) and succumbed to my fate as an undead walker by afternoon. Oh, my Darcy! What a day.
Let us begin with our pattern review. I’m really glad I chose this pattern because it was easily accomplished in the short amount of time I had between unpacking from my cross-country move and the October 31 deadline. The wonderful thing about a dress like this is that there is very little fitting to worry about. It has an empire waist and a very blouse-y skirt. The only mistake I made was in assuming that I had gained weight (when I really have not) because I haven’t resumed my usual workouts since moving to Austin. Compounded on that is my personal self-consciousness at the amount of good BBQ I’ve consumed since moving here. Turns out, I’m not quite *that* large. If I had thought through my sizing a little better, I would have cut a smaller size and done a full bust adjustment. In this case, while the width around my bust was good, the length from the top of my bust line to the bottom needed to be longer. Because I cut the larger size, I had gaping at the shoulders, too, although not too badly. Live and learn… and get back into the swing of sizing and sewing, eh? If nothing else, Mr. Giles and I had a most marvelous time returning to our sewing studio. We LOVE our new work space!!
This pattern is faster than most because it uses gathering instead pleats or other more exact tailoring. I chose to make view A with the overskirt, so you follow much of the same instructions for both layers of the dress. (If you make view B, you will add in a lining and it’s pretty easy.) Even the sleeves were quite easy — some simple gathering at the top and bottom gave them great shape as well as make them easy to insert.
You just have to be mindful of all the fabric bulk while sewing this dress. Once the pieces start coming together, there’s a lot of maneuvering so you just have to account for that because it slows down the pace just a smidge.
Those of you have been reading my blog for a while know that I am significantly challenged in the vertical height department. There weren’t any size adjustment lines on the pattern pieces so I opted to chop off the amount I wanted to reduce from the bottom. There is a slight curve to the hem lines, so I made sure to line up the edge properly so that my cut line would follow the original pattern hem line. I chopped off five inches and lost another two inches between hemming and waistline seam allowance. Yeah… I’m that short.
The one big weird thing about this pattern was a piece called the “skirt placket.” I never used it. I had enough room in the empire waistline and button closure that I didn’t need any extra room for getting the dress on and off. No where in the pattern pieces or instructions did it make room for this skirt placket. All of a sudden, the instructions appear, except there’s no logical place for the piece. I think it’s an error in the pattern.
Here is the final dress and details (below). I felt like this dress was appropriate for the daytime and when I wore it, I really felt like I belonged in a Jane Austen novel!
And… now what you’ve all been waiting for! The dress in action! Being librarians, those of us who dressed up decided to run around the stacks in the morning and take pictures with the books that fit our costumes.
At lunchtime I found myself picking up a salad nearby and encountered a woman who didn’t know who Jane Austen was. The horror!!! Now THAT is a scary Halloween story, my Peeps. There’s nothing scarier than people who don’t know their literature. Post zombie attack, I found myself accepting my fate…and then I unleashed my innate need for brains. Mmmm!! Brains!! I found lots of brains in the children’s section.
I hope you all had a really fun Halloween, too! As soon as I got home, I removed my zombie patches (they’re really quite itchy and uncomfortable) and Mr. Giles and I enjoyed an evening with our fireplace. After all the rain storms we’ve had here, we are quite glad for a dry night. I’ve had some inquiries how we’re doing with all the news of flooding… both the furry beast and I are totally OK! Just have a minor leak around my chimney that needs fixing, but thankfully Mr. Giles and I are on higher ground. We curled up with a good book, a nice cup of tea, and some quality snuggle time. Not a bad Samhain, if I do say so myself.
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