crafts · finished objects · Sewing

Calico dress: Simplicity 2591

Pattern: Simplicity 2591, view A

Fabric: Stretch Poplin from Fashion Fabrics Club, available here.

Notions: White packaged piping, vintage buttons from a yardsale, invisible zipper.

Inspiration: With Flying Florals dress by Trollied Doly (via Modcloth.)

I have had this dress saved in my inspiration folder all year.  I liked the little piped cap sleeves and the ditsy floral print.  When I noticed that Simplicity 2591 was nearly identical, I knew I had to make it!  I bought this cotton poplin from Fashion Fabrics club right before Christmas, during a 20% off everything sale.  I was afraid it would be too light for a dress (it’s described as blouseweight on the site) but it was nice and substantial.  I don’t think I would use it for a pattern requiring a drapey fabric, but it worked for this one.

I made a few alterations to the pattern to get the look I wanted.  I cut a straight size 10, based on the measurements on the package.  I could have probably have taken a smaller size in the bust and shoulders, but I wanted it a little looser.   I had to add piping to the sleeves – I got some great suggestions here, and ended up using Carolyn’s suggestion of hem facing tape.  Lots of people suggested using a double layered cap sleeve, and if the sleeves hadn’t been slightly gathered at the top I would have – I was afraid of the extra bulk.  I made a little pocket, as in the inspiration, but I ended up leaving it off.  I couldn’t get past the fact that with white piping it looked like a winking eye over my chest!  Instead, I used some vintage buttons from my collection:

The purple buttons match well, so used them on the sleeves.  They were lost on the front of the dress.   After that, the front of the dress still looked too plain to me.  Although I love Laura Ingalls, I didn’t really want to look like I was appearing in Big House in a Medium sized City (this would, of course, be the name of my personal pioneer tale, in which I would occasionally have to brave the blinding snow for up to a block to reach the nearest coffeehouse.)  I decided the dress needed a belt, and I added contrasting buttons to the neckline:

I like them because they are unexpected, but I might replace them with some other trim if I get inspired.  This is not even faintly a winter dress, don’t let my boots fool you!  It will work for fall and spring, with a jacket, and summer of course, but not for our current weather (3 inches of snow last night, and the grocery store is sold out of milk and eggs… honestly, it’s bad when even I think people are wimpy about the snow.)  I think I got pretty close to the inspiration, but added my own touches to make it more me!