outfits · Sewing

Me-made-May 2012: it begins!

The last time I participated in a me-made month (several challenges ago I believe) I started out reviewing the actual wearability of patterns.  That was a bad month for me, and I never finished.  This time I plan to continue my assessments in the hope that it will help me to choose patterns more wisely in the future!  So here we go… day 1:

Me-made item: Simplicity 2281

Link to original review: Here (April 1st, 2011)

Wearability report: 

I wouldn’t say this is one of my most worn garments, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it!  I will say this: it’s hard to figure out exactly what sort of event this dress is appropriate for.  The open shoulders make it seem more like a fancy dress, but the high neckline seems more daytime.  I wore it today for teaching, but halfway through the afternoon I got cold and put on a sweater.  I turn the air conditioning off when I teach (because downstairs is so cold in our old house, with its super high ceilings) but sometimes I still get cold!

The biggest problem I have with this dress is the midriff piece.  Notice the wide belt above – that’s because I feel like it makes me look like a rectangle otherwise.  And I am not shaped like a rectangle!  I think if I were giving advice on this pattern I would repeat what I said in my original review: the midriff really needs to be about half the width it is drafted unless you are super long waisted.  I still feel it would work better with a full skirt, but I do think the tulip shape is more flattering than you might expect!

I think the open shoulders are the best feature (note to self: don’t wear this dress with your hair down!)  My husband, however, thinks that the open shoulders are weird and never fails to comment on that.

About my fabric choice: I love rayon challis, but it is on the light side for this dress.  The top is fine, being completely self-lined, but the skirt could probably use a lining.  I wear it with a half slip, but that’s not ideal.  It’s also true that due to the multitude of weird shapes in this dress it takes ages to iron.  I think from now on I’m going to dryclean it – if I don’t have to face 30 minutes with the iron I’m much more likely to wear it!

Final grade: C+

I like the idea of this dress more than the actual dress.  It has some issues that make it less wearable for me than it might be otherwise, but it’s still fun to wear on warm days (and I do love the polka dots!)



11 thoughts on “Me-made-May 2012: it begins!

  1. Love the polka dots! I’m so including shots of fingernails for MMM if they are awesome like yours. 🙂 And I’m so glad this dress is Rayon Challis, because I just bought some from Denver Fabrics and had no idea what kind of wieght fabric I would end up with since I’ve never used it before. (it also happens to be polkadotted).

    1. Challis is great for dresses! I use it as a substitute for silk crepe de chine. One caution: be careful washing it. Some rayons don’t take the wash well, though most are ok as long as you use cold water and keep it out of the dryer! Rayon fibers are very fragile when wet. I think I may have some of that same challis you bought – it’s quite nice!

  2. I looket at your picture without a belt, you don’t look square in the dress! I still want this dress! And I like your nails!

  3. Congratulations on your final (undergrad) final! You should feel very proud of yourself. As one who went back to finish my degree in my mid-30s (single mom of four at the time), I know how out of place one can sometimes feel in a land of the ‘much younger’…but I appreciated the learning/studying so much more at that stage of my life. Again, congrats!

    Dress looks good on you, but I can see that it isn’t an easy dress to wear with anything else (cardi, shawl, etc.) so the plan the wear when warm seems eminently sensible.

  4. I really like that dress and the sparkly nails! It’s good to reward yourself with something impractical sometimes, but good that it’s turned out practical in that you won’t need to manicure your nails very often now, sounds like a win win situation!

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