Monday, May 23, 2011

Pocahontas Dress - Simplicity 2222

We were invited to a friend's birthday party, and the theme was cowboys and indians.  We could dress up if we wanted to.  Of course I wanted to dress up!  
I've been wanting to make a muslin for Simplicity 2222 (Suede Says dress/romper), so I figured this would be a great opportunity to make a wearable muslin.  I started dreaming up a Pocahontas dress.  
I have a pile of beige linen that I could have used, but I look dreadfully pale in beige, so I started digging through my stash to see if I could find some better colours.  I found some rust corduroy and a crazy print that screamed 'native and tribal'.  I scrounged up 2 different trims, 6 rust-coloured buttons, and some orange bias binding.  The only thing I bought for this project was the fringe.  
I cut a straight size 16, and it fit really well at the hips, but the bust was a tiny bit snug.  I compensated by overlapping my buttonholes as little as possible.  Next time, I'll let out the bust by an inch or two.  
I absolutely LOVE the fit of the neckline, armholes, and racerback.  It is so comfortable!

I sewed this as fast as I could.  I always sew fast when I make muslins, and I did that with this, except I serged all my seams and finished everything nicely.  I can't believe how fast I managed to sew!  I almost felt reckless, but everything still turned out excellent.  I didn't keep track of my time when I was cutting, but my sewing time was only 2 hours and 40 minutes. Not bad for a slowpoke like me!  I guess I should be more brave and try sewing faster on everything I make!  I'm always very anal and want everything to be perfect, but I seem to be able to do a great job even if I sew fast.  I've gained a lot of confidence from this project.  
Back view - inside out
I wasn't sure if I was going to have any fitting issues, as this is nothing more than a rectangle with an elastic waist.  I decided to do a 1" swayback adjustment.  I took 1/2" each off the skirt and the bodice.  This was not necessary.  It hangs a bit short at the back, and I kept having to hike up the front waist to make sure I was hanging straight.  Now I know for next time.  Rectangles have no shape, and they don't need many adjustments.
I'm very happy with the amount of ease at the hips.  The corduroy is a little stiff and poufy, but if I made this in anything lighter and drapier, I think it would be fabulous.
I added 3" of length to the skirt, and I didn't even hem it.  I serged the bottom edge, and that's where I sewed the fringe and the trim.  This is a short skirt.  Appropriate for the young ladies these patterns are targeted at.  Unless they're 5'10", like me.  I'm happy with the finished length I ended up with.  
Close-up of pockets and elastic waist
I made a stretchy headband and attached 2 long pheasant feathers that my mother in law gave me.  I love my feathers!  They were very tall.  I kept having to duck to get through doors.  Now I know how my 6'8" brother feels!
I borrowed the cowboy boots when we got to the party.  They were in a big bag of cowboy stuff, and they fit me!  I think they finish off the outfit nicely.
We had a blast, and I felt very festive in my costume.