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.


  1. So nice to get some use out of your muslin. I'm so glad you made this up. This pattern is in my sewing line-up and I was wondering how the racer-back would fit. Thanks for the review. Yours turned out perfect for the party!

  2. What a great costume! I'm sure it was lot of fun to wear.

  3. Looks great, and I love how thorough your review of this pattern is. Thank you! Great tips that I'll remember for this pattern. And I love the trim and headband :) Great job!