Plain but practical LBD – FINISHED

Much to my dismay, I can’t always sew with bright-coloured floral prints or out-there pattern and colour combinations. As pretty as they are to look at, they can overpower what is a well-designed pattern, not to mention all the effort that goes into a good fit.

They also make it REALLY FREAKING HARD to decide what to wear to work every day. There’s only so many times I can co-ordinate stripes with florals and reds with blues before I realise I’m sewing myself into a corner where everything’s beautiful but nothing goes.

And so I have resolved. Sometimes you should put down the bolt of bright yellow bird print voile and draw a line at having only one jam-packed storage box of polka dot-printed fabrics. Sometimes it’s wise to let the pattern do the talking and put faith in fit, form and function.

Allow me to introduce the much-loved Simplicity 2648.

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Whipped up in a post-Christmas/NYE sewing frenzy (what housework? Shower grime is self-cleaning, right?), it took me less than a week from cutting this baby out to testing out its waistline give after my second cupcake at work tonight. And the biscuits. And a piece of strawberry yoghurt cake.

Thanks to a little magic from Simplicity Amazing Fit and the inventor of stretch cotton drill, she passed the test with flying colours darkness.

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I cut a size 12 in View C, with a C cup bust bodice front as well as the curvy hip pattern piece. Cheers, cupcakes!

Pattern alterations and design changes

The beauty of this pattern is the FBA is done for you, and the extra large seam allowances are great for making sure you have enough wiggle room in all the right places.

I made the petite adjustments on both the bodice and skirt, as well as taking a total of 3cm out of the bodice back and 2cm out of the waist, tapering down to the hips.

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I have a relatively narrow back to my substantial hindquarters, so I might consider grading the pattern from a 10 at the shoulders to a 12 below the armhole if I was to make this pattern again. But the instructions were pretty good and I managed to achieve – what I think  is – a half-decent fit, albeit with the miraculous stretch cotton drill working its magic.

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Construction notes

Here’s the part when I could have a whinge in my very unique completionist way where I rag on the pattern instructions for not hand holding me through each and every baby step of construction, namely when to stitch your seam (after being basted) or when to finish a seam, or when to remove basting. When that’s left up to little old me  I get in a frazzle trying to imagine future pattern steps being enacted, which can often just confuse the crap out of me or result in some epic unpicking. Let’s just say I got there in the end.

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The neckline is cute without being too revealing, and the sleeves really balance my pear shape.

Did I say sleeve? They’re actually called a “flange”. That word cracks me up and I can’t use it without cringing.

The “flange(s)” look so Star Trek-esque to me, but I quite like them.

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The button tab is kind of cool. Normally I wouldn’t add a detail like this because it would interfere with my belt-wearing obsession, but the waistline fit of this dress is close enough that I don’t actually need to wear a belt to get the defined waist shape, which is two big fat ticks in my book.

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The black is hard to photograph in my dark but AMAZING walk-in wardrobe. My super talented jack-of-all-trades LL built it for me. It took him six months of weekend work but gosh darnit it’s my favourite thing ever. Apart from maybe my sewing machine. And Danish feta. And I suppose I’d put LL up there, too.

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So there you have it. A relatively conservative dress, but one I’m thinking will get a helluva lot more wear than my louder creations.

Version two might be in something a lot less subtle…

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9 thoughts on “Plain but practical LBD – FINISHED

  1. I love the shoulder on this and the fit on the waist great job. I realized just before Christmas that any LBDs I own are far from practical so I guess I should get on that. :/

    • Thank you very much! You are right about the accessories – I have to get myself out of the frame of mind where I only gravitate towards bolts of printed and patterned fabrics 🙂

  2. Hi, Your dress looks fabulous and the fit is so nice. Thanks much for posting so much detail, especially about your measurements (on Pattern Review, where I first discovered you), the pattern sizing, and the adjustments you made. I think it will really help me fit this pattern to myself. I’ve had it since it first came out but have never even tried it yet because I’m having so much trouble fitting close-fitting woven garments.
    Monica

    • No worries at all, Monica! I like when people post their measurements too – it makes it so much easier to know where to start with the fitting 🙂 Thanks for the kind words! I look forward to seeing yours.

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