In the spirit of trying some of the new patterns that I have purchased, I pulled Simplicity 2907 from my pattern stash to try next. This pattern looked to be simple and cute. It looked like a fun easy sew, but as you know, looks can be deceiving. This was a complicated pattern that took far more time and effort to construct than I felt it should have. Now, not all the blame for the complexity of this project is with the patterns design. Some of it was my fault of course, but I am still placing a lot of the blame on the patterns design problems. Because of the problems this project did not end up being the fun, easy, simple, cute sewing project that I had originally thought it would be. Want to hear more of the story? Hang on, It’s going to be a fun ride!
Since I was once again trying out a new pattern for the first time, I decided to follow the pattern guide closely. I traced the pattern with all the markings and cut it out. Next, I picked the fabric to use. The pattern said I would need over a yard of fabric to make this dress. The piece of fabric that I chose, the black cartoon cat fabric, was just under a yard. I laid out the pieces of the pattern on the fabric and they all fit. At this point I started wondering what I needed the extra fabric for? And as I started cutting I found out that the pattern was indeed correct on the yardage needed. If I wanted a back and a front to the skirt out of the same fabric, I would need more. Being as the cat fabric was a scrap and I had no more of it, I pulled out a solid yellow cotton broadcloth from the scrap box to make the front of the bodice of the dress.
With all the of pieces cut and the interfacing applied, I started to sew. Step one was to fold and stitch the facings. I read the pattern guide and then I turned the facings of the front pieces and stitched them as the guide instructed, and what I got was a huge mess. What? Did I misread the pattern guide? So I unpicked the mess I had, reread the pattern guide and tried again. The result was just a different mess. So I unpicked it again. This time I pinned the folded facings down while reading the pattern guide again and figured out what was going wrong, then I stitched it again. But this time it turned out alright. Wow! This sure was an odd design. The facings folded like I was making a collar with a stand, but then you sewed and snipped the edge for a collar without a stand.
Next came the shoulder seams and then sewing on the collar. While once again reading the pattern guide carefully, I sewed the collar just as instructed, starting the side seams of the collar 5/8″ from the edge. Once again the collar was stitched on like a collar with a stand but it was not a collar with a stand. Now, I have made a couple of shirts that have a stand collar and I have a made many shirts with a “camp” lapel collar, so I can say that applying a lapel collar like a stand collar is stupid. But then with the facings done like a stand collar there was no other way to sew on the collar other than like a stand collar.
This was crazy I thought.
Stand collars are not an easy sew. They require a lot of accuracy and precision sewing to look neat and professional. So, why would the designer make this dress pattern so difficult to sew together by making its collar like a stand collar when its not a stand collar? Why not design it like any other “camp” style lapel collar and facings? The only conclusion I could come up with for this design was the amount of fabric needed to make a lapel collar and facings versus a stand collar and facings. The lapel collar and facings would have required more fabric to make, and leave you with more useless scraps. Now, if the fabric you choose to make this dress was $10 to $15 a yard, then yes, less scraps would be better, but in my case where I was already using scraps and probably paid $1 a yard or bought the scraps at a thrift store, plus the fact this could have been an easy fun project, I did not like the way this pattern was designed at all. I spent many hours of precious sewing time trying to figure out the facings and collar of this little dress, plus the time to carefully and accurately sew the facings and collar. It was not a good sewing experience. This pattern could have been designed to be so much simpler to make.
The sleeves were also a pain to put in. They are very fitted and had to be gathered before inserting them. I am not very skilled at inserting sleeves like this, so it took a lot of work and time for me to insert the sleeves. The sleeves were also very short so I made a very small hem to finish them up. Once again, the only reason I can see for the short length of these sleeves was to save some fabric.
Due to the complexity of this little dress, I am setting this project to the side for a moment. I will finish this dress because I have too much time and sewing into it not to, but for now I need a break. So stay tuned for the conclusion in Part 2.