Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Atlanta dress

Round about February of this year, we learned that the hubs' job would be moving to Atlanta, GA.  I'm sure many of you have been in the position to make decisions about following your or your partner's jobs all over creation... and we found ourselves having to do just that for the second time in 3 years.  We decided to stick with the bird in the hand, and despite my willful procrastination, we had to set up shop in a new region.  His company sent us to Georgia at the end of spring to get our affairs in order in preparation for a summer move.  Enter the Atlanta dress, which I made for all my very important meetings (at restaurants) (with my husband.)  Technically, this pattern was my first full bust adjustment, and first muslin (whaa?!?!)  I let the adjusted pattern lie in wait for a suitable fabric.  With the glowing recommendation of Gertie, nay, the whole internets, I went with Simplicity 2444 .

If it wasn't for Gertie's creations with this pattern, I don't know if I would have made this dress.  Sometimes its hard to imagine what a garment will look like in a fabric that is more suited to your tastes than what is on the envelope.  As I mentioned in a previous blog, the double angled waist darts on this dress made for a difficult fba.  Typically, you would have a straight dart or darts coming up from the waist, and those are easier to re-size at the end of an fba.  These bad boys are angled from the center and point toward the shoulder, and create a sort of X shape with the darts on the skirt.  Its no joke.  If you, like me, are looking for a method to adjust this, then I will again refer you to Professor Pincushions video tutorial.  This is an atypical adjustment, and her recommendations are really best only for this pattern, or a pattern similarly styled.  There is no slashing and spreading involved for this one, although I did do that for my version because I didn't see this tutorial until afterward.

This pattern uses facings... you know, those demonic fabric flaps from hell.  I don't do facings.  Luckily, the eyelet fabric I chose required a full lining anyways.  In addition to fully lining this dress, I also chose to pipe the arm, neck, and waistline in a white cording.   I rather like the bright green against the crisp white.  If you are new to sewing and aren't sure how to line a dress that doesn't have linings in the instructions, its pretty simple.  If you are an intermediate beginner, you have probably lined something, and are aware of the process.  The most simplistic version of instruction is that you you cut your bodice and skirt out of 2 different fabrics (one outer fabric-the green eyelet here, and one lining fabric-the white here) and sew the bodice right sides together and flip.  If you want a tutorial on this, I suggest Angela Kane's video tutorial. She goes through the steps of an entire lined dress, start to finish, but you can select the pertinent sections.  I also love a dress with pockets, and this dress has nice big pockets sewn into the lining.

Overall I would call this dress successful.  The pattern offers many choices in terms of sleeves and collars, and I would really like to make a 3/4 or long sleeved version.  The beauty of adjusting patterns to fit your body (rather than lamenting your body for not fitting industry-standards) is that you have the basis to create entire tailored wardrobes that fit YOU!  That's a nice thought for Boobs Mcgee over here.  I spent a lifetime feeling like something was wrong with me, but it turned out I just needed to learn how to sew!  I wear the Atlanta dress all the time.  I love it!


  1. Boobs! Sometimes I still feel like something's wrong with me when I shop. Perhaps if my first sewing teachers weren't all perfect B cups I would have gotten farther faster in my sewing journey. I really need to purge my sewing library some day. I digress. Pivot and slide works in many applications, though extra length is also sometimes needed to accommodate the marriage makers. As for the darts... they can be rotated any which way without affecting fit as long as they allow for correct amount of fabric release and of course point to, but not reach, their (ahem) target. In other words, you can rotate them to typical position, alter, and then rotate back to match design intent of pattern if you find that easier to wrap your head around. Hope that made sense. Last, but certainly not least I love your fabric and piping choices. You look fantastic in saturated colors. Donna

    1. Thanks for the tip! Also... Lol at "marriage makers"