Monday, January 25, 2010

Simplicity 3835 Built By You

The duvet cover dress test run.
The funny look on my face is apparently because I can't aim and smile at the same time.

I sewed this Wendy Mullin pattern over the weekend for myself. This is a muslin, for all intents and purposes, even though it is not sewn in muslin. I used a thrifted duvet cover I had on hand in hopes that I would turn out something wearable in the first round.



As a reference, I usually wear about a size 8 in ready-made dresses. I sewed the pattern size 12, and it is a tiny bit snug in some places. I think I'll try the 14 next and see if there is a bit more wiggle room. I don't want it to be a loose dress, I do like the slim line of it. Maybe what I need to do instead next time is let out the shoulders some and shorten the waist a bit. I'm definitely sewing this again, in 'real' fabric.

detail of yoke. no hook sewn on the back yet. forgot that part.

It was super simple to put together. Very few pattern pieces to cut out. One thing I will say is the sleeve cuffs are cut kinda tight. I don't have hammy arms, and the cuffs are still snug, even though I had advance warning from a helpful pattern reviewer and lessened the seam allowance to a quarter inch at the cuffs to compensate.

You can see I made a mistake including the contrast border. I knew it wouldn't work well, so why did I do it? I thought I'd be all clever and incorporate it in the sleeves and hem. Well, of course I knew it was not a straight hem and that this might come out looking a bit wonky, and I was absolutely right. Even though I did my best to match up the border between the front and back, I wasn't even close, as you can see. So between the dumb looking curvature and the mismatched hem, I'm going to:

  1. Cut off the border on the sleeves and add cuffs in the paisley.
  2. Add the pockets. I skipped these to save time, but now I think I want them.
  3. Cut off the hem to make it a tunic instead of a dress

And when I have done those things, I'll wear it. I just saw on Angry Chicken that Wendy is releasing a new Sew U book for dresses. Can't wait!


  1. great dress :))
    best regards, maria

  2. I think it looks great! Amazing colour. Looking forward to seeing the next version!

  3. Doesn't look like the fit's off to me, but what do I know... I like your revisions. It will make a really cute tunic. Can't wait to see it!

  4. I made one of these a few years ago, in an old sheet, and haven't even tried it on. Not sure why. You've inpsired me, thanks!!

    I may even make a smock top with longer sleeves, i'll give it a go.

  5. I'm with Robyn - fit looks good! I really am itching to make something for myself, but need to get rid of the baby bump first. :) Can't wait to see the new book - need to use the other 2 I have by her, too.
    Love your hair, btw!

  6. So cute Larissa! I love to see what you do every day. Why does your bonus room look like it's out of Land of Nod or something? Very stylish. Like your short hair btw.
    Hope all of you are doing great!

  7. Uhm, I love that you used the phrase 'hammy arms' :P. I let out quite the giggle ...
    And don't you love pattern sizing, gosh it makes a girl feel good about herself when she has to go up 2-4 sizes from the stores, oh-well, I suppose we could sew in any ol' size we want. Yes, my next skirt is going to have a little '2' sewn in ... HAHAHAHA!

    Thanks for the laugh!

    Can't wait to see the 'real fabric' version! Oh and I love the shoes ... I just splurged on some flower ballet flats in aqua from Born.

  8. Robyn, now I just need to be motivated to pick it back up and finish.

    beccasauras, you can't be serious. You slogged through a sewing pattern and didn't even try it on? I so cannot relate to that. Even though it almost always ends in heartbreak, I still live for the big try on.

    Jessica, someone as slender as you may be able to use this as a maternity dress! love...the hair? THIS UNFORTUNATE HAIR? in the photo? Oh my word. But thanks!

    Hey, there, Shawna! I loved your New Year cards! Beautiful as usual. That's our downstairs nursery turned school room. And it is so not Land of Nod, it is Aisle of IKEA baby. thanks! :-) (You like the hair too? my oh my. Maybe I'll comb it next time and really wow you.)

  9. Queen Marry and I wanna be creative, thanks thanks!

  10. Andrea, glad I could make you laugh! :-) And I love me some shoes. Those are Payless, if you can believe it. I'm going to be really sad when they fall apart. Which they will.

  11. Ha ha, so you'll like it once you change everything about it :p I think it looks great!

  12. Hey, I wouldn't of even thought to sew it in a bigger size. I would have felt like an a$$. Great job. Can't wait to see the next one.

  13. That looks SOOO cute on you. I could never pull it off.

  14. *WANT* Now I'll have to go out and get that pattern and scour the thrift stores for a similar duvet to make one JUST LIKE YOURS! I love it, it would look so cute with leggings and knee high boots, I can just picture myself traipsing around the lake shore in it. Its beautiful and looks wonderful on you!

  15. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that I already have that BBW book on pre-order. February 9th! I'm hoping it will provide the answer to my quest for the perfect summer dress pattern.

    So what fabric's next for this one?

  16. I think the dress looks fabulous. Looks super comfy and I love the fabric you chose, even if it was a thrifted duvet cover.

    I look forward to seeing it once you make a new one with the alterations you mentioned.

  17. What a lovely dress! Good job. If you want, you can say I made the goof.

  18. You look lovely in it! I think it came out very nice and I'm curious what the "real fabric" will be.


  19. Ok so It's not prefect but O'My is it cute. It is beautiful on you. I wish I could where that style it looks so comfy.

  20. I Love it! I've had the pattern for about a year and have made the other shirt/dress version of it with the elastic, but I'm longing for more of a fitted look. I think I'm ready to go for it!
    Thanks for sharing yours; love love LOVE your blog.

  21. It looks great on.
    The 'hammy arms' made me laugh too!

  22. I think it looks fantastic! Very cute on you.


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