My graduation dress!

Before I left for the US, I mentioned a UFO that needed a zipper and hemming. I packed that dress up, finished it by hand around writing essays, and wore it to MA graduation. Without further ado, here it is.

No idea what the look on my face is for… Anyway, this is 100% linen print from Jo-Anns with black linen inserts and 100% Bemberg rayon lining. I used Simplicity 8600 size 20. This is OOP from maybe 1999 or 2000. I cut it out a year ago and brought the pieces to Brazil because I felt I needed more warm weather clothes and a linen dress sounded perfect.

For couture practice I hand picked the lapped zipper, hand basted the joins so that the seams are aligned correctly, and I created my own lining pattern pieces that attached to the facings.

The creation of lining patterns turned out to be easier than I thought. I used the facing pattern pieces to shape the top of the front and back pieces. I also used the front and back pieces and taped them together along the stitching lines to that I didn’t have all that extra seaming in the lining. I’m not sure where it happened, but the lining ended up slightly narrower than the skirt, but it doesn’t really affect the wear. It just meant I couldn’t try the ease hem pleat couture technique. I wonder if that is appropriate for a fuller skirt anyway. I keep seeing it on jacket and straight skirt hems. I haven’t seen it used on an A-line or circle skirt, but I don’t see why you couldn’t.

As for this pattern, it went together well, but there were a few fit issues, starting with the neckline. The models have it straight across, but mine ended up higher on my neck which was extremely uncomfortable. I scooped out the neckline and ran with it. If I make it again, I need to change some minor fit issues in the bust area, and the hips. It doesn’t help that when I cut out this dress my waist was larger post-baby and I’ve managed to whittle it down to 36″ (whee!), so I had to make that adjustment after cutting out the dress which was a challenge with all the piecing. Also when I cut out this dress I didn’t know how to do a sway back adjustment, which I couldn’t do much there after the material was cut. My cup size also changed one year into post-baby life, as you can imagine so I have hand tacked darts in the underarm area to compensate, but alas there is still a minor gaping issue.

Overall this is a great knee-length casual dress that I wore all day on a sunny North Carolina summer day and didn’t feel like I was sweating to death or that anything was uncomfortable. It looks great with sandels and I don’t think its extremely dressy so it would work for a casual night out or a work dress with my gray cardigan.