Monday, January 18, 2016

Jungle January: Simplicity 8055 Dress

There is no blending into the background with this animal print dress!  

I know it doesn't appear to have much shape, but it's more flattering on me than it is on the dress form.  You'll have to trust me on that statement as it's bitterly cold at the moment and I just can't bear to change out of the double layers of fleece I'm wearing to model this dress.
I purchased this blue and black animal print fabric from SR Harris about two years ago. Since this a fabric warehouse most of the fabrics have no exact fiber content so I don't know what this is. It's a stretch woven with tiny raised ridges.  I originally planned on sewing a jacket, but changed my mind after bringing it home.  I immediately thought of the fabric when I saw the pattern envelope.  Simplicity 8055 is a very simple dress to sew. 
The dress has two-piece raglan sleeves.  I choose the longer version as I'm really liking that sleeve length lately.  I altered the pattern and added a dart (shown in this photo) as I knew the tucks at the neckline would not provide enough fullness for my bust.
When I sew this dress again I plan on rotating that side dart to the neckline tucks.  As is, the side dart gives me the fullness I need, but the neckline tucks pull open more than I'd like.

There is a small walking slit at the center back. 
The neckline is finished with a narrow bias binding. The instructions have you pin the binding in place then stitch-in-the-ditch to secure. I handstitched it in place instead. It didn't take much time and I found it easier than trying to stitch-in-the-ditch with this fabric.
I used an invisible zipper and hook and eye at the back.
I didn't realize the neckline seam allowance was only 1/4" until I was preparing to add the neck binding, which happens to be the last step (before hemming.)  Since I'm so used to placing my zippers with the expectation of a 5/8" seam, the top edge of the zipper wasn't caught in the seam.  Something to keep in mind when you sew this dress.
I found the fit of the dress to skim the body without a lot of shaping. The fabric I used is heavier than the recommended fabrics, which may have played a role in the fit. I ended up shaping the waist slightly and removing some of the ease at the hipline. 

This isn't typically a shape I would choose to wear, but I'm pleased with the finished dress. I have the coat cut out (in black) and expect to wear the dress and coat often.  Coat review coming soon.


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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Great fabric, looks like a fun dress.



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