Stamp of Approval Dress

Simplicity 2209 - source www.sewlisette.com

Simplicity 2209 - source http://www.sewlisette.com

I’m bamboozled… yes, yes lovely jacket on the pattern envelope… but why cover up the frightfully cute sun dress?? Perhaps it’s Lisette’s hidden treasure! Aha. Busted! Full pattern details here…I purchased just one Lisette pattern - this one. Mainly because I love shirt dresses and I want more but have been struggling to find patterns that I like. I want to make version C and it’s been languishing in my pile as I am very tired at the moment and the thought of cutting out so many patterns pieces makes me more tired. So version C can wait for now.

Fortunately (or unfortunately as ELH* may think) Spotlight had a sale and I gave into the urge and got the Lisette Passport pattern. It has far less pieces which was a saviour for this little chook at the moment. I got the pattern for the cute casual jacket but fell in love with the dress bodice darts which you can’t even see in the in-store catalogue! It’s a silly that Simplicity doesn’t put line art in their catalogues and it doesn’t come up immediately on their website in the way Vogue, McCalls etc does.

I picked up some super cute navy and white spot cotton for this pattern’s ‘muslin’ but I like it so much that I think it’s ‘more than a muslin’.

This dress is easy peasy. The waist darts look effective and you simply sew one and then the second overlaps it. For the non-stitchers it looks like an impressive engineering feat. For the stitchers out there (such as the ones reading this) they will just go ‘that’s hardly rocket science’. Fortunately all of my friends are non-stitchers so I just dazzle them with my cleverness (this is our secret, please don’t tell).Simplicity 2209 - Lisette Passport Dress

The dress went together without a hitch, there was absolutely nothing to complain about – right up until the zipper (cue scary music). All those Pattern Reviews are right – the zip instructions are awful (well if you are not a very experienced zip installer they are and this is only this little black duck’s third zip!). It’s supposed to be a lapped zipper… which would be lovely… so I dutifully installed it as instructed since I had never put in a lapped zipper…

It looked awful…
so I ripped it out…
I installed it again…
It looked even more awful…
I put the dress aside and thought ‘ugh, such a shame, nice dress but I can’t wear it like that‘.

Then I woke up on a public holiday and thought ‘I AM going to fix that dress. I AM.”

So apart while I was feeling positive and sounding rather like a Dr Seuss character, I leapt out of bed (I’m lying, I’m not a morning person at all, so it was more of a roll, moan, groan manoeuvre.), grabbed my stitch ripper and took to the dress with murderous intent. My mother watched me taking out the zip for the third time and commented she didn’t think it was that bad – crikey this from a perfectionist!! She clearly thought someone had stolen her slapdash daughter and replaced her with someone else!

This time I ignored the pattern instructions and just put it in as a centred zipper. It’s still not perfect (after all the stitching and ripping – small amounts of swearing – what can one expect), but it’s under my armpit and that’s not an area I tend to highlight when putting my outfits together. In fact I can’t think of a single person who dresses to highlight their ‘perfect pits’. Anyone remember this image of Julia Roberts at the premiere of Notting Hill? This did not bother me particularly… but clearly it got a lot of other people quite hot under the collar, but you get my point. On the upside, I’ve put in six zips now into just four dresses. Cool stats!

Other reviewers have suggested putting it in the back. I think this is a great idea but I like the slick run of fabric across my back. So when I make this again (note: not if) I’m going to try an invisible zipper – underneath my concealed armpit (now that I have a very lovely invisible zipper foot for my precious Bernina).

The dress does have facings, they are easy to attach and they are caught up neatly around the armholes with bias binding. I really liked this style of facing. There was no puckering around the armpit or masses of flopping facing to tuck in. All neat & tidy.

I’m going through a belt phase at the moment and picked up this cute little red belt at Dotti for $4.95 (ha! a Dotti belt for the dotty dress). I just love how accessories always seem to be on sale. It would appear there is a whole generation who has not picked up on the power of accessories and the art of distraction so bargain bins are overflowing with little cheap and not-so-nasty delights.

One day more people will discover the huge power accessories have to create a focal point and highlight your good bits (or distract them from the not so good bits) and I’ll have to pay full price. But until then it’s our dirty little secret, OK? It just so happened the belt perfectly matched my red heels (which unfortunately did not cost $4.95). I love red – I just can’t wear it as a main colour because I’m quite sallow skinned – but accessories work a treat! The belt kinda hides the cute waist dart but I like the navy/red/dot combo so much I can’t resist. I would love to make this one in a textured slubby-sort-of linen/cotton (yeah that’s a technical term). I think the bodice would look smashing.

I like this dress, it’s simple and classic. I’ve never worn so many dots but I think it’s growing on me. This fabric and the Passport dress deliver maximum impact for very little work. What more can a girl ask for?

There are lots of lovely dresses on Pattern Review, especially like this one by CJgal and this checked one by the Quirky Peach v.cute. My dress seems quite fitted in comparison to most but I think it looks OK. I think if it was a size bigger it would be gaping around the armholes and the neckline on me (my bone structure resembles a sparrow). I think it works on me – or I could be delusional?

Just a BTW: I finished this dress around the time I started emailing a London-based friend about an escape trip (the ELH* thinks I should go overseas – I hate to disappoint him so I’m strategising the how, where and why). So the Passport Dress is kinda perfect for right now in my life. Given that funny coincidence, I’m off to the local quilting shop tomorrow to get a Japanese contrast fabric for the Lisette Itinerary Dress (sorry ELH) that I’m making in navy linen. I guess that’s the perfect follow-up to getting the Passport sorted out… Itinerary is next.

Note: I whacked together a Colette Peony yesterday. Horrendous. Now that dress bodice MUST be made first as a muslin (I am humbled). My measurements match Size 0 but the bodice is a complete disaster. I would share an image but I’m concerned I might crack the camera lens…

I showed Homer, my sewing room buddy (see right), and he freaked out.

* Note: ELH is the Ever Lovin’ Hubby

More pictures on Flickr – including the zip