TOWN GREEN, PORT MACQUARIE 2444. This is our gorgeous Town Green located smack bang at the end of our main street. Yes it really is that beautiful.

I can’t help myself. I don’t want to post the following pictures but I feel I must.ELH (ever-lovin husband) is out at ‘boys’ night’.

I finish The Dress.

What to do? Bribe the small children to take photos of course. And not good ones at that!

Warning: Contained in this post are some extremely dodgy pictures of Simplicity 2444 aka PORT PARIS DRESS.

Why the name you might ask? Well the PORT part is inspired by my home town. I live in Port Macquarie, Australia and our postcode is 2444 – and this dress is made from the Simplicity 2444 pattern.Australians have a tendency to shorten everything. That’s why we say G’day instead of Good Day. So locals refer to Port Macquarie as ‘Port’. Of course there are lots of Port ‘somethings’ in Australia – but this is ‘our Port’.

We have gorgeous beaches, a beautiful river right in town and stacks of koalas – which I must tell you are very noisy when they are out cruising for a girlfriend, let’s say they advertise very vocally and wake up the neighbourhood in the middle of the night. We see koalas all the time. Yes really. All the time. We are lucky enough to get them in our front yard regularly. It’s funny I never stop being delighted when I see them. They are so cute! I came home one day to find this chap sitting in the middle of my driveway. He decided a tree was a better option when we pulled up.


Koala in the front yard. ‘Common as muck’ in Port but v.cute!

And I had it in my head that Simplicity 2444 was going to be my Port Macquarie dress. I wasn’t too sure about the pattern but could not helped buying it as it matched my postcode. Weird but true. I just could not figure out what fabric might work as ‘Port Macquarie’. Koalas are a bit twee as a wardrobe wear choice when you actually are Australian.

Then I was walking through Spotlight and a fabric caught my eye. I immediately thought of Simplicity 2444. It’s from the furnishing section and I suspect it’s cotton ‘duck’. It’s 100% cotton, thick and heavy (it’s going to be a nightmare to dry) but I like the impact it has on the skirt pleats. It would look great with a petticoat but I think it sits nicely all by itself.

My youngest daughter Giselle dreams of growing up, living in Paris and being called Gigi. Her bedroom is dedicated to the Eiffel Tower. Some people think its odd for a little girl but I think it’s marvellous – what an aspiration way to think at 7. So this dress is her bit of PARIS in PORT.

I’m not totally selfish. I’ve got her some fabric in a red colourway which I am going to make into a dress for her.

Sorry about the picture Gigi was in charge of the snapping procedures. I wanted her to take a few pictures with a jacket and a different belt option but this was as much as she could bear to do… and the only one in focus!


PORT PARIS DRESS – from one postcode to another…

I could not convince them to take any detail shots so I had to take the dress off and photograph it flat. Hopefully I will get a chance to take some more inspiring pictures this weekend!

Simplicity 2444 - bodice detail

Simplicity 2444 – bodice detail. Photographed flat as the kids are not master ‘snappers’…. yet….

Simplicity 2444 - bodice detail

Simplicity 2444 – bodice detail. The bodice darts were almost perfectly positioned (sheer luck)Personally I think any woman who has a little bit shaved off her hip is going to be eternally grateful!

Simplicity 2444 - Sleeve detail

Simplicity 2444 – Sleeve detail. Gigi loves the sleeves the most as they both say ‘Paris’ and feature three veyr glam and retro-dressed ladies!

I ummmed and ahhed about what size to cut. Measured the paper pattern etc which was great advice from Joanne on Stitch & Witter when she posted her gorgeous version of 2444. I decided to cut the 8 as my fabric was so heavy. I would love to make this again – but would make a 6 as I like my clothes to be quite fitted and this is a little loose and big around the shoulders. Tilly was wondering on this post whether this pattern would work in a heavier fabric and I think it does IMHO. It sits beautifully. ELH thinks it looks great (yes he is biased – I consider that a character strength not a flaw). I’m sure Tilly is going to whip up something sensational as she always does – can’t wait to see it when she does.

I actually thinking of making it all over again in the same fabric but spending more time on the interior finish and maybe even lining it as I think this dress is worth the trouble.

I’ve never been a big fan of full skirts on me. At all. It might be time to convert. I think this works because of the slightly wider neckline which helps balance out the fullness of the skirt, the fabulous generous skirt pleats (not gathers) and the four waist darts at the front. It’s just lovely. IMHO.

The main change I made to the pattern was to cut to front skirt piece on the fold. As the print was quite large I thought the seam would be too obvious and distract from the dress. So I cut it on the fold and simply make the middle pleats a tiny bit larger so they meet in the middle. I love it (and I have a little bee in my bonnet about seams up the front of skirts – I don’t know why, I just do!).

I was going to make a belt but I woke up the other day and decided a wide ribbon might be cute instead. I love ribbon belt/sashes, I have several work dresses that I wear with a grosgrain ribbon tied around my waist. I like the simplicity and softness of them, especially when they are black – a bit more grown-up than girlish. I also don’t have to worry about whether I’m going to have to make another stupid hole in a stupid belt to accommodate my stick insect waistline. Yes I could make belts but belt making options are thin on the ground in regional Australia. You do get sick of mail-ordering every other thing and learn to ‘make do’.

I’ve got to find some time to pick a decent WordPress blog theme that works in more browsers…

Oh and I’m going to join in the Sew Colette 2.0 and make up a respectable Hazel – and hopefully then a second decent Hazel which will be a little offbeat but it keeps popping into my head so I just get it out! I just want to make sure I get the fit right before I go to a load of trouble to make the offbeat one. I missed Sew Colette 1.o due to the Colette book arriving via canoe from USA.

21 thoughts on “PORT PARIS DRESS

    • Thank you so much. I wasn’t that keen on the pattern envelope but I’m a 2444 convert now. I think I might try the longer sleeves and the stand collar next. And I have a cute rose fabric that would look nice in this version too. Sew it! It’s a great pattern!

        • That’s a good question! Sort of a bellow which is a cross between an ape-pig-motorbike, hard to describe. And if the lady koala is not keen, a whole lotta squealing. I once got woken up thinking we had a massive rat in the house – turned out to be a koala trying to bust in the double glass front door. He then tried to climb the drainpipe… He must have been out on the town drinking…

  1. It’s lovely! You’ve done such a great job on this. Glad to see/hear it works on heavy-ish fabric. And Gigi takes a great photo!

    That’s so amazing that you see koalas in your garden! Never having seen one in my life, to me they are like mythical creatures 🙂

  2. gorgeous dress, wonderful fabric, my sister lives in port lincoln in sth.aust. just to be different they call it just lincoln. I made my grown up son a koala print casual shirt when he went to the usa for a trip a few years ago, he had so many offers to buy it but like a good son he refused as his mum had made it!

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