The last time I participated in a me-made month (several challenges ago I believe) I started out reviewing the actual wearability of patterns. That was a bad month for me, and I never finished. This time I plan to continue my assessments in the hope that it will help me to choose patterns more wisely in the future! So here we go… day 1:
Me-made item: Simplicity 2281
Link to original review: Here (April 1st, 2011)
I wouldn’t say this is one of my most worn garments, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it! I will say this: it’s hard to figure out exactly what sort of event this dress is appropriate for. The open shoulders make it seem more like a fancy dress, but the high neckline seems more daytime. I wore it today for teaching, but halfway through the afternoon I got cold and put on a sweater. I turn the air conditioning off when I teach (because downstairs is so cold in our old house, with its super high ceilings) but sometimes I still get cold!
The biggest problem I have with this dress is the midriff piece. Notice the wide belt above – that’s because I feel like it makes me look like a rectangle otherwise. And I am not shaped like a rectangle! I think if I were giving advice on this pattern I would repeat what I said in my original review: the midriff really needs to be about half the width it is drafted unless you are super long waisted. I still feel it would work better with a full skirt, but I do think the tulip shape is more flattering than you might expect!
I think the open shoulders are the best feature (note to self: don’t wear this dress with your hair down!) My husband, however, thinks that the open shoulders are weird and never fails to comment on that.
About my fabric choice: I love rayon challis, but it is on the light side for this dress. The top is fine, being completely self-lined, but the skirt could probably use a lining. I wear it with a half slip, but that’s not ideal. It’s also true that due to the multitude of weird shapes in this dress it takes ages to iron. I think from now on I’m going to dryclean it – if I don’t have to face 30 minutes with the iron I’m much more likely to wear it!
Final grade: C+
I like the idea of this dress more than the actual dress. It has some issues that make it less wearable for me than it might be otherwise, but it’s still fun to wear on warm days (and I do love the polka dots!)