May I begin by saying that we are firmly in the grip of Jungle January 2014. That will explain, perhaps, why I made Simplicity 1777 in this odd fabric. I nicknamed it peacock leopard fabric. I must also say that I like the fabric though it wasn’t as easy as it could have been to work with.
Simplicity 1777 is a vintage pattern reissue (1940s retro) so I could have found a more appropriate print to the era, but it’s Jungle January, so no I didn’t. Theme make!
This pattern has little retro details like elbow and neckline back darts that have been eliminated in present day patterns. Even with these nice little elements, I must admit this dress doesn’t fit all that well. The sleeves are tight and the bodice has 5″ ease. It’s not so tight that you can’t raise your arms or bring in the trash, but tighter than normal. Luckily that 5″ of bust ease help with the sleeve situation so it works as a dress. But I don’t think my arms are exceptionally big, so sewist beware.
Also the neckline and bodice move up when I raise those arms (as you can see in the chicken wing pose on the right) causing gaping at the neckline. I could have pinched that out of the pattern piece if I’d made a muslin, which I didn’t.
Other than a few tweaks, this isn’t a very difficult dress to make, but you do need to be ok with diligently cramming all those pleats together in the front and basting the heck out of it. Then sewing a triangle there, that was kind of hard now that I remember it. I finished the inside facing by hand (I know) instead of pattern’s instruction of stitching in the ditch. It was neater and I had time during the 49er/Carolina game watching. For more sewing info my review is here.
We will have to see how much use I find for this retro peacock leopard dress. I think with my sewing time limited, I should choose projects that will get more wear. I don’t need too many dresses for my lifestyle, though you must admit I was probably the gal with the best trash can retrieval outfit in the neighborhood. Win!