A Dress for Many Occasions

I just completed Simplicity 2886 (View C without the skirt band) and it was a lot of fun.   I feel like Donna Reed in it.  I feel like making a roast chicken and wearing high heels.  Or feather dusting–the easiest clean around.

S2886 - 1

In this dress, you will find gathers, pintucks, and pleats.  I really enjoyed making this because FINALLY all the pieces of a project were fitting together the right way.  And it has a lot of pieces:   20! (Counting all pieces cut out.)

S2886 - 6

It has attractive pockets, elastic on the top of the bodice back for some give, and a side zipper that was very hard to put in with all the bodice layers and the tie.  The tie is cute, but you could get away without it.  You might feel a bit less silly that way and have less to iron!

I would like to point out two problems for me with this pattern:  the sizing of the bodice and the lining.  Although I am a 36 bust, I made size 12, (which is for a 34″ bust) because these patterns are always big.  And there is no need to have this kind of bodice loose.  I tried it on while making it, and it fit like a glove.  But after wearing the finished dress, I noticed that the straps would fall down a lot.  The bodice front top is too wide for me, even though I went down a size.  And I can’t move the straps in because they must be placed exactly where they are.  AND there is no way I am tearing it apart, taking it in on the center seam and then reattaching it to the pintuck bodice strip and stitching it back up to the sides.  Egads!  That would be a lot of work.  But now I know–I probably will need to take in an inch on a lot of things like this in the future while leaving enough room lower down on a bodice for my ribcage, and breathing room. 🙂

The other problem I had with this pattern is that although it has a lined bodice, the seams are exposed.  It would have been nice to hide those, but maybe this isn’t possible because of all the layers.

A closer look at the bodice:  great fit on the bottom but the straps are about to fall off my shoulders.

A closer look at the bodice: great fit on the bottom but the straps are about to fall off my shoulders.

I think this dress could fit any occasion depending on the fabric used.  With a satin or silk pintuck bodice and tie, it’s a bridesmaid’s dress!  All in black, as a cocktail dress.  I would consider making this a halter top, too.  Then the straps wouldn’t fall down either!

One more tip:  I followed the suggestions of a reviewer on Patternreview.com and sew the top of the bodice fronts to the contrast bands first, and then sewed the whole thing up the middle.  This made for a perfectly-lined up seam.

S2886 - 2

Make this dress and clean your house!


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Vianki on March 20, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    An easy solution would be crossing the straps in back. Very minor change.

    You said these patterns always run big… i’m about to make this one and have a 38″ bust. According to the pattern thats a size 16. Would you recommend coming down a size?


    • Posted by amberjsquirrel on May 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm

      I’m sorry–I’ve been away from this blog and didn’t answer your question timely. Did you make the dress? How did it turn out?


  2. You might consider moving the attachment position of the straps at the back closer to the center. This usually works for me…


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