FO: A Fitted Tribute to Jessica, Simplicity 2798

It has been a very productive weekend!
Hot on the heels of a finished knit, I gathered my energy for a burst of concentrated sewing and spent the past two days working on a project outside my comfort zone:  a fitted dress.

This is Simplicity 2798.
When I saw it on Melissa’s All Buttoned Up blog, way back then, I really liked it but I didn’t think it was “me”.
Then Jessica got a hold of it, and I started to see its potential as a smart work-dress.
Not that I saw myself as a smart work-dress-wearer…!

Then just recently, Jessica sent me the remains of her amazing purple Marimekko dress fabric – ooh!  How kind is that?  She knew how much I loved it!
There was only a small piece, but more than enough for yoke, cuffs and pocket linings on the 2798.
The teal fabric came from the p-hop table at the Shed Gathering in York. 

Stats:
Pattern:  Simplicity 2798, a Project Runway pattern from 2008, in size 4
Fabric: Less than 2 metres of teal herringbone-weave cotton with a brushed back from an unknown Shed-person (though I have my suspicions about who the previous owner might be!);  remnant of mad purple Marimekko cotton sateen from Jessica.  Thank you, both of you!

Process:
I cut and sewed a size 4, which is supposed to fit a person with a 29 1/2 inch chest.  No way is that me!  Luckily, I followed the “actual measurements” chart,  which showed that the bust is actually 34 inches.  As you can see, it’s a pretty neat fit.  I didn’t try it on until I was ready to sew in the zip, and I could tell it was going to be a close thing.  It is possibly slightly too figure-skimming through the hips, and I have to give a little wriggle to get it off over my head, but the 6 would have been too big.

I don’t like this back view.  My shoulders look enormous!

The sleeves were a puzzle.
I opted for the long pleated-cuff version, and found the instructions incomprehensible.  I initially followed the direction to sew along the dotted lines, but this made a long tight cuff in the teal fabric,which looked really strange.  I also couldn’t raise my arms far enough to do up my zip!
So I unpicked the pleats and did my own thing with them, attaching contrast cuffs for no other reason than that I wanted to.

Would I make this pattern again?
I’m not sure.  The princess seams and high neck give it a retro look, which looked a bit frumpy until I lopped 4 inches off the length.
I like the pockets, which stand out a little, like the Portfolio dress.
The sleeves are… unusual.  I think I would leave it sleeveless next time, but obviously that would make it less suitable for local climatic conditions.

Verdict?
Not bad… not bad at all.
I’m still not sure about the sleeves, and I definitely can’t eat a three-course meal while wearing it, but I think this will be a useful addition to the smarter end of my work wardrobe.
And I love the colours.
The contrast is pop-tastic :D