More end of summer sewing. I’ve wanted one of these mullet dresses for a while and settled on Simplicity 1358.
In theory, this is an exceptionally easy dress to make. However…the pattern drafting of the Big 4 (Vogue, McCalls, Butterick & Simplicity) contains A LOT of ease, especially for my figure. Any time there is a pattern piece that you are to place on the fold and cut spells disaster for me. There is no shaping in that, particularly through the back. I’m more of an athletic build with narrow hips and slim through the back, so where traditional ease is included for the typical female figure, I often times have to draft out.
Here is an example of the first draft of the dress, unaltered. The equivalent of a tent. I cut the size medium, but even an extra-small would have been gi-normous.
I started by taking in at the side seams first, then transitioned to fitting through the back. I left a more loosely fitted look through the mid-section, but allowed it to lay closer through the back.
This forced me to add a back seam though.
Inches were taken in starting at the armsyce to just above the hips and because of my narrow hips, I left the pattern as is from the hips to the hem. This gave a little flare to the dress and created the illusion of hips.
My fabric is a yummy mint-chocolate chip knit that’s fairly light weight. I added a half-lining that stops just below my bum…for modesty sake. I simply laid the cut fabric on the swimsuit lining, basted and then cut. I treated the two-fabrics as one for the remaining construction.
Because this is a striped fabric, I tacked in place the folded fabric, matching stripes, to ensure it stayed on grain. I didn’t try to match stripes necessarily at the side seams, but came close enough because of this. For the binding, I cut it so the stripes ran across the length of the binding as opposed to with it. I think it looks better in juxtaposition to the main fabric at the neckline.
My second challenge was the neck and arm binding. I’ve been out of the game for a minute, so I couldn’t remember my tricks for getting the binding to lay flat. I didn’t want to added clear elastic either. The binding, per the instructions, is folded in half and then attached the neck edge. I top-stitched this in place and then folded the binding back over itself and then hand tacked on interior so it ends up being more narrow.
For the hem, I simply folded up an 1″, then two rows of stitching. I didn’t have the thread necessary to use the twin needle and I knew on this fabric, the twin needle stitching would tunnel even if I used interfacing to combat that. There is some rippling, but I can live with it.
I am pleased with the results, but it required some fitting effort. I will say, it’s pretty darn comfortable and it’s a nice casual dress.