Winter Outfit: Simplicity 2183 + Vogue 7131

Pattern Description:
Simplicity 2183 (View 1): 1947; Teen-Age Two-Piece Dress: The long torso top, styled with a back neck and side opening, has gathers at the front side seams and darts at the back waistline. The flared skirt features and inverted pleat at the center front and back and joins to a yoke. In Style I, the top is accented with a Dutch collar and a bias fold at the lower edge. The three-quarter sleeve is finished with a cuff. Style II has long fitted sleeve and a high rounded neckline.

Vogue 7131: below waist jerkin with jewel collar and buttons at shoulders and side

Pattern Sizing:
12 - 32B (V7131)
14 - 34B (S2183)

Were the instructions easy to follow?
V7131 was kind of a blur, but also fairly intuitive. S2183 i barely used the instructions at all on the top, which is why i sort of bollixed the collar application, but i found the skirt oddly fiddly and the instructions came in handy.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
i loved the easy look of S2183, very vintage and very wearable--young but not too junior (minus the book binding accessory, of course!). V7131 evolved as i wanted something to complete the ensemble, pick up the lavender flowers in the liberty pattern, and to disguise the fact that i bollixed the collar application. this turned out to be wise mostly because 1) it is incredibly cold in my office and 2) without the vest, the look is super-casual. the top of S2183 is comfortable and cute but also too casual to wear untucked in a work environment.

Fabric Used:

lilac/lavender woven cashmere, B&J fabrics, NYC (V7131)
mystery fabric twill crepe with amazing hand and sheen, Paron Annex, NYC (S2183)
liberty of london tana lawn "Pelagia", Tissus Reine, Paris (S2183)

almost the entirety of this outfit was constructed in 10-minute intervals while i recovered from mono between the US thanksgiving and new year. i had cut it months ago, over the summer, after acquiring the liberty print on a trip to europe. unfortunately, in my zeal to place the pattern pieces strategically over the print, i forgot to cut the sleeve and there wasn't enough to piece it properly. several months later the same Pelagia colorway finally arrived in stock at B&J and i was saved--although i still ended up piecing the sleeve.

sleeve: to keep the pieced sleeve from looking too unusual, i re-drafted the one-piece sleeve that was originally part of S2183, first removing 4" of cap ease from the top and then converting it into a two-piece sleeve. i have absolutely no drafting experience to speak of, so this involved modifying a tip from Pattern Review to shift the sleeve seam to the side and then use this altered one-piece sleeve to create an under sleeve piece.

i honestly have no idea how i managed this, but i muslined the sleeve and basted it into my garment. it fit and worked. i forged ahead.

bodice: S2183 is an interesting design because there are bust darts (which i altered, making a half-SBA following instructions in Sandra Betzina's "Fast Fit") but no waist darts. instead there are waist gathers. these are shockingly cute and comfortable and come really close to the waistline, accentuating the figure. i sort of love them.

collar: in working on the neckline and collar, i decided that i wanted to reverse the collar facing, so that the neck opening would be in the front instead of in the back, because i get very claustrophobic in jewel-neckline collars. however, in applying the collar to the neckline, i neglected to stretch the collar properly around the neckline, so there is a bit of an awkward gap for about 1" on either side of the CB seam. compounding this error, i attached, sewed and clipped the collar and facings in the wrong order so i ended up with a very awkward raw seam edge on part of the (now front) neck opening. i bound it with some hug snug, which i had also used decoratively on other parts of the garment, but it frayed rather depressingly right at the edge of the seam. hence the jerkin.

finishes: i completed all the seams on the top with flat fell finishes and used a cute metal zipper at the side placket. for the skirt, it was relatively straightforward: i finished all the inside seams with lavender hug snug, including the waistband finish. unusually for me, i left the skirt length where it was (below knee) which can often look a bit dowdy but on this skirt seemed both suitable and fun.

V7131 was very simple: three pieces joined to create the bodice, which has french darts. the muslin fit well and i liked the dart placement, although the final jerkin could have a bit less ease. i love the cashmere. i lined and piped the interior so that it would look like a complete outfit. i just hope it isn't *too* matchy-matchy.