Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Rifle Paper Co. Simplicity 8137

Like pretty much the whole sewing community, when Rifle Paper Co. released their first fabric collaboration with Cotton + Steel, I was smitten. When I found a solitary bolt of one of their rayons at my hometown fabric shop, I was so excited that I didn't even care what color it was. And then 3 yards of this baby blue floral rayon challis sat in my fabric stash for months, because I never wear baby blue. Ever.

But this summer was my sister-in-law's wedding, and I figured, "If you can't wear pastel florals to a bridal shower, what can you wear them to?" So I pulled out that rayon and sewed it up into a drapey wrap dress, and I couldn't be happier!

Me in sunglasses and floral wrap dress, standing on a sidewalk in summer.

It helps that the color is deeper than some baby blues, more evocative of a summer sky than an eighties-era prom getup. It also helps that it's broken up by big patches of colors I love, like coral and navy.

The pattern is Simplicity 8137, a princess-seamed wrap dress (or peplum top) with optional sleeves, a knee-length skirt, and a (presumably quite dramatic) maxi skirt. To give it a little zazz, there's a gathered tie at the waist that cinches everything in and emphasizes an hourglass shape. To give it a little support, there are snaps on the inside, which hold the wrap in place.

(Also, there are some pants in the pattern envelope. They are... unremarkable.)

Full-length view of me walking down the sidewalk in my wrap dress.

I sewed the sleeveless top (View A) with the knee length skirt (View B) in a straight size 12. It took one solid day of sewing, from cutting out the fabric pieces to hemming the skirt. To be honest, I've never sewn in all the snaps. I just keep tacking it together in pivotal places each time I wear it.

Full-length view of me in my dress from the left-hand side.

On me, the skirt lands a bit below the knee (I'm 5'6".) I rather like the almost midi-length, though. It feels of-the-moment, and it's a nice balance for the dress's bustiness. On the envelope, this dress isn't particularly low-cut, but I didn't make any modifications for a D-cup, and what I got was a very deep V-neck. This shall be rectified with one of those snaps, eventually. Even in a smaller cup size, I suspect you might be inclined to tack the center of the V, as both sides of the wrap are designed to fall entirely under the bust.

Full-length view of me in my wrap dress, showing the back of the dress.

The bodice is lined (the skirt is not), so you get a smooth finish around the armscyes and neckline. The pattern has you sew most of the lining by machine, except for a few inches. This requires you to make a weird inside-out burrito of you dress bodice, but it does result in a nice finish with minimal hand sewing. I know some people like hand sewing, but I am not among their ranks.

Another full-length view of me in my wrap dress, from the front.

This dress was a fun sew, and I love the result! I think that I'll make it one more time in the maxi length, mostly because I'd love to swan around in that many yards of billowy rayon challis, but I'll do a small FBA first.