Saturday, December 10, 2011

Simplicity 2245 Lisette Portfolio Dress

Last month, my husband and I went to Barcelona, Spain, for a holiday.  We had a wonderful time visiting the beautiful city, seeing the sights, hearing about the history and of course, meeting some wonderful people!

In preparation for the trip, I needed a new traveling dress.  When I travel, I like to have a dress that is easy care, comfortable and has a good sized pocket or two, in order to hold my passport and boarding passes.  In doing research on Barcelona, we kept coming across lots of advice about pick pocketers.  With that information fresh on our minds, I decided it would be best to have a 'secret' pocket in my traveling dress.  Though the name of this pattern is "Portfolio", I needed something for my passport, so this was my "Passport" dress.

For the fabric, I chose to use a Ponte de Roma knit.  The content of this particular Ponte is a large portion of polyester (which I usually avoid), along with rayon and a small bit of lycra.  This is what I would term as a stable knit.  Some stretch, but not too much.  Other than the polyester part of the fabric not wanting to take a pressing very well, I enjoyed working with the fabric. 

I made a few changes to the pattern:

-secret pocket
-invisible zipper
-3.5" added to length

For my secret pocket I added a zippered, welt pocket.  It was placed a little below the main pocket, so that it would be hidden out of sight.  It was perfect for holding my passport, credit card and money close to my body. It stayed in place, as I anchored it down by tacking it to the seam allowances of the other pocket.

Sometimes I do not want to put a dress on over my head, I want to step into it.  In order to have the option to do that with this dress, I added an invisible zipper up the back and into the neckline.  I really enjoyed being able to step into the dress. :)

This dress as designed, is of the more modern fashionable style, which is much too short for my liking.  I decided to add 3.5" to the length and only took a 5/8" hem and stitched it down with a double needle.

The other change I made to the pattern is the neckline.  I was afraid the dress would be too close to my throat, so what I did was used a size about 4 sizes down for the neckline giving me more of a scoop and lower neckline.

I chose not to take out any ease in the pattern, though there is quite a bit.  I knew I would want to be belting the dress and the dress would probably look better with the ease.  

I have another one of these dresses in the works, it's just not finished.  I have the piping on, the secret pocket added, and most of the fiddly work for the changes I have made, finished.  I have set it aside for now to tend to other more important sewing. :)  I was able to cut this second one with the lower portion of the longer sleeve as one with the main body since I am using wide fabric.  I am hoping this will eliminate the twisting that seems to happen when the lower portion of the sleeve gets added to the upper sleeve.

This truly is a great pattern and fun to make. The design of the pockets are wonderful!

I can see this, with some alterations, used as a wonderful maternity dress or tunic.  Again, with some alterations, you could make a wonderful nursing dress/top, too.