Sheath Dress (Simplicity 2648 Amazing Fit)

I’ve made quite a few things in 2020, but this the the project that I’m the most proud of. It fits nicely. It is made out of exquisite materials. I made sure it was finished as nicely on the interior as it is on the exterior. I fully lined the dress, which makes it feel nice on, doesn’t cling to undergarments and hangs better. A significant portion of this project required hand sewing, which was both relaxing and satisfying.

Simplicity 2648
Simplicity 2648

This is Simplicity 2648. I was going to wear this to a fancy party earlier in the year, but that was canceled. Perhaps I’ll wear it and swan around my apartment.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS – BUTTON TAB

I wanted to either make or find some fancy buttons to use on the tab, but like the rest of Seattle, I’m sticking to home these days. I ended up stacking two buttons on top of each other. I may switch them out for something better later one, but it’s done for now.

Simplicity 2648 Buttons
Simplicity 2648 Buttons

PIPING INSERTION

Conventional instructions for inserting piping into seams has you use a zipper foot. It didn’t matter how hard I tried, I could not sew close enough to the cording to satisfy myself. On a lark, I tried using the open toe foot (Bernina #20). I placed one of the “toes” on one side of the cording and moved my needle position so the needle came down precisely on the other side of the cording. It worked perfectly. I am so excited by this discovery. There will be piping on everything I sew from now on…well, maybe not everything, but I won’t hesitate to use it!

When sewing the piping in, I had better results using the open toed foot for fancy machine stitches than a zipper foot. I could sew right next to the cording. This was a revolutionary discovery for me.

The image below shows two open toe sewing feet. The semi transparent one is for my Viking machine. Foot # 20 is for my Bernina and is what I used on this project. The foot on the far right is my standard foot. You can see how much wider the opening is on foot #20 than the standard foot.

Open Toe Sewing Foot
Open Toe Sewing Foot

INVISIBLE ZIPPER INSERTION

Simplicity 2648 Invisible Zipper
Simplicity 2648 Invisible Zipper

I am also disgustingly proud of how neat my invisible zipper installation is. If I had installed the zipper as I normally do, I would have had to unpick, baste and restitch a few times to make sure all seams lined up and there was no unsightly hole at the bottom of the zipper. I did not have to do any of that. I tried out a new-to me technique demonstrated by @kennethdking for Threads. I will never be going back to my old method. I need to get a hemostat though…my long tweezers weren’t quite grippy enough to pull the zipper tab back into place without a lot of cursing.

IN CLOSING

And just for fun, I added a frog closure at the top of the zipper. I love this detail.

Not shown here is my nicely lined kick pleat. That is such a headache to do, but so worth it to get right! I usually wear nylons when dressing for a formal event, and there’s nothing worse than having your skirt stick to your legs. A slip doesn’t work well underneath a skirt with a kick pleat because it shows. Lining is the right thing to choose for this feature.

RECOMMENDED TOOLS

Bernina Open Toe Foot #20
Excellent for piping insertion.

Straight Serrated Hemostat for Crafting
Great for pulling zipper tabs through seam allowances!

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My name is Amy Stanton and I am a blogger from Seattle, WA. If you enjoy beautiful photographs, personal essays, book reviews, travel logs, and brag posts about sewing and knitting projects, then we are going to hit it off. ♥

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