Simplicity offers several patterns in plus size, so I presented Simplicity 1733 to my students as a good option for a stylish, comfortable knit dress. Misses sizing ends at size 18 (bust 40 inches). Plus sizing is 20W (bust 42 inches) to 28W (50 inches). The pattern did not indicate degree of difficulty, but the cover looks appear easy to sew per my experience. The pattern comes in misses 10-18 as well, so I made the dress up with only 2 yards of 60" rayon/spandex from http://emmaonesock.com/. You see this fabric frequently on this blog; I love the drape, color, metallic threads, and machine wash properties! The pattern jacket said 2 yards was sufficient for my size. I found I had to add a seam at the skirt's center back because I didn't have a fold available. Maybe my fabric wasn't a full 60" wide. The center back seam is hidden in the waist gathers so all is well.
While I love the dress, I found the design harder to sew than expected. The reason is the instructions for the shoulder seams were unclear. To match the circles, the front and back seam allowances were supposed to be offset 1/4" but mine weren't. To figure the pattern out, I hand to baste the neckline work in place, analyze, then rip and redo because my initial guess was incorrect. To simplify the sewing, assume the following:
the shoulder seam allowance, both front and back, is 5/8"
5/8" of front neckline should be free when you stitch the shoulder seam
3/8" of back neckline should be free when you stitch the shoulder seam
I wish the pattern had stated this clearly. Actually I wish the pattern company had extended the back neckline band to include the front neckline. Then the seam allowances could have been the same.
Joining the skirt front to the bodice front was difficult due to the bulk of the twist. While not an insurmountable obstacle, this can be hard to stitch well. I stitched the left side from side seam to center front, back tacking at center front. I stitched the right side from side seam to center front, back tacking at center front again. Center front needs to be very well marked.
|twist detail inside view|
The rest of construction was fine. I balanced bulky over lock seams as described in my March 11, 2013 post on the Vogue 1194 DKNY knit dress.