Simplicity 8252 is beautiful- but your sewing experience will be tested.
I haven’t had a love-hate relationship with a pattern since Butterick B5814 earlier this year– and that’s saying something. With my cocktail dress back in April, there was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears as I sat at my sewing machine for hours and hours, fiddling with boning and uncooperative fabric. Full disclosure- my YouTube vid on B5814 definitely had its share of struggles. Simplicity 8252 was in that same vein, except not as dramatic. Ok well—- maybe a little dramatic.
The bright side is that Simplicity 8252 is beautiful and the struggle was worth it. I bought this pattern to kick off the holiday season here in the United States but unfortunately, even though I started it back in November, it’s barely finished! The fabrics selected are absolutely outside the norm for vintage-casual. I chose a viscose crepe and polyester chiffon in the color way “moss/nutmeg” from Berkeley’s Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics. To be honest, I think my main struggles came from the fussy-ness of the fabrics.
The pattern itself was relatively straight forward to adjust to my measurements. On the dress itself, I performed a FBA, rotating some of the dart fullness to the center pleats. Looking back, I should have also lowered the pleats further down the center front. I also changed the side seam darts to French darts to accommodate my lower bust. For both the redingote and dress I did a swayback adjustment, shortened the torso and skirt length. If you follow me on Instagram and watch my Stories, I did a short series of snaps back in November showing each one of the changes in action (make sure to follow me on IG to not miss out future tutorials!)
The instructions for Simplicity 8252 were written in a pretty straight forward way, which was a blessing since I spent the majority of time fighting with the fabric. The viscose crepe unraveled an insane amount and was prone to stretching out all around, even with stay stitching. Looking back on it, I should have underlined the entire thing and used organza to stabilize it. After I stitched up the entire dress, I actually had to take apart the side seams in order to take it in, since it had stretched a lot in the width, too. Add to that that I don’t own an overlock machine and finished all the seams with rayon seam binding, sewed in by hand (yikes!)
The chiffon redingote was all finished up with French seams and slip stitches throughout to wrap up any exposed seams. Unfortunately…
I cut into the main fabric when I was trimming a seam. When this happened, the piece was too far into the entire finished garment that it was too late to turn back and resew that piece. Goes to show that no matter how experienced you are, mistakes happen. In a moment of REALNESS, I got emotional, put the redingote away, and couldn’t look at it for at least 24h. But, the show must go on. Slapped a belt on it and as Tim Gunn says, Made it Work.
Now that December is over and done with, I can put it in rotation in January. But I’m glad that in the end it worked out.
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