Simplicity 2059 – aka the Lisette Continental dress

CurlyPops issued a challenge: join with her (and hopefully many others) in sewing Simplicity 2059, aka the Lisette Continental dress.  When CurlyPops summons, how can I resist?

With the weather forecast promising a day over 30 degrees, which may be one of the last hot days before autumn really takes over, I quickly paired the pattern with some Amy Butler rayon that happened to be in my stash. After measuring myself and working out how much ease I wanted the dress to have – not half as much as the pattern suggested – I decided to make size 12. I made my usual short torso alterations by folding out around an inch or so at the printed alteration line on both the front and back pieces.  Sticky tape comes in handy at this stage.

Simplicity 2059 - pattern piece alteration

Because the rayon was a border print, I decided to take advantage of the contrast edge and insert a vertical feature into my dress. Rather than placing the front pattern piece on the fold, I placed it and cut it out with the centre front on the edge of the border print. After judicious and plentiful pinning, I seamed the two half front pieces together along the edge of the border print.

Rather than using the provided pattern pieces for the neck and armhole binding, I used my rotary cutter and quilting ruler to cut bias strips the same width as the pattern pieces, then ran them through my handy Clover bias tape maker – which happened to be just the right size for the bias strips I needed.

Simplicity 2059 - making bias binding

I then cut these strips to the length of the binding pattern pieces. I used some leftover pieces to make belt loops by folding the tape in half and edgestitching the sides. The armhole binding was applied pretty much as per the instructions except I used the fold lines that I’d already pressed into the binding with my bias tape maker as a guide for both attaching the binding to the armholes and for folding it over and topstitching.

Simplicity 2059 - armhole binding

The neckline is very nice on this dress. It’s well scooped and the gathers provide interest and bust shaping.

Simplicity 2059 - neckline gathering and binding

Rather than a simple straight stitched hem, I used the blind hem stitch on my machine. Well, it’s blind enough unless you get very close – which you won’t!  I took a one and half inch hem and it’s only just above my knees.  I know, I’m short.

Simplicity 2059 - machine blindstitched hem

I made the self tie belt from more of the border. I rarely use belts, but after seeing how good Cam’s dress looked belted, I thought that I’d give it a try too. Originally I was going to add pockets – also inspired by Cam – but with the feature stripe down the centre the dress didn’t need them.

Simplicity 2059

Unfortunately in all these photos my gorgeous youngest daughter kept on clinging to my leg – or trying to. It’s twisted the dress around a little – something that my husband failed to tell me when he was in the process of taking the photos!

Simplicity 2059

I wore this dress today, and it was very comfortable and easy to wear. At first I thought that it was a bit much like a sack with a belt, but I did receive a couple of compliments. The rayon feels delightful on and hangs beautifully.

Simplicity 2059

There’s still time to join in with this sewalong – pop over and visit Cam!

ps – Carolyn - I finally remembered to include more information on construction details!

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7 thoughts on “Simplicity 2059 – aka the Lisette Continental dress

  1. Lara – I got all the way to the bottom reading along and thinking this is so wonderful to know exactly what you did…especially adding the border print panel to the front and then you call me out! *LOL* It was a great post for a beautiful dress. You used the border print to perfection. Now you’ve got me yearning for a great summer dress!

  2. Gorgeous Lara!
    So glad you joined in – it’s great to get tips and tricks from an experienced dressmaker. I’m definitely using a bias tape maker next time… and I love how you made a feature from the border print. I often see border print fabrics at Spotty but get a bit nervous over how to use them.

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