Hello again, I'm Sarah of SewSarahSmith, delighted to be back with my second Minerva Craft Blogger Network make -  it’s the Simplicity Sewing Pattern 8213 ‘Project Runway’ Scuba Dress. Having worked with Scuba Fabric in the past, I was really keen to use it again - it's such an easy and rewarding fabric to sew with.

I opted for View B, which has flanges rather than sleeves, a lined bodice and an extra ‘wrap’ front skirt piece. Considering the pattern pieces, I decided to lengthen the bodice by 1” and also to lower and shorten the darts by the same. Having lengthened the bodice, I shortened the skirt. The pattern is designed with 3” of ease built in which I think is quite a lot, even taking into consideration the relative stability of scuba. In hindsight I wish I'd sized down for a more fitted look and I'd definitely do that next time. 

This was a simple straightforward sew - I've made quite a lot of indie patterns recently and it felt surprisingly good to return to a Simplicity pattern. In terms of actual construction, whilst I do have stretch stitches on my machine I very rarely use them as I find them a complete pain if I need to rip them out; when working with knits I generally use a zig zag ‘lightning’ stitch 1.5 wide by 2.2 long with a ballpoint needle. The only bit I was unsure of initially was how to line the bodice with an invisible zip at the centre back seam but it turned out to be thankfully straightforward!

I used a lightweight stretch lining, reinforced with stretch fusible at the neckline. It's exceptionally soft against the skin and I love the way it partially covers the zip tape and waistband seam for really neat and comfortable insides! Because the fabric is so stable, I was able to use Clover Wonder Clips throughout; so much quicker than using regular ballpoint pins.

I love the fact that there is no visible stitching on the outside of this dress; the lining is slip stitched at the shoulder and waist seams; as are the hems and front skirt facing. I did faff around with the blind hemmer foot on my machine for the hems but I couldn't get the consistent results I wanted. So I finished the raw edges on my overlocker, turned up the hem allowance and stitched in place by hand with the overlocked raw edges doing a good job of masking my less than perfect hand stitching! Scuba has enough density to it that it makes blind hemming by hand a breeze.  I also love the artisan bronze buttons I chose. I didn't bother to create a buttonhole in the tab, simply creating a tiny slit for the shank instead and securing the button and tab to the shoulder with a few hand stitches. I think a military style button would also look great.

In wearing, the dress feels quite ‘high end’ and this is in no small part down to the weight and quality of the Dressmaking Fabric, especially given its price. If you’re unsure about working with scuba let me tell you that this fabric is very easy care, handles exceptionally well, takes a sufficient crease when pressing, has incredible stretch and recovery and doesn't shift about as you work with it. This fabric also has a slight sheen which makes it look and feel that bit more luxurious. I adore it in this teal colour-way but, that said, I think this dress would also look great in black or grey for the office or in red with killer heels for a night out. What do you think?

Thanks once again to Minerva for supplying me with the pattern, fabrics and notions. I am absolutely thrilled with my dress!

And thanks as always to you for reading, until next time,

Sarah x