Duro Junior

by Erin on July 14, 2008

Puzzle Dress

So this is my version of Simplicity 3875, henceforth known as Duro Junior.

I know I haven't been posting about the Duro lately, but that doesn't mean I haven't been THINKING about the Duro. I was looking for a lighter, slimmer version to wear when it's really hot: the Original Duro can be a LOT of fabric.

This pattern didn't originally jump out at me as a good candidate, mostly because the jewel-neck version on the pattern envelope had these dumb little string ties which managed to obscure the lines of the bodice. But once I erased those (mentally) I decided to give it a shot.

Although not actually difficult, this pattern is still a massive PITA to put together. The back of the dress has no waist seam (just a lengthwise back seam), so, in order to finish the neck edge with the bias facing BEFORE the front panels are attached, you have to sew the front bodice pieces to the back bodice pieces at the shoulder WAY early in the process. Which means for the rest of the construction, you're shoving that long back piece out of the way. Arrgh.

I was able to add pockets, too, in the side seams, although lining them up when sewing that seam was a bit tricky. There's a single notch to match the front skirt to the back at the side seam, so I placed my pocket piece on the front skirt pattern where I thought it should go, then cut a corresponding notch on the pocket — that helped it match up pretty well.

The original pattern has the tie hanging down the back, but I prefer the way it looks brought around to the front.

Here's the back view:

Puzzle Dress

And here's a closeup of the front:

Puzzle Dress

I haven't hemmed the skirt, or the sleeves, BOTH of which were about three inches too long (PITA, pt. 3). I ended up cutting a 12 in the bodice and a 14 in the skirt, which was more or less the right size; if I had to do this again I'd maybe cut a 10 in the bodice (for narrower shoulders) and add some length to it, and a 16 in the skirt for a little bit more fullness. Although that would necessitate buying two copies of the pattern (PITA, pt. 4).

The fabric is Michael Miller, maybe? I bought it at City Quilter a gazillion years ago, I think … (I really should start labeling my fabric with where and when and from whom I bought it, shouldn't I?) I think it's a little too stiff for this pattern, but it was a good tradeoff between fabric I could bear to screw up and fabric I would want to wear if it actually turned out okay. I think next time I will make it in some stripey seersucker, or maybe even in this silk noil I have lying around …

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