Duro Junior

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 …

0 thoughts on “Duro Junior

  1. Cute!! While some of the sewing instructions flew over my head (completely!), I have to agree about the tie being in the front. Nicely done!

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  2. wow! that may actually be my “most favorite erin dress” so far! What great fabric! you always post these fabrics that i just love and that I know I would never in a million years picked out on my own. it’s great!

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  3. It looks great – I totally agree with the ties wrapped around to the front. What if next time you split that back pattern piece at the waist, added a seam allowance of course, and then you wouldn’t have to deal with as much fabric until later in the process. It would also make adding pockets easier.

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  4. I don’t usually care for Duro dresses because the style is unflattering on my figure — I end up looking pregnant. But your altered neckline on this is wonderful and your suggestions about lengthening the bodice and making a fuller skirt could make that style look a lot better on a short, heavy woman like me.Fabulous fabric too. Nothing like black, red, and grey for looking sophisticated and playful at the same time.🙂

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  5. Great dress; I have a cheaper simplicity version pattern (the it’s so easy one from Walmart) to try, maybe it’s time to try it. Did you finish the mailorder walkaway dress?

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  6. I did the bias trim on the walkaway dress (look here for the big reveal as to WHAT COLOR later) but haven’t done the buttons or (what is really holding me up) the pockets. Maybe tonight.

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  7. A really nice dress! Tying the sash in front makes the whole dress look slightly more Japonica. You could make one of the square knots that have the extra turn on top and on bottom half hitch, and the sash would look even more Asian.

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  8. I have had the same pattern in my stash for awhile now but haven’t attempted it. Your comments have helped (prepared) me!–and I love the seersucker idea! I orighinally was thinking of floral.

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  9. Cute dress, but just what exactly is a “Duro” dress? What is the definition?Re pockets for the dress with a wrap-around waist band, I’d just stitch some patch pockets to the facing of the waistband (inside). They’d be good only for tissues and small items but, depending on their placement, could be handy.

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  10. This dress is much more attractive than the standard “duro” dress. It is much more flattering. Super job!

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  11. Love the dress! What serendipity…I used that pattern this weekend, too! Actually, I did the view with the crossover front, but the “duro” one is next on my list. I agree the facing was a PITA. The length is about right for me for office wear (I’m 5 7″). I’m posting a picture of it on my blog tomorrow if you care to look. I am wearing it today and am wrapping the tie around the front, too. I think it looks much better that way. I used knit for the body of the dress and cotton for the contrast pieces.

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  12. Oh so cute. I love the fabric too. I reminds me of being a bit retro with a modern twist with the black sash in front. I agree, a fuller skirt would be nice. I am very partial to full skirts anyway. I would love to sew this dress. Perhaps a white linen or pale pink

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  13. I think it’s the perfect weight of fabric for the dress – it looks lovely and crisp so it’s not going to look limp after a long hot day, and probably resist wrinkling too. It looks very sleek – I’ve been planning something similar, only with short sleeves. I can’t wear batwing/kimono sleeves, they leave too much bulk under the arm, which only makes my bust look even bigger😦. The only change I’d make is a ~3/4″ band around the waist, and gently gather the back bodice and back skirt to the band. Gives a bit more structure to the back, and goes well with the waist tie.Lovely dress!

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  14. I love it! Personally I’m a 40s fan so the more narrow skirt is calling to me. Hm, I have this pattern in the stash, what’s the chance I have any fabric that would work with it?

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  15. Heyy it looks so nice. And that dressform looks similar to mine. Is it Adjustoform, Supa-Fit, Dressmaking Model? And nice fabric you used.🙂

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  16. This looks fantastic. Adding a waist seam to the back is a great idea and due to the sash, you don’t have to worry about matching the pattern.

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  17. Ooh, I love! Joni’s version is also great. And I would never otherwise have looked at that pattern envelope for one second, as I find the dresses in the photos really ugly.

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  18. Well done! I love it. Actually, I think I prefer it to the standard Duro. This design is better for a fabric with more body.

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  19. This is very pretty despite the PITA points!! Duros on me look like caftans….I’m short and it’s too much fabric for me to carry off. This might grab the style without the yardage. Thanks for showing it to us!

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  20. Erin that is cute, cute cute!!! And I think I have it in my stash; can’t wait to try it out after seeing your version. Thanks for sharing!

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  21. It’s hard not to notice that there seem to be more bias bound edges on patterns lately. Like someone is getting lazy over in the the pattern drafting dept., and they think bias is an easier application (not!!)To make make your own facings, just trace off the neckline shape from the front and back patterns. You will want these crescent shapes to include the shoulder seam angle. Cut them as narrow or as wide as you wish (refer to an existing pattern for standard widths). Pre-fuse a soft interfacing to the back of the facing fabric before you cut out the facings. Overlock the outside edges to keep them flat, and “viola” there you have it, shaped facing ready to sew in AFTER you have completed the dress front, back and sewn the shoulder seams together. (It’s easier than it reads.)

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  22. I absolutely adore this dress just my style! Reminds me of some Sky dresses I am in love with. The link is below if you want to take a look!Sky Dresses

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