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A Jumper Dress

March 7, 2012
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Jumper, like suicidal people on a bridge – no not really, but that is one of the things that comes to mind when I hear the word jumper. I hear in Europe they call dresses like this jumpers, not sure why, and what’s the difference between a jumper and a regular dress? Is it because it’s sleeveless or because it’s meant for layering?

I actually got Mr. Fiance to take pictures when we went out to eat ... with varying success.

I’ve wanted a winter dress for layering for a while because I don’t have many dresses that are appropriate for winter or layering… so I don’t end up wearing dresses as much in the winter (though I do own two pairs of boots now to make dress wearing even easier!). And this one has sweet figure hugging darts that are incredibly comfortable, but a little more difficult to sew.

Pattern: Simplicity 9236 from 1970

Pattern Description: Junior petites’ and misses’ basic dress with detachable collars and tie.

Pattern Sizing: Only size 10 is included, bust 32.5″ and it fit perfectly!

Fabric Used: A loose weave wool blend (because that’s all I can ever get my hands on at Hancocks) and black poly lining.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, I was worried it wouldn’t because shift dresses have a tendency to be looser than the envelope photos imply but this one was spot on. It was those amazing curved side darts that did it, I think I’ll be on the look out for more patterns that use those (like one of the new My Image dress patterns I just got!).

The lighting wasn't so good for pictures but at least you can see the dress mostly. There was no way I was taking my sweater off though, it is definitely not sleeveless weather.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but I mostly just looked at the drawings and did things my own way because the pattern doesn’t call for a lining.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Well, I like the side darts… if you hadn’t noticed, but I also like how simple the pattern is and I think the neckline could easily be modified for different variations (because not all my long sleeve shirts will look good underneath a v-neck).

I could have taken my own pictures later, but I'm lazy and already had these which get the point across just as good.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I added a lining, but I still used the neck and armhole facings (mostly just because I didn’t think through my order of construction enough and inserted the zipper too soon). I also lopped a good 6-7 inches off the length. Obviously I did not make the detachable collars, that concept just seems weird to me.

Would you sew it again? Yes, I might just put it right back into my queue.

Would you recommend it to others? Well, since it’s an old pattern I doubt many people will find this exact one, so I’m instead going to recommend you all try out curved side darts.

My varying shades of gray!

~Molly

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2012 11:34 am

    Hmm, I still wasn’t sure how you felt about the curved side darts… ;) I always have the same concern with shift dresses; I always cave and just make something with a waist seam in the end. I’ll have to be on the lookout for something with side darts now.

    It looks like a nice comfy cozy dress! Really cute with your pop of blue and those tights.

  2. March 7, 2012 12:36 pm

    Cute dress! I love the last picture – your fabric and tights look great! Nope this is not a jumper in the UK – it’s a dress. I haven’t heard of jumper to describe a dress before. I wonder if they are referring to what we would call a pinafore – something you can put over a blouse.

  3. Pedro permalink
    March 7, 2012 3:12 pm

    If you look really closely, you can see a bear in the background of a couple of these pictures!

  4. March 7, 2012 3:33 pm

    Nice! I was just thinking about a how to find a good shift dress pattern. I like the side darts, too. This could be a really handy pattern. But you didn’t want to make the detachable sailor collar? ;)

  5. March 7, 2012 3:35 pm

    I’ve only ever heard of them being called jumpers by Americans, don’t know about mainland Europe, but in the UK a jumper is a sweater.

    Nice dress. I have a real thing for grey at the moment – all the grey fabrics just leap off the shelves into my arms even though I know it doesn’t really suit me, especially near the face.

  6. March 8, 2012 1:17 am

    I thought jumpers were another word for a top, jersey thingy. You know, warm woolly jumper? Its called a jersey here in NZ (like the cow, yes confusing but there it is) and its short not dress-like. That being said I like your new dress and nice job finding a good fit pattern right out of the envelope… how cool is that!

  7. March 8, 2012 3:20 pm

    That’s weird, I also thought jumper was an Anerican term. I’d never heard it before I started sewing other than to mean a sweater.

    I really like the dress. So simple and versatile!

  8. March 8, 2012 3:25 pm

    ha i thought jumper was an american thing when its being used for a dress/pinafore type garment. To me a jumper is what I think you call a sweater ;-)
    Lovely dress though – cheers for the heads up on the side darts, will investigate!
    oh and thanks for the liebster – i’ve been reading blogs but not getting time to comment/post much on my own

  9. March 14, 2012 6:52 pm

    I love this! The fit does look really nice. Gray is much better than the white on the envelope. But I suppose white could be good for summer. I made the My Image dress with the big side darts (I think they’re French darts?) and was surprised at the nice fit.

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