My first post about Simplicity 1880 actually showed my third iteration of the dress. There are things I find better about the fit of the third dress, but I like the fabric of the first two versions much better.
The very first go-round was a brown and white polka dot poly charmeuse from Hancock Fabrics. I don't often work with fabric like this and thought it might be challenging. Quite the opposite was true--it was easy to cut and sew, frayed very little and has washed well. It does want to build up static when conditions are right, but overall it proves what I sometimes think about fabric--it's so difficult to know how well something will do until you try it.
On both this version and the next, I was so short on fabric that using the cap sleeve was the only option. I even had to use a solid brown lawn from my stash for the sleeve facings. There was no way to make a self-fabric belt, and anything else I've tried looks wrong. So no belt for this dress.
This version was pre-FBA, so the bodice has its snug spots.
The back drapes well in this fabric.
I love the color of version 2. This is a stretch cotton, similar to a shirting weight, from FabricMart. The cutting layout was carefully planned to eke out enough fabric (from a two-yard 54" wide cut--just!) for a self-fabric belt, with an adorable covered buckle from Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch. Although I love the small circular shape of this buckle, I realized after I had already started sticking the fabric to the buckle form that careful notching along the outside edge would have been a good idea. The instructions on the package don't mention this, and it would be tricky to do just right, but geometry being what it is, the outer edges of the buckle aren't as perfectly smooth as I would like.
The scarf is a recent $1 Goodwill find. I am in love with vintage rayon scarves from Japan--they have beautiful subtle color combinations and also some wonderful geometric designs.
Side view. For whatever reason, I did not have the "puffiness" issue in the back that other sewers mentioned. I always thought of myself as rather shortwaisted in back, so I don't really know how to account for this. Here again I had an acute shortage of fabric, so I couldn't self-line the sleeves. Instead I was able to make two strips of bias fabric (1 1/2" wide) to make a narrow bias facing. Turning that edge to the inside without a facing would not be a pretty way to finish such a curved hem.
Back view. The drape is not as nice as the brown and white fabric, and this fabric is no cakewalk to press.
The brown and white dress has been swing dancing, and maybe next week the coral dress will have its turn. I feel completely comfortable and secure in all of these dresses. There is no possibility of a strap showing, or the hem flying up too high or anything coming untucked. I love the simplicity and ease of it!