The Squiggly Dress (AKA Simplicity 3744)

So, I came back home tonight from a delicious moment with Karen and Trena, and I realized I just wasn’t up to working right after this. I just couldn’t shut down in my mind the lovely conversation that we’d just had, and wanted to complete the moment with a little bit of sewing. Besides, I just thought, you know, that I might be much more efficient tomorrow in a cute new dress 😉

So, here is my little Squiggly Dress – Simplicity 3744, from a navy cotton embroidered with white squiggles.

Sewed in half a Sunday afternoon, hemmed tonight:

Ultra-quick review:
The dress went together like a charm, especially as this nifty little pattern is designed for B, C, and D cups. This means that instead of fiddling with the pattern pieces, cutting a 6 in the back, a 10 in the front and tapering the 10 to a 6 at the waist, I was able to cut a 6 all around with a C cup, and it fit straight on. It could do with a little tapering at the waist, but I also think it’s cute as it is.

I used – gasp – a tapestry needle and white perlé to “embroider” the neckline, princess seams, and hem, with a running stitch.
I lowered the neckline from a couple of centimeters, to make the dress less strict. I like the look of a widish neckline on a shift dress.
I ditched the pockets, alas, because the pouch on the stomach seemed… an unnecessary extra, shall we say? The ironic thing is, I chose this pattern because of its pockets; but I hadn’t realized these were on the stomach, not at the side. I mean, hello? Who would want a bulging shift dress? The beauty of a shift dress, to me, is in its fluid lines.

As I was making progress yesterday, I really wasn’t sure I liked the dress, until I did the running stitches and decided that it was cute after all. What do you all think? Honestly?

One big, nagging question though: is it too short? I would really appreciate your advice here.
You see, friends, I’m not used to wearing such short dresses, and have therefore a hard time deciding if it remains classy and acceptable as it is. Why did I make it shorter than usual? Well, I won’t be able to wear heels before months (my left foot needs operating on, which is nothing serious or urgent, but requires me to wear comfortable shoes all the time, or it becomes painful). I decided to make the dress slightly shorter than usual to help elongate the figure a little since I am so short, and because I thought the dress might be a little too severe if it were longer AND I wore it with flats.
What do you guys think? The hem is 6 cm deep (more than 2 inches) right now, so it can easily be altered.
I have almost decided to let the hem down a bit, because I might not feel comfortable otherwise (especially as I’m thinking of wearing it to my conference on Friday), but I would be grateful to hear your views ladies 🙂

(sorry the pictures are taken with the flash on – they also needed a bit of lightening up -, but it’s 10 pm and I knew that it could take me weeks to blog about this if it wasn’t done in the spur of the moment. 😉 )

36 thoughts on “The Squiggly Dress (AKA Simplicity 3744)

  1. Cathy says:

    This dress is adorable! I think the length is perfect for this style dress, particularly since you’ll mostly be wearing it with flats. It also cracks me up that you’re calling it the “squiggly” dress. All I could think about is the “There was a crooked man” nursery rhyme.


  2. karenv says:

    It’s a lovely dress, but I have to admit, my first though was “it’s a little short”. That’s probably just personal preference though – I rarely wear anything above the knee, even though I’m a similar height to you. It’s really how comfortable *you* feel that’s the most important thing 🙂


  3. Kathryn says:

    Unless every other woman in Paris is wearing longer dresses, keep it the way it is. I thought, when I first saw it, “Mmmm, a little short?” But I have seen women in Paris wearing things even shorter…in the dead of winter. You have good legs. No reason not to show them off.I am glad that you got to relax with friends AND sew. You needed some time not thinking about projects.


  4. Barbara says:

    I say keep it this length. I’m short and wore short skirts before I became mom to the masses here, and I loved it. It made me feel and look taller. I’d still wear short skirts if I could!


  5. Summerset says:

    Very cute dress! I think the length depends on where you’re going to wear it. If you’re going out shopping or out to lunch or out with Seb that’s one thing. Going to a professional conference is another. Personally, I think I’d let down the hem to just above the knee – mabye 2cm or so? I do however, sympathize with a short leg length!


  6. Nancy (nanflan) says:

    Well, to my eye, it’s a little short. However, I’m 49 years old and that may be coloring my judgement some. I think if you feel comfortable wearing it at the current length, go for it. On the other hand, lengthen it 1/2″ to 3/4″ if you feel uncomfortable the first time you wear it. It’s a darling dress! I think the running stitches on the seams are a nice touch. Doesn’t it feel nice to do some sewing?


  7. Kaitlin says:

    I think the length is perfect. I did notice it was a little shorter than you usually go, but I really like it! You have nice legs and you should definitely show them off once in a while. Of course, appropriate hem lengths are such a cultural thing, it really depends – but it is only a tad above the knee, not even close to too short in my opinion.


  8. patsijean says:

    I agree with Summerset regarding the length. The dress is cute as is, but I think prettier if a bit longer. You already know how you feel about it–you are uncomfortable with the short length so you should lengthen it. The “short-short to the ridiculous stage” so-called-dress length will be over soon, I hope, and I think you are not one to embrace that too short length. You did leave a long hem allowance just in case. Trust your judgement on this one.


  9. coonieandplume says:

    That’s a beautiful dress even though I think it’s a little short. But I don’t think I’m very objective as I rarely wear short skirts or dresses so I guess it’s just personal preference. If you feel comfortable don’t change anything!Sounds like you managed to spend some time to relax with friends, I’m so happy!Have a nice week, my dear friend.(((hugs)))


  10. LauraLo says:

    Not too short, not too short! But then I sometimes get the feeling that in my country some things are a lot more acceptable than in other countries. I wear skirts of that length in the office (with black tights) and it’s perfectly ok and normal. If you feel uncomfortable, do lengthen it, but I love it (very very cute dress) and you have beautiful legs! Gros bisous, ma belle!


  11. Jennifer/OH says:

    Hmm, if it were me I would lenghthen it by just about an inch. But of course you have a lovely figure and you are much younger then me and can wear this style. It would notlook good on my legs! I love this fabric. Dolly is still waiting for her new dress though, as I have suddenly gotten the urge to cross-stitch Christmas ornaments, of all things!


  12. Karoline says:

    The dress is lovely Isabelle, I don’t think it’s too short but as everyone else has said it’s down to what length you feel comfortable in. For your conference if you wear it with opaque tights it should be fine.


  13. Tany says:

    Isabelle, it’s WONDERFUL!!! I understand and like all the alterations you’ve made nd the dress looks PERFECT as is! Not too short at all on your lovely and slim figure! It reminds me of the 60s, which is an era that I’m most fond with, fashion wise! Fabulous work and I feel really happy that you were able to sew! MANY hugs from a warm yet rainy Portugal!


  14. rosecy says:

    That dress is so squiggly adorable! You look great in the dress, but you sound a bit uncomfortable with the length. Are you sure you want to keep it short? It would be too short for me, but I’m a lot older than you. Also, I drive a low sports car and don’t like the guys driving 4 wheelers who look down at my legs. Yep, dresses do ride up and the view is good at stop lights. Good luck on your writing. You bring back fond(?)memories. I’m glad I did it, glad it’s done. I prefer to sew!!


  15. Anonymous says:

    I think it looks adorable on you. If you really want to wear it to a professional conference, though, maybe consider wearing it with black tights and flats. Is it warm enough for a sleeveless dress right now? Maybe it would look cute with a white blouse underneath. Lin


  16. nowaks nähkästchen says:

    It is extremely cute, especially on you!I wouldn’t have given one thought to the length, if you hadn’t mentionned it, because it looks just great an you. (You have the legs for it…)Only… for a professional occasion I would ideed make it like 2cm longer. But that’s for my environment, I don’t know yours. And… most important thing is, you feel comfortable in it. If 2cm (or 1,5 cm, sometimes milimetres make the difference) are more comfortable to you, then do what your feelings tell you.


  17. Anonymous says:

    Bonjour Isabelle, ta robe est parfaite pour ta conférence, longeur très acceptable et c’est classe je trouve. Si jamais il faisait moins bon vendredi, tu peux toujours ajouter une veste légère pour faire encore plus formel. Enfin, à toi de décider. Tu est toute mignonne. Bisous, Ann.


  18. Anonymous says:

    By reading other comments and relooking at your picture, I guess that most women here would wear it a little bit longer, like just above the knee for formal occasions. But you are absolutely right, if you will wear something else on your conference, no need to change a thing (unless you feel uncomfortable when sitting). Take care, Ann.


  19. Jenna says:

    Oh, I’m so glad that you gave yourself some time to sew! It’s what relaxes and refreshes you, so it’s important to take some time out for it every once in a while. I think the dress turned out beautifully and I really like the length that it’s at now. I’m glad that you are going to try it and see what you think before lengthening the hem. I think it’s cute!


  20. stitcherw says:

    Love your squiggly dress. I know I’m late in commenting, but I think the length is perfect as it is. It looks great with the flats, and even when your foot is better, being able to have a fun dress that looks well with flats I think will give you many more options and opportunities to wear it. Happy Belated Birthday,Sue


  21. Bonnie D. says:

    I just found your blog so I’m a week or two late with my comment but I wanted to say that I think the length looks fabulous on you! It’s feminine and a little sexy but not inappropriately so, if that makes sense. You look lovely in this dress!


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