Core Competency

Simplicity 4651

I know I've posted about this one before, but this time I actually bought the pattern. (Don't worry — Beth sent me a link to another one, available in B32, if you want one).

I'm still turning over in my head what I want to sew for the fall and winter. I'm thinking I might do some more pocket skirts, but I also wanted a simple dress pattern that 1) had pockets and 2) could be worn under a cardigan sweater easily (meaning — no fancy neck details).

This seems to answer my RFP nicely, doesn't it? I am thinking about these as (for lack of a better term) competency dresses. Dresses you could carry a stack of heavy books in, go up and down a ladder in, duck under a desk to re-route cables in, keep a pocketful of pencils in, etc., but which still look neat and tidy. The skirt's not too narrow or too full, the neck's neither too high (strangle-y) nor too low (cleavage-y) and the simple lines mean that you could go a bit wild with your fabric choices.

Plus, it looks as if the pattern calls for piping — both versions here have it.

I think I'd like a black lightweight denim one (with the skirt slightly shorter, maybe just below the knee) with the pockets trimmed with metal zipper; a gray poplin one trimmed with red; a dark teal with yellow piping … the list goes on.

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0 thoughts on “Core Competency

  1. Darn menopause! I’d get too cold with that neckline in the winter, and the hot flashes mean no sweaters. I love the lines of that one, though.

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  2. This is the kind of dress I used to think of as a work dress, house dress or a teacher dress. You could put it on and go and do about anything you wanted in it. It’s a wardrobe staple! Nice choice.

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  3. A real bolero great pockets! What more could one ask for. Great pattern. What is the Grey Lady holding in her left hand? Is that the grey bolero?Teresa

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  4. And don’t forget to stitch in the wasp waist that obviously comes with this one. Wait! Sign me up for this pattern, too! I want my waspish waistline back….It is a great dress!

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  5. Ha, I want the wasp waist, too!This is a great pattern, I agree on the neckline. I think I’d cap the sleeves a bit, though. The trim made me think of this immediately: that wouldn’t go well under your sweater.Have you ever made a pocket protector for your skirt pocket? I was thinking how geek chic that would be. It could be bound with matching fabric.Speaking of being on ladders: I just finished installing new framing, sheeting and windows in my house. My husband commented early on that I was going to be the talk of the town, being out on the scaffolding in a skirt. I laughed and told my brother and him that I didn’t understand why they didn’t all wear kilts. My brother actually said that might be a good idea…

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  6. Red Jacket Lady looks like she is about to say something very catty indeed to Grey Dress Lady. Something like, “You wouldn’t have to hide your hands in your pockets when Mr Right sees you if you’d remembered your gloves, missy!”

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  7. Well you know I am going to say that I love that little bolero. But I also think this could:Be worn as a jumperBe made into one of those dresses that looks like a top and a skirt (make the bodice in one color and the skirt in another)This pattern’s list of things to love just keeps on growing.

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  8. Now, San Antonio, what is so dreadful about “housewifey?” I look that that all the time, but maybe it is okay since I AM a housewife. 😉 Anyway, very cute and practical. And you could make half-a-dozen of them in a week if you wanted… there is a lot to be said for a simple pattern in that department. I’m looking for a pattern that opens in the front (for nursing convenience) and is otherwise similar in style.

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  9. I second Lorrwill’s suggestion to wear this as a jumper. Boat necklines just do not work with my build. They always always always gape. =(Can’t wait to see what you come up with, Erin! I’m sure they’ll be gorgeously sassy.

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  10. I can’t imagine coping with sleeves that short, but I suppose you are used to it. I like EVERYTHING else about the dress for exactly the reasons you describe. Well not that I’d be that active in a day, but the simple lines and the pockets, opportunities for embellishment with piping and so on and so forth and please do, in all those colours and then some! (which sentence I’m sure breaks multiple grammar rules, but I hope you follow anyway.)Cheers,AJ

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  11. I LOVE thinking about things to make for fall and winter…I am currently on the hunt for the perfect scoopneck A-line dress pattern, to be made out of every color of wool gab I can get my hands on.

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  12. goldilocks I have several nursing patterns in stock at antiquedollhouseofpatterns… some are specifically for nursing mix and match..elizabeth lee has a large variety and #207 has a dress and other pieces… . and surely there would be some on the internet that would be retro and cool like this dress and bolero..I like the way the neck seems to lay flat… Penny

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  13. Red Jacket Lady has her second glove in her gloved hand and a delicate handkerchief in the other hand. She had to take off the other glove to use her handkerchief, gently patting her perfectly powdered cheek.

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  14. A wonderful, basic dress indeed. @Lydia, If the neckline gapes when you make the muslin fold out a dart to take up the slack. Try taking slack out vertically at the center front, by lifting the shoulder seam, or pinching it up horizontally above the breasts then swiveling that to a shoulder dart.I’ve gotten to be an expert at the gaping neckline adjustment because my FBA always leaves a saggy mess of extra fabric there.

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  15. This dress is so perfect that for a moment, I truly thought B32 was my size. (It’s not). I have no idea why. Perhaps it was just wanting those pockets and little cap-like sleeves and something simple for work that made me delusional. sigh.

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  16. I just returned home from an 8-day trip. I wore a summer cotton dress every day. And every single day at least one, sometimes more, random stranger stopped me to compliment me on my dress. Maybe the time is ripe for “Keep America Beautiful”.

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  17. What is the Grey Lady holding in her left hand? Is that the grey bolero? Yes, Teresa, that IS a bolero in Grey Lady’s hand 🙂 I clicked on the link, and the pattern is for both the dress and the jacket.

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