I should warn you right off that I only have crappy pictures of my finished dress — my usual photographer, my sister, has been sick for several days — so I used the self timer in crappy rainy day lighting. IRL I think the dress is more flattering than these pictures seem to suggest. Really!
I just posted my review on Pattern Review, but here goes…
Pattern Description: Wrap front dress has soft pleats, side tie, and sleeve variations. Dress B has collar.
Pattern Sizing: BB (8-14) I made a size 12. I probably should have made a size 14, but I am in the process of losing weight (yeah, I know you should sew for the body you have, but I am really determined to lose this baby weight!)
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, except my ties weren’t as long.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, very easy to understand. I can’t believe I am finally able to say that. For the longest time sewing pattern instructions were written in Greek to me. Yeah!!!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Likes: close fitting bodice, adequate girl coverage, cute silhouette, great directions, pretty easy pattern, and loved the swishy skirt.
Dislikes: interfacing not necessary, facings are stupid, ties could be longer, bodice is too short, skirt length could be short for tall people and sleeves are made for twig arms.
Fabric Used: some gorgeous knit from Metro Textiles in NYC. I loved working with it. It was easy to cut, didn’t curl, and was a dream to sew.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I lengthened the bodice by 1 inch which caused me to widen the front skirt pieces a titch, and I would need at least another 3/4 inch if I made it again. I would lengthen the skirt by an inch also so that I have an adequate hem — I was forced to hem at 1 inch and it seemed a little skimpy. On the plus side, having such a short hem meant I didn’t need to gather it first to do the hem since there was not much difference in size from the bottom of the hem to the top.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I probably will not sew it again. I was hoping this would be a TNT (Tried & True Pattern, one that you use over and over again as a wardrobe staple for those of you not familiar with this acronym) for me, but I think the bodice needs at least another 3/4 inches in length for me. And while I like the swishy skirt, I think I would prefer more of an A-line skirt for my TNT. The sleeves were really snug on me and I prefer the sleeve of Simplicity 3678 to this one as you don’t need to hem it but don’t know that I trust my skill set to interchange the two. Note that if you lengthen the bodice you might want to sew down the pleats down a little higher (longer) so you don’t get saggy boob syndrome. Ask me how I know. ;) Now that I think of it, I may sew mine up a little higher before I wear it to work tomorrow (ETA: did not do this, but probably should have. I am just so over this dress now though). The interfacing of the facings is NOT necessary and only serves to make them flip out more because they are stiffer. I hate the facings and had to topstitch them 3/8ths in so that they would stay put. I don’t mind the top stitching, but I much prefer the facing/binding method of Simplicity 3678 for the neck edges. Basically they have you do a self fabric bias tape treatment. Note: the sleeves while being skinny had a huge sleeve cap and could not be eased in by stretching as you sew. You definitely need to follow the instructions to easestitch, baste and then sew them in. It gives you perfect sleeve insertion, but why do you have to go to all that trouble when you could just use a smaller sleevecap to begin with????? Annoying! Also, I would make the ties at least a good 5-6 inches longer. I tie them around my waist from the back to front and they are too short. I can’t see tying them any other way and having the wrap work. So, make them longer.
Conclusion: So while I most likely won’t be making this ever again, I see that many people on PatternReview love this pattern. For me there were too many alterations I had to make to make it work and I was still not entirely satisfied. I think a different pattern will work for me better. I am not saying that I should fit a pattern right out of the envelope, but rather that this pattern was not to my liking because the changes I would make had to do with the design and not just my body.
This was a comedy of errors project for me from day one. From cutting out the bodice with the stretch going the wrong way first, to cutting a v-shaped hole in my bodice front…
To attaching the ties to the side seams instead of the bodice fronts…
And ending with finishing the hem incorrectly because I “remembered” the directions incorrectly.
That being said, the pattern goes together well when user errors don’t occur, is well marked, is drafted well and the directions are impeccable. The only serious flaw is that the neck facings are just wrong, wrong, wrong!!!
And without further ado, the craptastic pictures. Hopefully my sister will be up for more pictures later which will show that this dress is nicer than I’ve made it out to be in this review.
Next on the dockets is a muslin of the Knip Mode skirt that Cidell made a while back. Also, I want to do a little tutorial on how to lengthen a bodice, because while it seems simple enough once you do one, to the innocent beginner it can be baffling! Ask me how I know. ;)
Happy sewing everyone!
PS: Sorry for the crappy pictures today. I feel compelled to say something again about it. I was rushed trying to upload them before I left for work, so there was no time to futz around with them.