|Pattern Description: |
A structured, feminine dress with a fitted bodice and a box-pleated, tulip-shaped skirt. There are three available sleeve variations - I chose to go sleeveless.
US sizes 2 - 16, or UK sizes 6 - 20. In US sizing, I cut a 2 at the bust and a 4 everywhere else.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
The bodice looks similar, but with some impromptu modifications the rest of the dress looks pretty different!
The outer fabric is curtain I found in a secondhand store in a red-and-gold snakeskin print. Strange concept for a curtain, but a gorgeous fabric that worked brilliantly with the structured design of this dress. I paired this with a silky white lining.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Indeedy. By Hand London rates this pattern as intermediate, but as a beginning sewer, I had no trouble putting the dress together, and I rarely needed to check the instructions.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
After putting together the bodice, I tried it on and was horrified to find that it was too small. I had cut my fabric according to the measurements listed on the pattern, so I'm not sure how this happened - perhaps there was some fabric shrinkage during pressing? Well, I now know to not proceed with dressmaking till I've put my fabrics through the wash first. Anyway, I manage to save the bodice by unpicking the side seams and then resewing them with a smaller seam allowance. I also didn't do my usual hidden zipper, instead going for a more obvious exposed zipper.
When it came to trying on the skirt, it came down to way below my knees. I'm 5'5", so I'm not sure how it turned out sooo much longer than depicted on the packet. While tucking it under to determine how much to chop off for my hem, I discovered that the fabric actually worked really well in a bubble shape, so I rolled with it and incorporated a bubble skirt into the final product. The inside of this dress is a bit of a mess due to my improvisations, but hopefully it still looks nice enough on the outside!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
Really liked the princess seams and flattering pleats. The wide neckline exposes bra straps, so be aware if you're worried about that sort of thing.
I'm not really a fan of the style used for the line drawings in the instructions - it's not very flattering to the dress, and when the pattern first arrived in my mailbox, I almost thought I'd made a mistake in ordering it. Thankfully, other users' photos gave me enough hope to go ahead, and I'm pretty pleased with the result.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Definite recommend for newbies to sewing. I definitely intend to try this pattern again myself, this time doing the skirt "properly." I'd also like to try adding a pair of short sleeves.
More photos/details at my blog, Oh Comely.