|I used the pattern as it is published in a sewing mag. In Gemany the mag is called "Meine Nähmode", but it is available in other European countries also, under different names. I appears four times a year and offers a bunch of Simplicity patterns for €5 only.|
Disadvantage: You have to trace the pattern and each comes in only three sizes.
So my sewing experience is based on the traceable pattern in the mag, those parts are only relevant for other European sewers who use it from the mag also. (It's issue 3/2012, Modell 3.)
Misses knit dress and cowl collar. I choose view A.
In the magazine the pattern comes in double sizes: 38/40, 42/44, 46/48. (Should correspond to 12-22.) I choose 46/48.
There is no measurement table for the double sizes, but after the experience of some people in a German sewing forum I assumed that it would simply be the larger size and made my alterations according to that.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Mostly. Mine is a little longer (which I intended) and the cowl is longer also. Which was not planned but doesn't look bad.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The transformation into a traceable pattern was not done very well. A lot of notches and marks were missing (or not visible, because the tracing sheet wasn't done well either) others were there, but did not correspond to anything. For example there are notches on the neckline to indicate the position of the neckband. Only the neckband is not a pattern piece you trace, but they give only the measurements for a rectangle. Which is not a problem, but of course it has no notches to correspond the notches on the neckline...
Otherwise the instructions were fine, only you can either fold the pleats of the cowl as indicated on the pattern OR as written in the text.
I mostly followed the instructions.
What I changed was hemming the sleeves and the dress by hand, so it is invisible.
And I used not elastic or zigzag stitches, instead I used Alterfil Elastic, a stretchable sewing therad, and straight stitch for the lengthwise seams and the sleeve seams. And normal straight stitch with normal thread for seams that were not supposed to stretch: shoulders, darts and neckline.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
It was love at first sight, the dramatic cowl got me at once. Also it looked quick to make (like in some days before Christmas...), I was having a glorious fabric in my stash and I was missing a simple but elegant black dress that would travel well in a suitcase.
What is not perfect for me is the "shapeless" form without darts, but I knew that beforehand and the cowl mostly covers that.
A black merino interlook from Italy. Which was insanely expensive (30€/m), but which I got extremely cheap when a shop had to close down.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I've lengthend the dress by 4cm, took out 1,5cm length above waistline (standard alteration for me). Then I added one cup size at bust level by doing a FBA and adding a dart. Though I made a short dart that ends far from the bust point. My compromise between better fit and not destroing the pullover design.
According to the measurement table I added 8cm at hip level.
I would say I could have done with less, the dress falls very generous. On the other hand on a soft fabric a little too wide looks bettern than to tight. At least on my body.
The shoulders were a little to wide, even when I held them in by 1cm. And I had to shorten the sleeves by 7cm before hemming them. That is unusual for me.
What did not work at all was the neckband. It was as wide as the neckline, so no stretching of the band as indicated in the instructions. (Since nobody seemed to have similar problems I suppose that happend somewhere in the translation process.) I took if off again, shortened it by 6cm and then did also sew a soft elastic on the band, close to the foldline, the stitches only visible from the inside. And stretching the elastic while sewing. Not it fits fine.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I don't know if I will need another dress like that soon (I am not so fond of using the same pattern over again), but it will remain in my collection.
And I can recommend it, because it is really quick and easy to do.
Only if you use the version from the magazine be prepared for some problems...
I like the dress. I wore it for Christmas, it is spectacular and comfortable. And the removable cowl can remain outside the kitchen when I have to take care of the food and is switched on again quickly on my way back to the living room.
So the perfect dress for the hostess.
Will wear it again for New Years Eve.