|Pattern Description: "Young Designer Jean Muir: London. Misses' One Piece Dress: Semi-fitted dress in two lengths with round neckline has slightly raised waistline, dropped shoulders and gathered skirt. Back bodice extends to form front yoke. Full length sleeves gathered into narrow buttoned cuff. With or without ribbon and rick-rack trim and ribbon belt. Purchased flower trim." |
Pattern Sizing: Came in individual sizes (one per envelope) 6, 8, 10, 12, 14. These nearly correspond to modern Big4 pattern standards, except that the corresponding waist measurements are 1" smaller (which puts the date around 1970-1973, IIRC, since it doesn't have a hot pink "New Sizing" logo).
Mine was size 10 (B32.5, W24, H34.5") which should be two sizes too small for me, but I used a rather stretchy knit that made it pretty much ideal. I found the "bust" was 39" around — you can see on the model photo that some of this is acting as a sort of underarm gusset, so I don't think it's really a crazy amount of ease for this size — and the waist was about 27".
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? To the extent that I didn't change it, yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't really look at them. The construction is pretty straightforward, and a lot of the information you need (hem depth, placement lines, lots of matchpoints) is printed on the pattern pieces. The instruction sheet looked pretty detailed, though.
What did you particularly like... I was looking for a pattern that would work with my fabric: ideally something with a waist seam, a not-too-fitted straightish skirt, and an overall simple cut that wouldn't break up the print much. This fit the bill.
or dislike about the pattern? Nothing. It has some features more suited for wovens (zipper, buttoned cuffs, and facing) but that's because it's meant for wovens.
Fabric Used: Thin jersey with a border print along both selvedges. This was problematic because the fabric has more stretch crosswise. That's why I wanted the waist seam. The border print really wants to be cut on the crossgrain (poppies grow UP) so I wanted to use that grain on the lower edge of the dress, but I preferred to have the bodice on the normal, lengthwise grain to help support the weight of the fabric without stretching... besides, without a waistline seam it'd have to be a pretty short dress, unless I wanted some upside-down flowers and butterflies on top. The skirt also had to be looser than the bodice because of the relative lack of lengthwise stretch. This pattern worked out well for those requirements.
I really like the print, but I wish it had been printed on nicer fabric. This is very thin, almost transparent, and I suspect it will stretch out over time. That (well, not the stretching out part) can be just what you want IMO for a draped or multilayer design that could otherwise end up bulky, but I don't think a print like this should be hidden by too much gathering and draping. Oh well... at least it will dry quickly in spring and fall (I don't have a dryer here).
Pattern Alterations... I made only a couple of fit alterations:
or any design changes you made:
- Sewed the sleeve underarm seams at 3/8" instead of 5/8" because I cut the sleeves on the crossgrain, meaning there was less stretch. I thought I would need this for my thick arms, though in hindsight maybe it wasn't necessary.
- Cut the skirt on the view B hemline (not the cutting line) so it would be shorter; skirt patterns are just about always too long for me. This pattern also had a 3" intended hem allowance, which would've looked excessive on this sort of knit in the first place. I ended up turning about 1" under.
Would you sew it again? Eventually I would like to try it more as the designer intended, in a solid fabric, maybe with the rickrack.
- Cut the sleeves and skirt on the crossgrain.
- Added about 1.5" at the lower edge of the sleeve, so that I could finish it with elastic instead of a separate cuff.
- Used a self-fabric band at the neck instead of facings (which may be a bit too long and wide because it's sticking up a little, so I may still fold half of it under and fell down).
- Got rid of the CB seam and zipper, since they weren't needed with this stretchy knit.
- Serged most seams.
Would you recommend it to others? The overall design would probably work particularly well on a pear figure — maybe not one with super-narrow shoulders — but the somewhat dropped shoulders and the corresponding underarm/bust ease seem to make me look much top-heavier than I am. The slightly raised waist and moderate gathers would make it easier to fit larger hips unobtrusively as well.
I don't know how likely it is that anyone will come across this pattern and see this review, but yes, it's a decent pattern and I'd recommend it. Otherwise, there are probably other similarly-structured patterns out there that are much easier to find these days.
Conclusion: Nice straightforward pattern that happens to work well with border prints, even though it doesn't call for them.