|This is my entry for the 2013 RTW knock off contest. I chose to duplicate a ponte dress that I saw at Banana Republic last winter, I think. I've had the image saved for a while and was waiting for the right fabric/pattern to come to light. I started with this pattern as my base, since the bodice was similar to the bodice on the BR dress. I added a midriff from Simplicity 3503 and the skirt from McCall's 5927.|
The back view can be seen here
Pattern Sizing: I cut a 10 in the bodice and midriff, same as the last time I made these patterns, and what amounted to a 14 in the McCall's skirt. I feel like the Simplicities run big and the McCall's runs small. I did use a smaller seam allowance on both sides to give a little more room, since my knit doesn't have much stretch.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Heh, not really! But I think it looks like my inspiration dress!
Were the instructions easy to follow? I made this up without instructions, since it was such a frankenpattern. It was a bit of a brain puzzle to figure out how to assemble the bodice without the lining, but eventually I figured it out - finish tops of bodice side pieces, sew to bands/back, sew sides of bands, then sew bands together in front and sew shoulder seams last. I constructed the whole front of the dress and the whole back and sewed the side seams up last for fitting purposes, though it probably would've made less bumpy side seams and solved some of my fitting issues if I'd sewn the bodice to the midriff to the skirt instead.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like this pattern's neckline a lot, and it perfectly mimicked my inspiration dress. Having now added a midriff to the pattern, I really like it and would use this midriff again, because frankly I think this pattern kind of needs a midriff.
Fabric Used: A lavender doubleknit from my local 99 cent bolt-end store. I've never found a doubleknit there before, so it clearly was a sign to make this dress! I only had a yard and a half, but I squeezed it all in since I omitted the bodice lining (I lined the midriff with a scrap of another pink knit I had around).
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I used the bodice front lining piece for my main front piece, since I just wanted the shape but not the gathered overlay of the original pattern. I didn't line the bodice (though I did line the neck bands). I finished the armsyces with narrow bands as a nod to the inspiration piece, though its bands are wider.
The midriff pieces came from Simplicity 3503. I could doubtless have nicked a midriff from any number of patterns, or just drafted one myself, but I grabbed this one and it worked perfectly. The notches even matched! I topstitched the midriff again as a nod to the inspiration (which might actually have piping? I can't remember nor can I tell from the picture).
The skirt from McCall's 5927 was not so perfect. I assumed that the bottom of the midriff would hit at my natural waist, where the skirt of the McCall's dress was supposed to start, but it wound up being a little higher than that. I think this threw off the curvature of the skirt, so I'm getting drag lines above the pockets and there's some weird wrinkling near the midriff at my natural waist. Not helping is the fact that my, well, ample bottom and hips are a little too big even for the size 14 that I cut in the skirt, so the sides are pulling toward the back and preventing the pleats from falling straight. It might be exacerbated by the fact that I converted the pattern's two pleats per side to just two big pleats, like the BR dress has.
For the ruffle, I cut three lengths of fabric that were 3 inches wide, a half inch wider than the neckline bands. They seemed really wide when I cut them, but after they were turned into ruffles and attached to the neckline bands (by sewing straight down the middle of the ruffle, and having the seams of the ruffle at the shoulder seams), I kind of wished they were just a little wider. I can still see the neckline peeking out behind the ruffle sometimes.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I surely don't need another ruffle dress like this, but I will likely make this pattern again this summer, since I like the neckline, and probably with this midriff and just a gathered skirt. Recommended!
Conclusion: Overall I think I achieved the look of the original dress. I wish I had deviated from it a little and used a fuller skirt, since I'm more comfortable in gathered or A-line skirts than fitted skirts, but I wanted the challenge of duplicating it as closely as possible.
Blogged at no time to sew