Before I hemmed it, when I put this in, I shouted "It's perfect!" at my mirror.
A dress with a few variations. It's a pullover with a tie on the back, some neck and sleeve options.
Pattern goes to an 18, but I sized it up a couple of sizes for me.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Well, not really, but I did change the entire skirt and the darting method. Considering how much I changed, sure.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
They were fine, but like a lot of patterns, sometimes didn't make much sense.
However, I think that turning the facing under 1/4" and stitching in the ditch didn't work well. 1/4" wasn't enough. If I were to remake this, I think I'd bias bind that side off and then just stitch in the ditch. I don't like how mine looks on the inside, but my stitching in the ditch turned out so well I'm not willing to rip it out and try again.
They also tell you to sew the ties between the dots on the back, and maybe there is some reason for that, but I waited until I'd added the band to the front and sewed the ties on the front so that they lined up. I think that makes more sense.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the fact that it's a pullover but isn't a total sack.
I *love* this neckline. It's low cut but doesn't feel too low cut, and it fits very close to my chest, so there is no gaping! I don't know how that's possible, but I love it!
It's a quick sewing project and a nice way to showcase special fabric (border prints, for example). Because of the neckband, there is also room to use small amounts of fabric. Do the top half in one color and back and skirt in another, use one color for the neckband and midriff, etc.
I like the *look* of the butterfly sleeves, but in the muslin the cut-on butterfly sleeves made fabric bunch up on the side of my breasts. In the actual fashion fabric, I don't see a ton of excess fabric, BUT I did discover my front and back side seams didn't match perfectly and had to take a deeper seam, so that's probably why. (I think I know where I made a drafting error.)
I had considered redrafting the sleeve to be a raglan sleeve. I could keep the butterfly sleeve but get the excess fabric out of my pits.
The main fabric is some cotton I was given from a coworker in the fall when she was destashing.
It's labeled "Mary Ellen Hopkins for SSI" and is 41" wide. I don't usually do prints, and this one (which I took to calling "abstract Hawaiian") was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I thought it might be fun to step outside of my solid-colors-all-the-time zone. It has a very large repeat, and I was squeezing out the yardage I needed, so I didn't try to match it.
I didn't have enough fabric to make the dress, so I cut the neckline, facings, midriff, and ties out of some generic black cotton I have. I think it's quilting cotton.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I did a FBA. I might have ended up with too much fabric, because my dart looked too pointy-braish, but the bust isn't fitted, so it may have been the pattern.
I changed it to an inverted box pleat because I thought it would open gracefully over the bust, but thank goodness I tried the muslin first--it ended up looking like a part of the female antomy (!). I tried a few other things before finally settling on a gathered bodice instead of a darted one.
I widened the midriff to match my measurements.
I added 1 1/2" width at the hem to the front and back.
I made a muslin and am glad I did, because I decided I hated the gathering over my stomach. (Actually, a sewing friend suggested I ditch it, and she was right.) I made darts out of the gathers and then closed the darts and widened the skirt into more of an A-line by slashing and spreading. I was going to just add to the edges, but then I remembered that in order to get the fabric to drape/break correctly, slashing and spreading is best.
I was pretty pleased that I figured out how to slash and spread the back without adding more width across the top. It involved cutting a cross shape out of the center back and I don't know if it was right, but I am pleased enough with the results.
I also added pockets.
I liked the length of the sleeves and the skirt, so instead of doing a proper hem job, I used black cotton bias tape. I used 7/8" quilting width bias tape on the hem and 1/2" extra wide tape on the sleeves. I think it worked well. I thought it might be too much black, but I think it looks sort of like stained glass. (Also, for the first time ever, I managed to catch all five yards of the bias tape from the front--that has never happened before!)
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
When I tried it on before hemming it, I yelled at the mirror in joy. I think the original pattern would be great for slimmer figures, and I definitely like mine with the A-line skirt and no waist gathering at the skirt.
I have an idea of another fabric I'd like to try this in, so yes, I think I'll sew it again.
I think I could stand to lengthen the bodice a tiny bit more (1/4 or 1/2"), and I might need to lengthen the center front of the skirt another 1/4-1/2".
I hate the idea of fitting patterns because I'm afraid I'm going to mess up, but the more I do it (and the more I make a MUSLIN) the happier I am with my projects!