|This pattern is a gift from my friend's grandmother's estate, that she must have bought on one of her travels. (It's been in my stash for about 5-6 years.) It is marked "Hawaii - Printed in U.S.A." I guess from the style that it may be late 60's/early 70's vintage. It cost $1.00; that was probably expensive then! It had never been used before I made it this week.|
Pattern Description: In my own words: semi-fitted, a-line, maxi- or mini-dress with ballet neckline, elbow length bell sleeves, center back zipper, and ribbon trim.
Pattern Sizing: Size 10. I was a size 10 around the original time of printing, but no longer (boohoo). See alterations below.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes, as much as one can expect a real dress to look like a drawing. Back view.
Were the instructions easy to follow? sure, it's an easy dress to sew.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the graceful shape and drape in the illustration. Now that I have made it, I find the armseye and sleeve head to be superior: the front and back have noticeably different shapes, and the distribution of ease around the upper 2/3 of the sleeve makes it completely non-binding. I can wear it not just to cover up my exercise clothes so I am decent, but also to do exercise as you can see in the action shots my DD took. Arabesque, triangle pose, and qigong stretch.
Fabric Used: it's not lace, but it looks and sews like lace. It is crinkled silk chiffon that is heavily embroidered, with borders on both sides that look like ladders. I used a presser foot with a flat bottom, that prevented snagging on the feed dogs and produced straight stitching lines.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Alterations: grading for fit, but not too difficult with only three main pattern pieces.
* moved the center front line across by 1" for a total of 2" added. This moved the darts to the perfect place.
* From waist upward, added 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) to the side seams and center back seam.
* from waist down, swung the hem out to make a more a-line shape because I needed more room in the hips.
* added 1/2 inch to each side seam of the sleeve.
* sewed all seams on 5/16" seam line, except center back and sleeve attachment that were sewn as usual, 5/8 inch.
* All seams & darts were sewn with a second line of stitching 1/8 inch inside the first and seam allowances trimmed to 1/4 inch.
* I did not do fba and you can see (from some angles) that the front ribbon sits higher on my waist than the back. For next time, I will move the back ribbon 1/2 inch up toward the neck.
* left off the back zipper, I can wiggle into it. A zipper in this delicate fabric would interrupt the flow.
* created 'ribbon' from cotton/silk batiste on the outside and silk organza on the inside.
* left off the back bow, but kept the straight part of the ribbon.
* sewed wide elastic href="https://picasaweb.google.com/102182730999238699261/201306PolynesianPatterns194MalamaTunicEmbroideredSilkCrepe?authkey=Gv1sRgCMK9z5f04PNj#5893745326303920370" target="_blank">across back waist between the darts to make it a little more fitted. The back 'ribbon' snaps into place on the left side back.
* opened up the neckline at shoulder and lowered the center front. This nearly sheer tunic will always be worn with something underneath and I think it looks better with the underneath dress showing a little bit.
* eliminated the neckline facings. Instead, sewed a strip from the embroidered ladder border to finish the neck.
* opened up the side seams below the high hip to make more of a tunic. Added a small rectangle of 'ribbon' to reinforce the end of the seam, and another just above, for decoration. Below the reinforcement, the embroidered ladder was attached to finish the side edges.
* The dress was cut on the cross grain with the hem line on the embroidered border. This results in the hem being not perfectly parallel to the floor.
* The sleeve was cut on the cross grain with the border of the embroidery on the lower seam (hem) line. This resulted in a slightly off-grain sleeve cap because that line is not straight. I eliminated the ribbon edged on the sleeve.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I think I will sew it again - or adapt it somehow - it's a good basic shape. If you find this pattern, do not hesitate to buy it. The style is flattering for many body types and the drafting is top-notch.
Conclusion: Really glad that I finally sewed up this pattern! This can be worn as a beach/pool cover up or over my yoga clothes, or over a slip dress to go out.
I am really happy that all the outside edges of the tunic show the embroidered ladder. I had only about 8 inches of border left over - just squeaked through!
I received many compliments on the first wearing. I couldn't be happier with my new tunic