Pattern Description: Empire waist knit dress with an optional contrast panel in the front and kimono sleeves.
Pattern Sizing: CM with length added to the bodice.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. The first time I made this pattern I confused myself thinking there was one set of directions for finishing the neck and found myself trying to combine the instructions, abandoning them and doing my own thing. With this second version I realized it clearly stated that there were instructions for either ribbing or binding at the neck!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This pattern can be made in a day. Some say an hour or two... (but not me yet!)
Fabric Used: Very inexpensive Cotton Poly from Joann's discount section with an additional red-tag sale! I thought it might be result in a flimsy look. It was not too thin but it is very stretchy fabric... luckily it still turned out nicely.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I added 2 3/4' to the length of the bodice and tapered slightly to the waist. I left the additional length that gave me in the skirt just for my own preference. Now this dress is suitable for both front and side photos! I would not have posted a side photo on the first version. Second version side photo (Full side looks fine too but I don't have a photo)
For the sleeve and hem I serged the edges, pressed them under and topstitched with a stretch stitch on my machine. (The one that sews a few foward stitches followed by one or two backward etc... the actual stitch looks like a slightly jagged straight stitch but the icon on the machine looked different so check your manual if you are not sure). With this I avoided any waves that you can get when the machine stretches the knit as you sew.
I did NOT pleat the waist as others did because I like the gathers as they are. I was very careful though to gather them evenly, press along the way, sew the seam carefully and serge (and press) the seam allowance close to the stitching to get a very even and flat section where the gathers are. The result is a very similar look to pleats. The waist is shown slightly better here
For the neck binding, I used a double needle size 4.0/80. I didn't have a stretch double needle so I tested the universal on a scrap and it seemed OK for this fabric but I'd have used a stretch to be sure if I"d had one. I also used my embroidery foot (Bernina #20) and I moved the needle over to the right two spots aligning the ditch with the inside of the left extended part of the foot. It came out looking very nice, showing both rows of stitching and I will use this method again and again! (Use pins!) ...but doesn't show in the dark fabric enough for a useful photo.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? yes and yes. On the Sew Along for this dress I went through a few processes making it more complicated testing out some fitting and techniques but sometimes it's good to try these things in a simple pattern like this one to learn how to do them.
Conclusion: This is a very nice simple dress that can be dressed up with good fabric and nice shoes/ accessories or made and warn casually. It is also very comfortable to wear. If you make one and are not pleased with it try some minor fit changes. From the Sew Along for this pattern many who posted liked their 2nd and 3rd versions very much! Confession...I've gotten out of the habit of wearing dresses casually, I'm dependent on pockets for my camera's lens cap and I like to drive in sneakers. I'm going to have to convince myself to wear the dress out and about with some changes to my ways! But I like it so hopefully I will. Maybe I'll start by adding a tiny little pocket for a lens cap?! After thought... I use a handmade bag to carry my alternate lens when I take pictures. I'll put the lens cap pocket right on there. Now about the sneakers....