|Pattern Description: |
Lined, fitted, slightly flared dress has front and back drapes, pleated lower front, hem variations and side zipper closure.
A(6-8-10), D(12-14-16), FW(18-20-22)
I started with a 16, which is my bottom size and close to my full bust. The skirt needed no alterations at all, but the bodice required two muslins. I am well outside the standard pattern shapes though, so I expected this.
As it is a fitted dress that relies on the upper bodice to hold the whole thing up, I'd highly recommend a muslin for this area to improve fit accuracy. From the size 16, I increased the bust slightly, reduced the width at the front waist slightly, narrowed the back substantially and added about 1" of extra coverage at the top front and back.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Similar, but I think mine was better
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Generally, yes. They were quite detailed - which is utterly necessary for a formalwear novice like me. There are about 50 pieces of fabric, so accuracy is important!
The pattern even gave hints of when to baste prior to sewing, which would be useful if you weren't sure. I found that the vast majority of the dress was hand-basted, and a great deal was hand-sewn (especially the bodice). You will need to factor this into your sewing time if you want a couture finish.
One major (critical, really) omission from the instructions was to do with the ruching. The pattern never mentions that you need to actually tack it in place, or risk a very droopy front. I pinned each fold where it looked best to me, and then used tiny stitches in the folds through to the underlining. I caught crystals in some of these stitches to add some interest. If you used a very stiff or very stretchy material then the ruching may possibly hold it's shape without stitching.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked that I could use a floaty material and that it had an unstructured skirt and unboned bodice. As it was for a tropical wedding, it had to be light and small enough to carry on the plane, and airy enough that I wouldn't die of heatstroke!
I disliked that the instructions missed some vital information, and also that the back was lower than I thought it would be. The straps are also very very wide-set, and I found it difficult to keep them on my shoulders. To change this would mean redrafting the curve of the strap piece, the armholes, and the top of the bodice - this is beyond my skill level.
Silk georgette, lined and underlined with 16mm crepe de chine. If I made it again I'd give the skirt a second layer of lining, as this is borderline see-through.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Alterations are described above. I liked the general design, although I think the pattern illustrations and photograph are desperately frumpy.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
This is a one-off pattern for me, but if there is somebody else who likes the style I'd recommend it!
Leave plenty of time for muslins and hand-sewing. The ruched bodice is very flattering and the floaty skirt is a delight to wear.
More information is at my blog here, here, and here.