|Pattern Description: A 50s reprint pattern with button front, pleated skirt, and scooped neckline.|
Pattern Sizing: (4-6-8-10) and (12-14-16-18). I found that there was a lot of excess ease in this pattern, and ended up using a smaller size than I had expected. I recommend reading finished measurements on the pattern pieces before choosing a size.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, I thought so. Granted, I ignored some of the finishes and details from the pattern (I left off the bound button holes and used machine ones, for example). I used my serger to finish off the seam allowances and lots of other things that wouldn't have been historically accurate. My sister wanted a pretty dress, so I was going for fast and wearable, not for historical accuracy in my finishes and techniques. I will point out that the pattern pieces #5 and #6 are labeled correctly (as being back facing and front facing) on the tissue sheets, but in the printed instructions the picture images are correct but the front/back labels are mixed up. I spent a longer time than I should have staring at everything and second guessing myself. But I also recommend double checking everything before you stitch things in place.
Did it look like the photo/drawing when you were done with it? Actually, it did look quite like the cover photo since I used similar colored fabric! The skirt was not as poofy (you need the appropriate undergarments for that effect, but since my sister was going to wear it under her graduation robes we didn't want the skirt too poofy anyway), but overall it did look very much like the drawing.
What did you particularly like/dislike about the pattern? I very much like the style (it looks great on my sister), and the button down front is a nice detail, and makes it easy to get dressed, but the style of the top of the dress keeps it from being too casual. Aside from the mistakes in the pattern sheet, overall it is a nice pattern. No dislikes.
Fabric used: Rayon challis. My version of this dress is much more drapey than I think the pattern recommends, but it did give the skirt a nice soft shape.
Pattern alterations or design changes you made: Not much other than the finishing techniques. I went with the fast modern machine finishes instead of the vintage techniques in the instructions. Otherwise the pattern is made as drafted.
Would you sew this again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and yes! Since my first version had a few problems (mainly due to the fact that I waited until the last possible morning to sew this so there is a lot of last-minute fitting with hand stitches and other sloppy looking things on the inside), my sister has extorted a promise to make her another one. I think next time she wants one in a stiffer fabric like taffeta or a cotton sateen print (in her words she wants to feel like she is "wearing a freaking couch") because the main bodice was a bit loose and un-fitted on her. A stiffer fabric would give it more of the vintage look as well, which I think will be fun for the next version.
Conclusion: Love this pattern! Even though it wasn't for me I really liked this dress. I am a bit embarrassed by the last-minute slapdash construction, but at least the pattern is tested and ready for another version. The style is great for my sister, so hopefully there will be another special occasion coming up so I have an excuse to make her a new, better constructed version.
To read more about my sewing adventure and to see more pictures check out my blog.