|Pattern Description: |
They say: "Sugar Plum is a gorgeous dress perfect for wearing alone or pairing with a blazer. Soft flounces cascade down the bodice and delicate buttons close the front where a hidden placket is included for modesty. The skirt and waistband are made from a stable knit for comfortable wear all day long. The unique styling makes this a perfect outfit to grab and wear without thinking about matching separates. With contrasting fabrics, your Sugar Plum can resemble a complete blouse and skirt outfit. Sugar Plum has a very fitted silhouette and the bottom of the waistband should hit at the waist. The hem is designed to rest one inch above the knee."
I made View B, without the centre front flounces.
2-24. I usually wear a Burda size 42, and size 12 here fit me just about perfectly.
I quite like that they've done two totally separate drafts for the smaller sizes (in which I fall), and the larger sizes. It totally makes sense that a size 24 is a different shape to a size 2, right!? The pattern makers explain the sizing here if you'd like to read more.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, mine looks a lot like the photographs, though mine is without the centre front flounce. I actually think mine looks better than the tech drawing, which looks a bit on the squat side. In reality the dress is really slimming, especially with a dark bottom half! (Photos)
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, the directions for this were great. I had a review copy, so I found a few typos, but these were all fixed in the final version (which I received as a thank you). There are illustrations for each step, and lots of tips as well. The order of construction in particular was very clever, and results in 90% of the seams being enclosed and without any hand sewing!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I really like that it's a dress that looks like separates, but that the skirt is made in a stable knit, both to be more comfortable but also to resist wrinkling. I like the detail of the centre front button placket, with the dainty little button loops and modesty panel.
Since I already went outside my comfort zone with the print, I thought I'd play it safe and go for View B, which doesn't have the front ruffles. The ruffled collar and gathered sleeves are already plenty girly enough for me, and I really like that the button loops are more prominent this way, too. (Photos)
The skirt includes pockets, but I omitted these since I didn't want any bulges, and I never travel without at least two bags for all my electronic devices anyway!
Even though there's a fully-functioning button placket at the bodice front, in reality these are really only decorative, because there's an invisible zipper in the centre back! (Invisible zipper photo)
I don't often go for prints, but I fell in love with this dandelion head fabric from Stone Fabrics, and to simplify matters, I also ordered a beige polyester crepe to line the bodice (since the dandelion crepe is semi-sheer), and a navy ponte jersey for the skirt. Normally I'd steer towards natural fibers, but my recent world tour reminded me of the importance of non wrinkling work attire, and I wanted this to unroll from a suitcase without the need to iron!
The two poly crepes were lovely to work with - they kept a crease if I pressed hard enough, but indeed resisted wrinkling when "scrunched" in the hand. The only big problem was that they frayed like crazy. This left me with two choices - either do french seams, or overlock the edges before sewing. Since it was a new pattern company and I was already skipping a muslin, I thought it unwise to do french seams for fear I'd need to unpick any, so I went the overlocking route. It did significantly add onto my prep time, but you really can't see the overlocking threads through the fabric, and I've got piece of mind that the fabric won't give out at the first sign of stress!
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Since I was pattern-testing this, I made a point not to make any design changes! No fit alterations were needed at all - size 12 worked perfectly for me, but I'm usually a very standard shape with pattern companies.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I'd definitely sew this again and recommend it - it's a very stylish yet comfortable dress that is just perfect for the office!
Countdown to my next business meeting! I already know what to wear... ;)
For way more photos, head over to FehrTrade.com!