I have come a long way in just under a year. Last May I made my two dresses; one wrap dress and one knit dress. I’ve only worn each of them once since I finished them. The wrap dress just wasn’t right. It didn’t fit and was difficult to wear. The whole point of finding a wrap dress pattern that I liked was to find something that was easy and comfortable to wear. That one wasn’t it by a long shot. The purple knit dress was okay but I just made the bodice too big and the neckline was too big and low. It was an oxymoron of a dress. It was medium weight cotton interlock with long sleeves so it was only comfortable in cooler weather, but the neckline was so low and open that my neck was always cold. Plus it sagged at the boobs, never a good look on anyone.
But I’ve been sewing like a fiend this past year and have learned a lot about sizing and what patterns work for me. I’ve also learned to trust PatternReview.com reviews. When over 100 sewist say a pattern is good, believe them!
Now about this dress. My full review is here. The short version is that I love it. The long version is that this was intended to be my muslin. This was one of the projects in my Priorities Pile. The fabric has been marinating in the stash for quite a few months. (The red and purple knits in that post are still marinating but I think they might be ready soon!) If you remember I paid less than $10 for the fabric for this dress. Now that the dress is finished I think it is the perfect print for this pattern. I love its retro vibe. I did pre-wash it so I’m not expecting any big surprises after the first go through the laundry.
Other things I really like about this dress:
- The full skirt. Other reviewers have mentioned they didn’t like the silhouette with the fuller skirt and they changed it. For me, this skirt is just right. I think it camouflages my hips and tummy, giving me a more hourglass figure.
- The neckline. The biggest problem I keep having with wrap dresses is the neckline. They are usually too low and gap. This one sits up nice and high between my boobs and hugs my sternum just right. I think a lot of this is attributable to the pleats at the waist. They provide bust fullness without making the neck-edge too long.
- The sleeves. I like the 3/4 length and the cuffs. They look very much like the original DVF wrap dresses. I will also probably make this with the short sleeve for summer and maybe lengthen this sleeve for winter.
Things I will change next time:
- The ties. The are both the same length and I think it would make more sense to have the one that wraps all the way around the body longer than the one that just comes out the side opening and crosses the back. That way when they come together to tie they will be closer to equal lengths. I’m going to play with this a little and see what I like best.
- I might lengthen both the bodice and the skirt. It is just okay as is but could be just a little longer to sit right on my natural waist and I wasn’t able to use a very deep hem at all and have it be the length I’m comfortable with. But the narrow rolled hem was easier to do on such a curved hem on a knit so I may just leave it well enough alone.
- Some reviewers have had problems with the facings flipping out when they are wearing this dress. I haven’t worn mine outside my sewing room yet so I can’t weigh in on this yet. If it is an issue I’ll see what solution I can come up with. Knowing that this was a complaint I did understitch the facing very carefully and I also stitched it down to the shoulder seams by stitching-in-the-ditch the width of the facing at the shoulders. If I make it without the collar I’ll probably eliminate the facings all together and just turn and coverstitch the neck edge.
Tomorrow is March 1 and marks the beginning of the PatternReview swimsuit contest that I have entered. I’m still waiting for one pattern to arrive from the Netherlands and another Kwik Sew pattern to come in at work. In the mean time I may make a suit from the Jalie pattern that arrived this week.
I also am going to sign up for the Jean-ius class at Craftsy.com. I’m going to be teaching a 4 session jeans making class at work starting in April and would love a few more professional tips to share with my students. I honestly don’t have a pair of RTW jeans that I love and want to copy, but I’ll skip that part of the class and use the rest of the tips for fashioning another pair of jeans from either the KW3315 or the Jalie pattern (or a combination of both!)
All this sounds great until I realize that I’ve been working 5 out of 6 days a week lately (we are closed Sunday and I dedicate Sundays to my couch!) and I haven’t had the amount of personal sewing time that I’m used to recently. With only one day a week to myself, I’m falling behind on lots of other things that need to get done around here.