This is one of those projects that has taken me a long time to complete and is finally getting blogged.
I wrote about my plans to make this dress back in August with the intention of starting it at The Sewing Weekender.
Here is the inspiration and planning boards I put together then. The pattern was recommended for rectangle body shape.
I also did some internet searching to try to try to pick up any tips on making up the dress and it’s sizing / fit.
As a reminder , I was gifted this pattern, but the views here are my own.
Firstly, there was not a lot of info or reviews on this pattern, but I did get a response from a lady on Facebook who had tried to make it and had a really bad experience with the fit. The diagonal of the front cut across the high bust even at its lower point, and frankly looked just weird.
This was enough to persuade me to do a toile before cutting into my fabric!
I made the dress up out of sheeting in the smallest size, which according to the measurements should fit me.
The toile did not give me any problems with the placement of the front diagonal, but it did highlight that for me the pattern sizing was much too generous. A couple of points on this – I am petite and generally prefer a more fitted silhouette so clothes do not swamp me. My view from the pattern photos and the Cocoon coat I had already made was that the dress looked as though it would skim / have shape. I should maybe have been wary of no zip ( with woven fabric) . And I have to repeat, a more fitted look is a personal preference- I know that many people love the loose fit of many of the current indie patterns such as Stevie tunic or Felix dress
Anyway, here are some pictures of the toile. It didn’t look too bad on the dress form
But on me it lacked shape. As you can see from the photos below I had to pinch out large amounts of fabric to get near to the fitted shape I prefer.
Now, I am not easily beaten, and really like the colour blocking of the dress so I decided to make some modifications and try to produce a dress to my desired fit. This is what I did….
Firstly , I have added a zip in the back. Whilst this makes it more difficult for a beginner to construct the garment, it does allow for a more fitted option with woven fabric. Adding the zip was not difficult if you have done zips before – just create a a centre back seam where the fold placement is on the pattern piece ( not forgetting to add seam allowance) , and insert an invisible zip into it.
In addition to this I also added fish eye darts to the back to give more shaping to the waist. Placement and size of these was done by looking at a previous dress I had made which had these, plus trial and error pinning!
The front was a little more complicated.
The width across fthe front was too much, and again lacked shaping around the middle section and up into the bust area.
My solution was to create the equivalent of front fish eye darts. The complication was the panelling, which I needed to retain.
So on the dark top panel I added darts , the bottom of which lined up with the vertical seMs of the lower dress panels. The photo below shows placement but due to the dark fabric the actual darts are not visible.
To continue the equivalent fish eye dart effect into the lower part of the dress I took the amount that would have been pinched into the fish eye dart off either side of the panels themselves
The only other adjustment I needed to make was to lower the armhole openings slightly ( no more than 1 cm)
And here is the finished dress.
I love the fabric combination. It’s still really comfy to wear as it isn’t tight fitting – so room to layer up underneath for winter wear with tights and boots.
And I like the contrast bias bound neckline and the top stitching and the pocket
The changes I have made to the pattern have worked for me, and will mean that it is a dress I will wear. I think for many people they would be happy with the looser tunic style fit, and certainly the front colour blocking is striking and has already received many positive comments.
I appreciate not everyone would want to, or be able to make these changes, so if you can’t and like a fitted silhouette , this pattern probably isn’t for you. But I hope this illustrates the potential for this dress if you like a more fitted style in your wardrobe