Misses’ Dress in two lengths, jacket and tie belt by Cynthia Rowley.
6-22, I made a modified 14.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
It looks remarkably like the photo on the envelope, though I oriented the stripes on the skirt vertically rather than horizontally.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions were very good–be sure to follow the bodice construction directions closely, and everything will turn out all right. Like another reviewer, I did not bother to sew the pleat in the bottom of the center, and it looked all right, though I ended up with an extra fold of fabric there, so I might as well have sewn it anyway.
The instructions for attaching the bodice pieces to the upper edge and enclosing all the seam allowances are very good and well worth a read.
One thing to watch for–one side seam of the bodice is a quarter inch too short. I just compensated by narrowing my seam allowance in that area.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the ready-to-wear style. Fashion right now is about embellishment and details, the more ornate the better. The bodice pleating, asymmetrical skirt gathers, and back tie on this dress all work together to make a very wearable, very on-trend garment.
The one thing I didn’t like couldn’t be helped: there’s no way to make an FBA in this pattern. Not without a major headache and hours of time, anyway. There are just too many things to consider with all the cross-pleating and the separate pieces for the outside and lining.
Cotton seersucker from Joann Fabrics that I bought a year ago for another pattern.
<b>Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:</b>
Because I couldn’t do an FBA, I cut the front pieces and front skirt size 18, and the back pieces, skirt, and straps size 14, which is my regular Big 4 size. It worked out, though it wouldn’t have in anything with shoulder seams or sleeves.
The big improvement I made was to sew a bra into the bodice before I closed up the lining. I just took an old bra, cut off the straps, tried everything on together, pinned the bra into place along the seam allowances between the main bodice and the upper band, then trimmed off the excess foam in the bra and zig-zagged the cups to the seam allowance. If you’re slender, you could probably wear this dress with nothing else, since there are three layers of fabric between you and the outside world, but anybody who normally makes an FBA will either need to add support to the dress, wear a strapless bra, or fight the strap wars the whole time you’re wearing it.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
It’s too distinctive to have more than one in my closet. I do recommend it–it’s flattering and not very difficult. Before you start, though, invest in a tracing wheel and tracing paper. Trying to make all those darts and tucks with pins or tailor’s tacks will drive you batty.
This is a cute dress. I wore it to dinner for my anniversary, and it was comfortable and chic and plenty dressy enough for 5 PM in Seattle. I intend to make the jacket later out of navy linen, and I look forward to wearing that as well.