Why did I choose this pattern?. I really liked this pattern because it was another new shape for me. A break away from the sheath again. There is nothing in my closet that comes close to this dress! The skirt has a bit of hem flare but it wasn't too wide in the hips or at the hem.
Pattern Description & sizing:
How do I look? There aren't enough modifications for it to look different than the line drawing, basically twins right? It's a bit low in the front, but not crazy. I'll add a snap later.
The instructions & construction! Wow! The instructions are very clear and straight forward. Vogue classifies this pattern an easy, and it is! The beginner can do this (depending on fabric choice), especially if there are no major alterations needed. Most of all, I loved the construction, it's really beautiful inside and out! The front bodice has 2 lower edge pleats, vertical and horizontal bust darts. The horizontal buts dart is exposed so I stitched it in bubble gum pink so it could be seen! Another great feature is that all vertical seams are french seamed. So, no serger needed. Everything is enclosed! But because I microwaved this one, inside all of my French seam is a serged seam. Blame it on the fabric, more on that later.
Favorite things about the pattern? My favorite pattern surprise? A hong kong finished zipper! I was so happy to see this, and it was a breeze to finish since I just used this technique on my Minnie Penny pocket pant #3! I didn't use bias tape as suggested, I used my fashion fabric.
What scared me the most? Completing the French seam first on the center back seam and then inserting the zipper! I chose to follow the directions and it turned out very well. The key is to clip just above the finished French seam to the the zipper SA will freely lay flat. Because of my fabric type, I use a bit of fusible on the fashion fabric before I clipped so it didn't get hairy!
My Fashion Fabric: Oh my! After shopping my stash, I didn't find anything that really worked. So off to the store! Because of the uniqueness of the dress I wanted to push myself in the print department. Easy road: silky animal print...i almost went there! But after trying something out, I choose this quirky pretty print.
Every piece of fabric that I buy has to pass 2 HLT tests. 1) does it look good on me in the mirror? Yes, I'll either bring my own or search for one to use in the store. 2) Will it photograph well? Albeit flouresent, most fabric stores have adequate lighting to prevent trips and falls. But I'll whip out my iPhone and take a picture of it and look at it. Of course it's going to be bad because there no flash and cheap store lighting! But that's the point. If the fabric still looks great in those conditions, it's basically in the bag. (these are not the only HLT fabric test, there's touchy, feely, rub, rub stretch test & fabric content guessing, and a couple others)
This fabric has so many colors. As you can see I tried to swatch them, but I'm probably only at 80%. The comprehensive tones happen to be just right. It's interesting that some of the colors individually would look very bad with my skin tone. Yes, it's polyester, but I'm not mad. Sheer, light, flowy. The weight is much like the Sweet ruffles blouse, but the texture is smoother. It's raw edge can get very hairy, that's why I serged!
My contrast waistband is black poly crinkle from my stash. I haven't made the bow yet, but I might. And if I do it will be a pin, not sewn on. Sometimes I don't feel like a bow. Navy invisible zipper.
Changes I made: Only 1 for fitting. I cut 1.5 inches off the front bodice shoulder. Clearly, I don't have a super long torso, so I have to adjust.
Transition styling: added cardigan. This looks great with my navy polka dot peep toes!
Future pattern plans? Yes, I want to sew it again! This would make a really great LBD. I'm also thinking about knit possibilities, sans zipper. Or, just modifying the back so that there's full coverage.
Final thoughts: . I love it! It's different. I was thinking... Would I have given this dress a second look at the department store, even if I was snoop shopping? Would it have enough hanger appeal to bring me to the rack? Probably not. But it looks great on!
I was in this dress all day in the big apple! It's also great for wading in the humidity. Nothings worse in the summer weather than feeling glued into your clothes. This dress has a flirty style and a swingy hem. Oh, I also didn't topstitch my ruffles down as suggested. Not a time issue, just a design issue. It's just me, I think it takes away from the ruffle bounce! But even in the wind my ruffles didn't let me down.
HLT recommend additions: strapless undergarments! I might try placing undergarment modesty loops at the shoulder & at the back bodice...zipper level. I think that will work for those highly specialized undergarments.
It's a great Tracy Reese pattern, it's unique, fun and flirty. I'm glad that I pushed the edges of time a bit to get this dress done...I wouldn't have this pattern yet if I didn't BMV. BTW, the vogues are on sale at the 'J' this weekend. I wouldn't be wearing this dress if I waited for this sale! I'm even happier about my fabric choice!
Thanks for coming over!
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