I’d been itching to try this pattern for a while and eventually got round to it. It’s a very simple pattern with just 4 pattern pieces, well 2 really if you consider that each one is a mirror image of the other. Two for the front, left and right side and the same for the back. And a small piece as a casing for the elastic which creates the gather under the bust.
According to the measurements on the pattern envelope, I was a size 14. Dresses normally come out too large, but I’d rather take in than find I’ve cut too small and ruined the fabric. So I used this black and white ‘nests’ ITY knit from FabricMart. And although this is described by McCalls as a one hour dress – it did take me a lot longer.
The dress was HUGE. It took me a total of 4 hours in the end, taking the dress on and off, pinning a little, basting, trying again. I really wish I had a dress form – pinning the back and the sides of a dress you are wearing while trying to stand up straight is very difficult so I took great care to only make small adjustments at a time – and this is why the dress took 4 hours from opening the pattern to final wearing.
But now it’s finished I really like it. The material is lovely and soft and hangs down nicely, it has a bit of weight to it and the dress looks very smooth and flattering. I took the time to make some notes and rough alterations to my pattern pieces, and immediately set about making the same dress again!
This time the fabric was very different – a Roxy Girl jersey from GirlCharlee. However it is VERY lightweight – almost tissue thin and was quite difficult to sew with. I liked the fabric design so I cheated a little and I cut the back very slightly off-grain and this allowed me to line up my pattern pieces tighter, and leave fabric left over for another t-shirt. It doesn’t seem to have made the dress hang badly.
This time I cut a smaller size – 12 at the top, tapering to 10 at the waist and skirt but it was still too large and I ended up removing more from the center back and sides and redrew the pattern again for future use.
There were some noticeable differences in this dress from the last one – due entirely to the lightweight fabric I used.
You can see the neckline on the second dress seems to be higher. The armholes also seemed very high and tight under the arm I guess because the fabric wasn’t as heavy as before so I cut the armholes a little larger, then realised I had done it too much at the front and it was a bit gapey. So I added a small band around the armholes on this one and it made them easier to finish in this light fabric and corrected my mistake.
And this dress has come out shorter than the other one – I have no idea why as I am sure I cut it the same, perhaps this is also entirely down to the tissue thin fabric. I think this one is a bit too short, but I love the design on the fabric so I’ll still wear it out and about, but it will be rather more casual than the other one which looks quite elegant.
I do think that both dresses don’t look much like the pattern illustration (which I am not allowed to show here for Copyright reasons). On the illustration the dress is more fitted than mine but with a fuller skirt – I think this is artistic licence as there is no way I could have ended up with a skirt with that much flare from these pattern pieces.
This is a pattern I highly recommend for new sewers like myself. Few pieces, quick and easy to sew, and easy to adjust to get the fit you like.
Did you notice I had my hair cut? I took the Roxy pics some time before the other ones. I think I prefer it short.
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy