This was such a quick and easy pattern – I recommend Vogue 8724 for all new sewists.
What I liked about this pattern and the finished dress:
- Custom fit – different pieces for different cup sizes. I used a B cup.
- Princess seams in back for great shaping and easy to make fit adjustments.
- Cross over front with not too low neckline.
- Skirt with small front pleats to add comfort but not volume.
- Quick and easy to make
- Knit fabric makes for an easy fit
According to the pattern envelope, I should have been a size 16, but experience shows that I am never the size on the envelope – always at least 1 or 2 sizes down. So I cut a straight size 14 which was the largest size on my pattern.
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My material is a lycra ITY knit from my local fabric shop and I bought 2 yards costing $16.25. I had 2 feet left over across the full width – certainly enough left to make a simple knit top or t-shirt later. Its pretty lightweight, but not sheer and has lots of stretch and is very slinky so it feels both soft and comfortable to wear, and it's nice and cool for the hot Caribbean weather. It's certainly not a great print, but I have very little to chose from there, and from what I see on other dressmaking sites, animal prints are in fashion right now.
I tried to be careful with my pattern placement and spent as long placing the pieces and cutting out as I did sewing it together. I thought it looked best with the lighter part of the pattern in the center and the darker at the edges, but getting it central and straight up and down was most important. I'm still not sure I like the way it worked out on the back, but the pattern on the fabric matched the size of the back panels so it doesn't blend together very well – what do you think?
Making up went quickly. I used a knit stay tape across the shoulders and around the neckline front and back. This also helped me to turn over a nice neat edge and top stitch. I did have difficulty with the pleats in the front. The fabric is all slippery and slinky and I could not get it all to stay in place nicely. I pinned, I basted, I took apart and did it again. In the end I went with my own pleats rather than the ones on the pattern, and I top stitched them in place vertically for a couple of inches – that held them ! The front pleats do help to cover up a little pouch……
As expected, the dress was still too big for me. It fitted at the top of the thighs which is my widest point, and the front wrap was a good fit – not too low, and nice and smooth. But from the hip to the underarm, it was still too large. There are princess seams in the back so I could adjust the fit there as well as at the side seams. I took a little off each side seam and the two back seams from underarm to hip just to make it hang a little closer to the body. I finished with a twin needle hem and it was ready to wear in no time.
I certainly plan to make this dress again – its so easy to make and so comfy to wear. I think I will cut a 12 at the shoulders, 10 from underarm down, and grade out to a 14 at the thigh next time.