The pattern is well designed and the instructions are well written. Every step is explained in detail and if any questions remain, there is a sew-along that will clarify the last doubts. Unlike most commercial patterns, there are multiple cup options (C/D, E/F, G/H) and it is well explained how to decide what cups size is best. It is essential to measure yourself carefully. You may or may not know that dress pattern cup sizes are rather different from commercial bra cup sizes. I chose the C/D as this worked best with the rest of my body measurements. I have a disproportionally large bum and had to grade up two sizes from top to bottom.
The fabric I chose is a light weight cotton spandex blend with 4 way stretch (60%/40%). I was a bit anxious to use it because it is rather a lighter weight than I would have liked. It has a good drape but felt a bit too slippery. Still, I loved the large daisies and decided to give it a go. Cutting was tricky because of the qualities of the fabric. After I cut the fabric, it remained in my bag for three full weeks. Did I mention that I am a master procrastinator? It was only when I went to the Sunday sewing session at the Stitchery that I finally started sewing.
The wrap dress has asymmetric fronts. Unfortunately I was not paying attention and muddled up left with right. It didn't matter for the construction but I am glad I made a note in the instructions to avoid mistakes when sewing. There are some sections where it matters what side you are working on. I used stabilising double sided tape for the vertical front edges and fusible wonder web for the other hems (because I didn't have any more tape). I don't think I could have done it without. I sewed these with my normal sewing machine, all the rest was done with the overlocker. I am so pleased that I finally used it. It was awfully fast but fun.
Quite possibly you remember me writing that this first version was planned as a wearable toile. I think the dress is not perfect but definitely wearable. The fit is quite good and the dress is comfortable. The sleeves are a bit flappy under the arms. This is something I noticed when I sewed the psychedelic Lady Skater dress last summer and the 'problem' must be with my body rather than the pattern. I wonder if I maybe need to move the waistline one way or another, by an inch or so but I am not sure. I might take the dress to the next Sunday sewing session for adjustments to both dress and pattern.
The crux with wrap dresses is that the front splits open, exposing shabby old bras. The Appleton doesn't have that problem, at least I haven't noticed. Even leaning forward I am covered up. I have not been partying with the dress yet and as such it hasn't been tested to its limits. There is always the danger of a naughty child pulling the straps of course...
I am not so sure about is the fabric choice. It feels rather flimsy and I don't feel dressed around my bottom (if that makes any sense). I also don't think it is flattering, drawing too much attention to my behind. There is a reason why I am not showing you a full length photo! Still, I hope to get some wear out of this first version of the dress. I am tempted to convert it to a top actually. Jenny has just published a pattern hack to turn the dress into a top. It is free but you do need the dress pattern to use with the additional pattern pieces. The additional pattern pieces are for different waist ties and cuffs. The top looks stunning on Jenny (wearing it with jeans and a skirt).
I think the next version will be plain and black and made from a heavier weight fabric with less stretch. It may be a while, I need to think about those pattern adjustments first.
All in all I am pleased. I have found a new pattern designer and I have learned to use my overlocker. I have worked with a fabric that is quite tricky to handle and I have made a garment that is not within my comfort zone (I rarely wear dresses). Not bad eh?
I am wishing you a belated Happy Easter. It has taken me by surprise, there are no Easter decorations in our house and all we managed were some chocolate eggs and Lindt bunnies for the children. I ate one on Thursday, it called out to me, honestly, it did. It had to be replaced as a matter of great urgency. I was hoping to paint some eggs and do some other crafty things with the children but I didn't. Life got in the way, as it usually does these days. We did have a fantastic lunch with friends who were obviously a lot more organised than us. We were treated to pork belly cooked on a fennel bed, roast sweet potatoes, green beans, a fruity red cabbage salad and a meringue roulade with lemon curd cream filling. I am so stuffed I can only just move my fingers.
Have a lovely week! xx