|The seams on this are a bit crunchy (due to Steam and Seam). Once I finish altering this, I'll throw it in the washer/dryer, pre-wear.|
This fabric cost a fortune ($60). In the end, even without sleeves I used @2 yards of 70" wide fabric. This is not a cheap sew if you use pricey material. But use a good textile. It makes the process so much more pleasant!
OK, peeps, this pattern is terrific. It's enjoyable to sew (save a few itchy moments i.e. when attaching the neck/binding to the bodice). The instructions are clear, the drafting is excellent (amongst the best I've ever come across in indie pattern companies), the design is timeless. What can I say? Buy it.
I will absolutely make this dress again - next time with sleeves and with a few alterations:
- This time, I debated, and then declined to do a swayback adjustment (to account for the length I generally required in the front bodice, that I do not require in the back). I should have done it.
- While I find the construction really lovely, I feel that the the neck and bodice bands are too thick for me. Maybe it's because I left off sleeves. Maybe it's just a proportion thing. I find that the bands look a bit sturdy. Perhaps this is just my initial perspective, but I feel it calls attention to my bust in a strange way. There's enough ease in the (beautifully drafted) front bodice so that I can trim 0.5" of band next time. I suspsect that's what I'll do.
- The front fits well - even roomily (which I can rarely say). The back bodice, however, is too roomy. I've been thinking about how I might address this - I mean, for 60 bucks, I'm going to find a fix! - and I've come up with a plan: 1 fisheye dart on either side of the centre back (there's no CB seam since it's cut on the fold. The side seams sit nicely but there's too much fabric on the back (you can sort of see it with the vertical drag lines). I've never darted a back bodice without a centre seam so I hope this works. Please let me know if it's not possible!
- I lowered the ties by 1 inch. I'm really short in the waist but, if I weren't , I'd have lowered it by more like 2". I'm not into an empire bodice - and that's what this wrap dress produces.
- My bamboo fabric is beautiful. It drapes well. It's adequately robust. I even like the colour, in the end. But it's a bit princess-y - it does love to snag. Next time, I'm going to use a less fancy fabric (till I confirm my alterations). I mean, I'll ensure that it's a good fabric. But I don't think I need to spend another 60 bucks on this until I've got the fit sorted. It did take me a good 10 hours to put together, over 3 days, from start to finish. I worked consistently and carefully. It's not perfect workmanship, of course, but it's alright. I imagine, next time out, I might shave a couple of hours off the process.
- Somehow I manage to vertically hem the wrong side of the skirt (don't ask me which, at this point, it's a blur). To make it right, in the end, I hemmed them both. If this was the original instruction, I didn't pay attention, but next time I'll def hem both sides. It looks better.
- I found the tie-opening instructions strange and suboptimal. I used a serger (though I did reinforce the stitches with a zig zag on either side of the opening, in addition to stay stitching) and there's really no way to cleanly topstitch, after the fact. I've got to consider how I'll seam when I make it the next time...
- It doesn't matter what pattern you purchase, chances are it's not going to fit awesomely without alterations. There are a lot of great looking Appletons on the 'net but, don't be fooled, those sewists pre-altered things to suit their shapes (or they took great photos). If you have a sloper, utilize it. I sense that a you-altered Concord T is an excellent starting-off point for this pattern. By using my Concord "sloper", and knowing what I do of fit - with the exception of the back bodice width, my fit is pretty good. FWIW, I didn't even have to cut more than 1 inch from the length of the skirt and I'm only 5'3". But if I'd cut a 12 C/D, out of the box, it would have been a bad fit. Effectively, I cut a smaller than 12 (like a self-devised 10) with the size 12-14 bust. I'd call that a @10 E/F (Note: that size isn't part of the pattern draft. I altered it).
- I have a feeling that the underside of the wrap may hang a bit long - it's unclear whether I can fix this by tying things or if I'm going to have to alter to get an even hem. Others have had this issue but, apparently, it was fixed between the test-phase and when the pattern was released. I'm not so sure.
- As soon as I have a moment (and I do hope this happens in the next week, though who can say), I'm going to dart the back bodice and I'll let you know how it lands.