Hi there! This is my very first sewing pattern review contest submission and I'm super excited! After the reviews I received from my Facebook groups, I decided to enter this piece into the contest and start a blog! I know, what a big jump!
Well, I decided to blog to keep track of my progress and the processes/ adjustments I'm learning to get better at sewing. I just thought it would be later on when I got "better" at sewing. The pattern review could only be so long so I knew it was time to start putting things down so I can see them.
I had a few fitting issues, but over all, it took a lot of patience to match up these bias stripes. Cutting the bias stripes was the first issue because I had never done that before. Also, I usually cut my bodice on the fold so I had all these pieces that needed to be cut eeekkk!! I knew I had to make sure the pattern pieces were lined up with with the grainline and selvedge but whew, that was a lot of work!
I basted the bodice first and then the back. Once those lined up I lined up the skirt. I basted everything before serging and finishing off. The neckline and armscye posed a problem for me because of how I had to shift the pieces up or down to get them lined up; and the gaping at the armscye from grading up and not adding a dart. I didn't take pictures of the process because I didn't think it was going to turn out. Lessoned learned. I do have some additional pictures but non of construction.
Fabric: Rayon- Poly Knit from Hobby Lobby
Pullover dresses (close-fitting through bust) have back bodice variations, elasticized waist, and narrow hem. Option to for maxi Length. I cut view b.
14-22. I cut a 22 for shoulders and armhole and graded out at the bust and hip to a 24.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, very. However, it didn't show you how to match up the stripes, I had to figure that out on my own ;).
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the ease of the pattern and the variations for length, and bodice back.
Poly/Rayon striped knit.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I graded the pattern to a size 24 for the bust and hip, and I didn't use the elastic at the waist.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I have a interlock knit with no stripes I plan to use as an easier project! And yes, I believe it's a great beginner pattern (without matching stripes) and I think this is a great go-to dress pattern for summer.
This is an easy project that's great for beginners. By using view b, and a striped fabric, it helped me to get out my comfort zone and utilize more advanced skills and the use of my seam ripper.
Plus Size contest Additional Questions:
1. Please list the garments you sewed for this contest with a link to their individual reviews if you sewed more than one garment for your entry.
I just sewed the maxi dress.
2 - Do you have one or more particular fitting challenges with RTW or commercial patterns? How did you overcome those challenges with your entry?
I usually have to do a FBA for patterns and as a newbie that's a lot, but I'm getting better. For RTW they fit on the shoulders and arms, but never enough room in the bust area which means, I have to buy larger ready to wear and adjust the arm and shoulder which is harder to do for me as a beginner. I also have large thighs so RTW is usually way too big in the waist and snug in the hip/thigh area. I'm also tall, so I usually have an issue with RTW sleeves and pants being too short.
I chose for the contest a sleeveless maxi dress in a knit so I could adjust length for my height (which wasn't needed). As a beginner I took on a lot, I chose to grade up for the bust and hip area to accommodate my fuller bust and hips without doing an FBA, eekkk. With grading up, I did have to adjust the armscye and keep my chevrons in line since I didn't add a dart, what a challenge!
3 - Did the pattern(s) seem designed with unique fitting and/or styling for plus size sewists?
I don't think so, I think knits are very forgiving and this pattern did call for an elastic waist which is forgiving. However, it didn't have any adjustments (like most patterns I see) for a larger bust which can cause issues like gaping in the armsyce and neck which I did my best to adjust for without adding a dart.
In a woven, an FBA would have been an adjustment I would have done, but I was afraid and unsure of how to add a dart without altering the chevrons and the lines I tried to create.
4 - Were the fabric requirements listed on the pattern realistic?
Is there a way to do a FBA on knits without a dart? Is there an easy way to cut bias stripes?