Woo was it a close one on getting this dress done in time to post for this week. Pretty sad since all I had left to do when I posted last Friday was attach the sleeves and do the buttonholes/buttons…but sheesh…two small children= no sewing time. Who’d have thought, huh?
Somehow I managed though and the dress is done!
Please don’t mind the wrinkles…this picture was taken in a stolen few seconds when both boys were in bed (if not asleep) after an intense morning of pretending to ride and work on an imaginary train. If they’d actually been sleeping I might have risked taking the time to iron it…but as it was, I didn’t even take the time to straighten out my skirt. Hey, I don’t have any spit up in my hair, consider this “polished”.
So it turned out really well…exceeeeept, it’s too small. I mentioned last week that I’d picked my size by measuring a dress I already owned and then measuring the pattern pieces and that I was afraid it was going to be too snug across the bust. I was right. Luckily a tank top underneath and one more button undone solves that problem. What I wasn’t expecting was how tight across the shoulders it was going to be. I think perhaps the dress I measured may have had a yoke/pleat for the shoulders and, in my pregnancy induced fog, I didn’t think about the extra ease that would give me. Ah well. I’m bad at picking the right size pattern for myself.
I really liked the look and styling of the dress in the original picture on the envelope, so, as you can see, I picked similar fabric to work with and more or less held to doing things the way I was “supposed to”. But, as I got to putting the buttons on, things were starting to feel a little…staid to me. A shirt dress is pretty classic…and a blue chambray shirt dress is even more so…so I was feeling a touch like I was making something that I could go to the store and buy off the rack. Not what I wanted. So I added this little touch to make it more “me”:
I’m so glad I did…the neon green thread holding the buttons on has turned out to be my favorite part!
So a few notes:
All in all, this is a great pattern. The directions are clear and they yield a very professional looking end result. If you’re like me, like your clothes tight and so reflexively pick a size that’s 2 smaller than what the envelope tells you to, you may want to think twice about it. I think I’ll probably make another version of this, but I’ll be making it larger.
A few minor complaints:
I really wish this had a pleat across the shoulders in the back. This is something I find with a lot of women’s button down pieces. I get it that we, the fairer sex, aren’t “supposed” to have linebacker shoulders, but some of us *points at self* do. Part of the problem is that I chose to make a size that was too small for me…but I can’t lift my arms over my head in this without worrying I’m going to rip something.
Another “Erin has a funny body” complaint: the lower pockets are a smidge too high on me. Because I have such a long torso, when I belt this at my natural waist, unless I do a bit of tugging and fussing, the pockets wind up tucked under my belt. When I make the next version I’ll probably move them down an inch or so.
My only not-related-to-my-personal-fitting-issues complaint is the pockets themselves. The directions have you sew them on with a “small triangle in the upper corners” to reinforce them. The end result looks great, but renders the pockets more or less unusable. The upper pockets are left with an opening 1 3/4″ wide and the bottom pockets offer only a meager 3 1/4″. I have pretty small hands, but I certainly won’t be putting anything that doesn’t stick out of the tops of these pockets into them.
The pattern includes a piece for a matching fabric belt, which I did cut out, but didn’t bother making once I realized what I’d cut. In my experience, a rope or leather accent belt is more flattering than a matching, floppy fabric belt 9 times out of 10. The stylist for their envelope picture clearly agrees with me.
I’m really bummed that this turned out too snug. I really am happy with it…so I’m probably going to keep wearing it anyhow. It’s not impossibly small…just not as comfortable as it could be. Hopefully that will get better as I keep shrinking back to my pre-pregnancy size.
Now the question is, what should I sew next?