I bought this dress pattern in the same lot from eBay as the New Look pattern in my last blog. I would have to say that this is the best everyday dress pattern that I have come across recently. I like the A-line shape, which is comfortable and flattering to my figure, and the french darts in the front give the dress just enough shape This dress has proved easy to make and easy to wear.
I have made two versions so far which I wear all the time for work. The first was in red and black checked velvety material with silver flecks.
At first I wasn't sure about this fabric. I thought it might even be a furnishing fabric. It was very firm, but I think this pattern needs a firm fabric to help the dress to keep its shape. A soft, draping fabric would be inclined to cling and wouldn't keep the A-Line shape so well.
I chose to make version B. I especially like the 3/4 length sleeves. The set in sleeves fitted in easily. The pleated sleeves are not to my taste at all but I do like the sleeveless version with the collar. I was very careful to match the checks on the centre back and side seams. The sleeves don't match quite so well but at least they do line up with each other. I really don't like to see mismatched checks or stripes on RTW garments.
As I put the dress together it seemed to me that I might not need a long zip down the back. I tacked along the centre back seam and found that the dress pulled on easily without a back opening so I stitched up the centre back seam and have substituted the zip with a keyhole opening using a short piece of bias binding to make a loop for a small button. I think this works well and is an attractive feature on the back.
Another thing I like about this pattern is the kick pleat/vent on the back hem. The skirt is wide enough to move around freely so you could leave this out, but I like this detail and often include one in the back of my skirts. I think it makes a skirt look well made and I like the way the vent flicks open as you walk.
I used seam tape to take up the hem to reduce the bulk. This red seam tape was given to me by my grandmother when I was a child. I have a small roll left and whenever I use it I think of her. This makes my red dress just a bit special.
The neck line is quite wide. It just covers my bra straps but if you have narrow shoulders you might need to make some adjustments. I keep meaning to put some tapes in to secure my straps and perhaps one day I will get around to it, or perhaps not!
I was so pleased with the first dress that I made another one almost straight away. I bought this navy blue sweatshirt jersey with the intention of making a tunic top but I had enough for a dress.
When I washed this dress a few times I was really disappointed to find that it faded badly. At first I thought it looked shabby. However, other people seemed to like it and the more it has faded the more positive comments I have received. I really like it when friends ask me where I bought the clothes that I have made myself (and sometimes I keep it to myself that they are home made). Now that I have blogged this I think that the secret is out!
This time instead of a button fastening at the back I sewed up the back seam all the way to the top. I have attached a short metal zip on the outside but as I don't need to open it this is just for decoration and not functional.
I am sure that I will use this pattern again. I like the dress with the collar cut on the bias. The sleeveless dress with the collar, view E, is very reminiscent of the 1960s and I would like to try that next.