Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Pattern review - jersey rose-print dress

Pattern description

Self-drafted casual dress, based on BWOF 04/2011/115. Loose fitting with gathers at front shoulder seams, elastic waist and side seam pockets.

Fabric used

Smooth jersey, I think it's probably polyester.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope when you were done?

I was about to trace off the aforementioned BWOF pattern, but wanted to make several changes and figured it would probably be quicker to simply draft it from scratch, especially as I wanted to practice more drafting. So, it looks kind of similar to the BWOF dress, but also kind of different!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

Quick to sew (even quicker now I've sewn it up once).

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made

From my blocks I added width at the side seams at waist and hip. The centre back waist was shaped slightly to avoid too much fullness, but all other waist darts were omitted, with the fullness gathered by the elastic. I extended the shoulders by about 1.5cm, and curved them slightly downwards. The neckline was lowered, and the shoulder dart rotated into gathers at the front shoulder. The bodice was lengthened by 7cm to give the drapey fullness, and side seam pockets were added.

Construction details

I would have serged it completely, but I'm not very good at going round corners on my serger (and this fabric was giving it fits for some reason), so the pieces are finished with the serger but sewn together with a narrow zigzag on my normal machine. If I had made this without pockets I would have serged it all. The neck and armscye edges are bound with self-fabric strips, cut on the stretchy grain (i.e. across the fabric). I did it this way rather than serging on folded strips as I wanted the contrast topstitching. I think the armholes ended up slightly tight under my arms, possibly due to the finishing being slightly inaccurate. As this is some sort of polyester, I'm slightly concerned this might mean it ends up a little, erm, stinky, but we'll see how that goes... I also had a little fun by putting in one of my new labels!

Would you sew it again?

Yes. I will probably make some slight alterations, but this is a very handy dress to have in a few colourways.


I'm very pleased with this dress. I need to make a selection of dresses that are comfy enough to wear around the house, but nice enough to not need to change if I need to pop out, and this certainly fits the bill. I will probably dress it up with a belt and nice jewellery for going out and about.

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