It's a New Look pattern, which means of course that it cost real money (i.e. not $1). It was well worth the whopping $4 price tag, however! I'm finding that I like a lot of the New Look patterns, even though I have to pay full price. Although, it's almost nice to know that these patterns will never go on sale, so I can buy them whenever I want and not have to wait for a cheaper price!
Anyway, back to this particular pattern. My goal when I buy patterns is to make sure they contain functional pieces that I could make at least twice. Wrap dresses are the be-all end-all in women's fashion (everyone looks good in them, right?) and I didn't own one. What makes this pattern fantastic is the addition of pockets. All the reviews on Pattern Review are positive, so I was dying to make this up. The wool jersey I purchased from Mood is for this pattern. But before I cut into that expensive fabric, I wanted to make a wearable muslin.
Note: the neckline does not HAVE to settle this high.
It can easily be adjusted lower by shifting the fabric.
This is view B, with short sleeves and no collar. The fabric is an ITY poly/Lycra jersey from Emma One Sock.
The fabric was originally destined for Vogue 1224, but that pattern only needs 1 1/2 yards, and I had 2 yards of this jersey, so I figured, why not? By the way, the envelope for the size 10 states you'll need 2 1/8 yards. I think you can easily get away with 2 yards exactly, especially if you omit the neckline facing as I'll detail below. I know that yardage can be pretty important when ordering fabric online, since most places won't let you order in increments like 1/8, so I hope that information is helpful to someone!
Here's another blunt fact: this print is loud. I took a risk ordering it and it didn't pay off. I almost used the reverse side because it was more muted. It's okay, I don't mind that I took a chance. It's not hideous, just not my style. I've made two pieces with floral prints and I'm just not that into it. It's important to know what you like and to know what you DON'T like, in my opinion. At least I won't be ordering/buying anymore florals for awhile!
I made a few changes to the pattern. There is supposed to be a facing along the neckline, but a few reviews mentioned applying clear elastic to the edge, then folding it over and topstitching. This sounded like a great idea to me, since it meant one less piece to cut out! Since this fabric was crazy slippery, I did glue-baste the elastic to the edge. It should be noted that I did not have to stretch the elastic. I zig-zagged it to the edge, then turned it over and topstitched with a single straight stitch. Next time, I'll use a twin needle for the topstitching, I think it may keep the elastic from occasionally flipping back out to the right side.
I also didn't make a belt. I did not find it necessary with an elastic waist, especially in a busy print. When I make the solid-colored wool version, I may make a belt for more visual interest. Goodness knows this print doesn't need anything else visually stimulating!
It sewed up like a dream. Rarely do my notches match up as well as they did here. Overall, the construction felt very intuitive, and I did not find myself consulting the directions too often. I only had to use my seam ripper once!
Looks great with flats.
For next time, I may sew the sleeves in flat. Setting in sleeves is annoying to me and often I can't get them eased in "correctly".
If I had not read about it ahead of time, I may have been tempted to lengthen the bodice (or at least despaired when it was done). It was pretty short.
However, once the skirt is added, it brings the bodice down some, and the elastic casing does sit at my natural waist.
Looks great with heels.
Usually, when I finish a pattern, I'm ready to
never see it again set it aside and move on to something new. This was the first time I was excited to start over and make it again, immediately. There is no gaping at the neckline, the pockets are fabulous, the fit is great, the length is perfect, there is nothing to dislike!
I'm also realizing that the proper tools can make or break my sewing experience. I mentioned glue-basting, but I also used wash-away stabilizing tape on the skirt and sleeve hems, and dressmaker's carbon paper to transfer the pleat lines. The wash-away tape and the carbon paper are new to my collection of notions. Without those items, I would have been pinning a slippery hem that wouldn't press, and tearing my hair out over making pleats (as it was, most of my marking tools were a nightmare on this slippery, varied-colored fabric). So, if you find yourself going crazy over a particular problem, do some research to see if there is an easier way. These shortcuts greatly enhanced how much fun it was to sew this dress, because I wasn't getting bogged down with boring stuff.
Forced natural pose.
I hope that in a less fancy fabric, this pattern can go casual. I really like this version and can't wait to wear it. If I don't get anything else made in time, it will probably end up being an Easter dress, depending on the weather. This weekend in Indiana it was almost 70 degrees, and last night the low was 20. That's how we do it in the Midwest!