I love how this dress turned out. Unfortunately, it took some major reworking because the pattern is hugely flawed!
When I was nearly complete (everything was done except the bottom band), I noticed that the yoke (the top band that is blue-green with polka-dots) was very wide! VERY wide. I was actually able to put it on myself.
Here is how it fit Ana before I fixed this mess of a dress…
Not cute. So I started to panic. What did I do wrong?! I checked the pattern pieces to make sure I cut them correctly. I did.
Then I googled pattern reviews and found eight reviews on PatternReview.com. Four of the reviewers declared this pattern “Ok, but didn’t work for me”, three declared “Recommend with Modification” and one declared “Would NOT recommend”.
I have used PatternReview.com before but not very often and I’ve never read reviews for a pattern before I started sewing. But apparently, it’s a really good idea.
After reading solosmocker’s review, I followed the link she left to her blog post about the alterations she made. This gave me the idea to shorten the elastic in the shoulder band and make box pleats on the front and back yokes.
As you can see, I made reverse box pleats. Or at least I think I did. But I like it this way. I think it makes the dress fuller.
And here is what the dress looked liked after I sewed everything down…
I reduced the elastic in the shoulder band by 1.25″, each back yoke by 2″ and the front yoke by 4″!!
But I should note that this is a size 5 and would have been a little large on Ana even if the pattern had been proper. I took her measurements and although her height measures at a size 5, her chest, waist and hips measure at a size 2. Charlotte has the same measurements but is 2 inches shorter. So her height is a size 4 and the rest of her is a size 2.
Had she been a true size 5, I would have reduced the front and back yokes by a total of 5″ not the 8″ that I did.
So, the verdict on this dress is that I love the outcome despite the stress it caused me. Ana loves how twirly it is, of course. And I really do appreciate the valuable lessons I learned. It’s actually quite satisfying to have run into a snag and figured out how to overcome it.
- Read pattern reviews before cutting out pieces
- Take measurements before cutting (I seem to keep repeating this lesson)
Modifications for the next time:
- Reduce the width of yokes by total of 5″ (plus individual’s adjustments)
- Shorten shoulder band by 1.25″
- Add a facing to the bottom band (not sure if I’m wording that correctly)
Let’s talk about the bottom band for a minute. This actually really bothers me. I hate that the band is a single layer. It looks cheap when the dress is twirling and it often gets stuck in a fold when the twirling is done. If the band was doubled, the weight would help the band to lay flat. Or at least it would look better seeing the “right” side of the fabric.
I’m currently working on another dress for Ana, McCall’s 5966. I’m using a Michael Miller corduroy.