Monday, November 25, 2013

A sunny day, so I did some modeling

The sun finally came out so I took advantage of the light and modeled my print-blocked dress for you:

My dress
Here's my review:
Pattern Description: I made this from Sabrina Woman issue 3/2013 (actually the 3rd issue of the year that came out in August, not March). This magazine is the same as Modellina (Italy) issue #152, Elena Couture (France) 62, Fashion Trends (Netherlands) 11, and Tendencias de Moda (Spain) 11

Pattern Sizing: European sizes 36-46. I made a size 42 in the bust/shoulders and graded out to a 46 in the waist/hips but I should have only gone to a size 44.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, I think it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't use the directions since they're in German and this dress is easy to assemble without them. I was forewarned that the Sabrina magazine sizing can be "off" and to measure everything. I did do this and found the pattern dimensions to be adequate for my size and the amount of ease I wanted to have. But then after trying the dress on, I had too much ease in the waist and hips - better too much than too little. I ended up taking it in at the waist and hips by at least one size. I stabilized the shoulder seams with fusible stay-tape. After sewing the shoulder seams with a 4-thread overlock, I finished the neckline with a coverstitch. I sewed the sleeves in next (flat method) with a 4-thread overlock. The picture of the dress showed top stitching next to the seams at the shoulder, the horizontal seam across the chest (and back) and the two vertical seams on front and back, so I copied that using a 3.5 mm straight stitch on my sewing machine. These topstitched seams are not under tension, so I think using a straight stitch on a knit is ok here. I used a coverstitch to sew the hems.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I was looking for a color-blocked dress that I could make out of knit fabric. The pattern was pretty close to what I was looking for. It was drafted pretty well too, I think. I did not like tracing this pattern! The patterns are all on one sheet of paper that is smaller than the Burda sheets, therefore dresses and pants all have extension pieces. One of the extension pieces was printed mirror image (though the printing on it was not), and it took me a while to figure it out.

Fabric Used: A poly-viscose blend, stable knit purchased from my local fabric store: Esro-Jersey in Stuttgart, Germany. One side is houndstooth print and the other is solid black. I used this fabric throughout, using the "wrong side" for the black. I checked that I couldn't see the print through to the wrong side - but I didn't consider flash photography! Look what happened

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
  • I omitted the pockets, which were to be sewn into the side seams, because I was afraid the pockets would gape.
  • I omitted the neck facings and instead just turned over the raw edge and coverstitched.
  • I graded out from a 42 to a 46 but ended up taking in the side seams over the hips so in hindsight I should have only graded to a size 44.
  • I couldn't decide between using the black or the houndstooth for the sleeves and then since the sleeves were too long anyway, I decided I liked the look of the bottom sleeve edge turned up, like a cuff.
  • I did not change the length, although I originally was going to make it longer. I played with the pattern pieces and ultimately decided that the original length was well-proportioned and if I added a few more inches it might look odd. I'm glad I left it at the original length. I always plan to wear this with tights, which is a good thing because no one wants to see my bare, chubby thighs!
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?I would sew it again, but perhaps the similar style #14 that uses most of the same pattern pieces but has a different neckline.

Conclusion: Making this dress is one of the main reasons I sew. Although I could probably find a similar dress off the rack, if it fit in the bust, it would most likely pull across my hips, and if it fit in the hips, it would be too big on top! This magazine has fairly straight forward patterns with some nice design elements. Some issues have better styling than others so you need to look at the line drawings.


  1. It looks great! And I kinda like the flash effect :-)

  2. Anonymous1:28 AM

    Oooo. Looks so nice on you. Beautifully done. Mary