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This is the Sigma dress by Papercut Patterns. I got this pattern a little while back when they were having a sale. It’s a semi-close-fitting dress with some lovely little details like pockets and gathered skirt.
Last month I quickly made a muslin of this dress. I cut out my size according to the size chart. I lengthened the bodice above the dart using my shoulder to bust point measurement because that’s a standard adjustment for me. Once I’d sewn it up, I realised that I forgot to add seam allowance to the shoulder to bust point measurement, so I moved down the bust darts by 1.5cm using this tutorial, but left the bodice length as-is because the waistline hit where it was supposed to. The other thing I decided to change was the length of the skirt. Not that I didn’t think the short skirt looked cute, but mainly because I couldn’t sit down in it. I have fairly large hips and thighs, so the hem was digging into my legs and riding up in an almost ‘basic instinct’ kind of way.
I kind of thought that this dress would be a super quick project, because I cut out and sewed the muslin in a matter of hours. But muslins are not an indication of how long a project will take by any means! I sewed this dress in short bursts and took about 2 weeks in total sewing an hour at a time here and there. The insides look pretty pristine if I do say so myself. I used a combination of different seam finishes. The side seams are finished with an overlocker, the waist and hems are finished with bias binding, and the back seam is pinked. That being said, I think someone who sews more often would probably have a quicker time with this dress.
I haven’t sewn sleeves in a dress for quite a long time. I figured it was about time I had a dress with sleeves. Looking through my closet, I saw that about 90% of my dresses are sleeveless. The other 10% are long-sleeved winter dresses. I think I only have 2 dresses with short sleeves. So setting in the sleeves were a little bit of a challenge for me. One of them is perfectly smooth, but the other has little puckers at the top. It doesn’t bother me enough to unpick it though.
The other thing I changed was I decided to put in an exposed zipper instead of an invisible zipper. I’m not a big fan of installing invisible zippers. I think mostly because I don’t have a real invisible zipper foot. I have a cheap plastic universal one that sometimes does a good job and sometimes doesn’t. I used this youtube tutorial, which explains it very well, but I kind of messed it up by the zipper stop anyway. It looks ok right now, but I’m not sure how well it’s going to withstand being washed… Stephanie from Love Teach Sew also suggested the tutorial on Megan Nielsen’s blog, so if I do it again I will try this tutorial as well.
The fabric I used is a cotton poplin with navy blue and white zig zags. It looks kind of like a solid from far away. Up close, you can see that I didn’t take the time to match the zig zags, but I’m not torn up about it at all. I guess in that way, it helps that I chose to do an exposed zipper to break up the pattern a bit.
While I’m very happy with how this project turned out, there are a few changes I’d make on the next one. For one, I think I’d use a shorter zipper. I tried to get a 55cm zip, but it was either 50 or 60. I think that might be why it looks a bit funky on the back (but if anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments). Two, I would make the pockets deeper. They aren’t really useful for, say, an iphone. And three, I’ll have to lengthen the skirt by another 1.5cm if I want to hem it normally, not with bias binding.
It’s fall, so pattern companies are introducing new patterns. I am especially interested in what the lovely indie pattern companies are doing. Aren’t you? With their beautiful instructions and great fit.
Most patterns I’m really excited about but some patterns I’m very underwhelmed by (I’m looking at you, Colette patterns). So I thought I’d give a roundup of all the indie patterns that I’ve seen. Maybe some of them you haven’t seen yet (I doubt it, though). Plus you’re getting my two cents on each one. You can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the website.
Zinna by Colette Patterns
Let’s start off with the one that is irking me the most. I’m sorry but I can’t get behind this pattern. The one pictured here is the one I dislike the most. The chiffon one with lining, that one looks pretty, but nothing I can’t find in one of my back issues of Burda magazine. If you’re handy with patterns, I think you could easily make it yourself with a couple of rectangles and a fitted waistband. I gravitate more towards the Kelly skirt or the Beignet skirt for a skirt with buttons.
Hawthorn by Colette patterns
I was just added to Colette’s mailing list a few weeks before Hawthorn’s release. I was so excited because I really love their designs. I was a little bit disappointed by the Laurel, as I just don’t think it looks very flattering on me, although I saw a ton of beautiful versions in the Flickr group. But I was definitely underwhelmed when I saw this dress. I thought it could just be the styling on Colette’s model, so I waited until a few versions popped up in the blogosphere. Some were beautiful, but most I didn’t like too much. I think shirt dresses just aren’t my thing. But I do love the half-circle skirt!
Aupebine by Deer and Doe patterns
This dress is so adorable. Since I made that apron of mine with the pintucks, even though they’re really annoying to sew, they look really cute. This is definitely high on my wishlist. I think first I will make a tunic of sheer material to wear over a slip and leggings.
Red Velvet by Cake patterns
I’ve never been so excited for a pattern release before. I liked the tiramisu from Cake, but I never purchased it because I kept thinking it was only so-so. But this…. This is really quite lovely. You have some options for the bodice and skirt, plus you can go crazy with colour or print blocking if you want. I’ve heard great things about the fitting of Cake patterns, so I think I won’t be able to contain myself when it’s released (there’s no release date yet; I’m hoping end of september/beginning october).
Virginia leggings by Megan Nielsen
I’m a sucker for leggings. I have a pattern from McCalls and they were way too low rise for me. I’m happy that Megan included both high rise and low rise in her pattern. Plus they’re available as a PDF download. Instant gratification! This is definitely coming up in my sewing queue after my unselfish sewing is finished, for which I’m actually using a Megan Nielsen pattern for! I’m making the maternity skirt for a pregnant friend of mine.
Dandelion dress & top by Disparate Disciplines
I was one of the kickstarter campaign investors, so I got this pattern for ‘free.’ I really can’t wait to try it out. It’s got really interesting seaming along the side, and you’ve got a lot of options in just one pattern: a top, a dress, and different necklines. I think it would be great for job interviews with a blazer over top. She’s also got a ‘pay what you want’ cami pattern that was recently released. Also very pretty.
Anna dress from By Hand London
Ok, not so new, and they’re coming out with one or two patterns shortly (Georgia and Polly, I believe). But I just had to give a shout out to the By Hand London ladies for taking the blogosphere by storm! I’ve been seeing multiples shoot up on many blogs. I am also a fan! I want to make the short version with an asymmetrical v-neck.
Asymmetric Kimono dress by Ralph Pink
I thought I’d add this pattern by Ralph Pink. If you haven’t heard of this pattern company yet, go check it out. Not that their collection is all that new. Kazz the Spazz wrote about their jumpsuit a few months ago. There’s some interesting stuff over there, especially if you’re into making corsets. The 2013 collection has some cool looking designs that you can have fun with colour blocking, like the jigsaw dress. I haven’t tried one yet, but I find them to be very reasonably priced.
So, what do you think? Which fall patterns are on your wish list? And did I forget to mention any new patterns?
*disclaimer: all pictures are copyright of their respective owners. I’ve used them here for illustrative purposes.