Let me tell you, I was sewing up a storm this Saturday. October has completely slipped away from me, and I realized there are quite a few projects I needed to finish before the end of the month. One of these projects is a wrap dress, something that I could wear to a networking event that’s says, “business” without screaming, “stuffy”.
I had my first public relations networking event on Wednesday, and wanted to make sure I looked my best. But, with four years of school left, it seems far to early to be investing in business pieces that might not fit/might not be appropriate when my time to get a real job comes. I felt like a good compromise would be making an inexpensive dress I could dress up or down, and this wrap dress certainly fits the bill!
I used Deby’s Free Wrap Dress pattern from So Sew Easy to make this dress. This dress is actually a cheater wrap dress, since only the top crosses over. I really like that aspect of the design. Also, the pleats are to die for. I think they elevate the plain ol’ jersey into something slinky and special.
Speaking of the fabric, Wyatt picked it out! I initially bought it to make him a tee-shirt, but decided I needed to re-purpose it once I realized the conference was this week. It was from Fabricland (like everything else in my stash), and cost around 12$.
– The pattern runs from size S-XL, however I graded the pattern down to XS (For the first time ever, mind you!). Even with that adjustment, there was still a lot of room leftover in the top. I ended up tacking the crisscross in place at the front to make sure I didn’t expose myself! I could easily go down to a XXS in the top next time.
– I used stay tape on the neckband and sleeve hem for the first time, and I love the way it turned out! Very smooth looking, and I think it makes the jersey look more expensive.
– I ended up underlining the jersey skirt with more green jersey. I hate the way knit skirts tend to sheer out when they’re stretched, and find that when I use a double layer of fabric the skirt stays opaque. I also love how the double layer of jersey helps to smooth over my curves. No VPL here!
– I didn’t add anything to the length, and was pleasantly surprised at how long this skirt turned out to be once the pattern came together.
– I chose not to include the elastic waist, mainly because I didn’t understand the pattern instructions. I think it looks fine without it!
Overall, I’m happy with the finished garment and the fit. I think this dress will be a nice transition piece between my student and career life. For a stash busting, unplanned project I couldn’t ask for a whole lot more as far as the finished garment is concerned. And fun fact: My business teacher commented on how nice and professional this dress looked! #YAY
The only thing I was not keen on was the PDF pattern organization. I know this is a free pattern, so I really don’t have any right to complain. I’m happy for the opportunity to use it! However, the page numbering system confused me a lot.
Instead of numbering every corner of the page, or every side of the page, each page just received one number. So instead of matching up J6 to J7, you’re matching 11 to 12. This made piecing the papers together challenging. I’ve made a lot of PDF patterns, but this is the only one I’ve seen with this kind of set up.
Also, the total area of the page being used by the pattern wasn’t always consistent. Sometimes the piece only took a half page, so the matching circles would be found in the middle. If the pattern had some solid lines outlining the area of the page being used, I could have put together this pattern much much quicker. It took more time to piece the pattern together than it did to sew the dress!
I know to some of you readers these complaints may seem petty, given this pattern was free. But I feel like it’s important to voice my feedback because Deby has a line of patterns that she sells. Given my experience with putting together this PDF pattern, I wouldn’t chose to pay for one because it was such a confusing experience. It’s given me a less positive impression of her brand, despite her excellent design and drafting skills, and I’m wondering if anyone else feels the same way I do.
I would chose to purchase one of Deby’s other patterns if I knew the PDF patterns were organized a little bit more clearly, but until then I’m going to pick other patterns instead.
Anyone else have a similar experience? I’ve always avoided Burda patterns because I find them to be confusing too!
Until next time,