Okey dokey. A review. I want to be as gentle as possible, because this pattern from Jen Beeman has some wonderful design elements.
The examples from the Grainline site:
I opted to make the sleeveless version, long length, as in the center photo above.
And before I go any further. Yes, I’m a little disappointed. I don’t think my dress meets my expectation. On the other hand, I’ve been wearing it all day, and I’ve become attached.
I sewed this in a solid color with intent – I like to see the lines of a dress, its design elements, when I sew it for the first time.
It happens that I am not in love with this color (I always have difficulty feeling comfortable in blue), but I do love the fabric itself, which is Kaufman Brussels Washer Linen from Fabric.com
- No way was I going to line this dress. A lining, IMHO, is just overkill. I can understand that one might want to line a thin fabric. But if I want a wispy lightweight breezy something, in perhaps a voile or challis print, it won’t be in this pattern. All the design elements are lost in a print, and the lining is very difficult. A bodice with an attached skirt would work just as well.
- I sewed the size 8, based on my measurements, and it’s way too big for me. Voluminous. The size gradient on the pattern is about 1/4″, so I could go way down to a size 4 and be comfortable. Actually, I wanted to give this a fair chance, so I washed and dried it before taking these pics, thinking it might have grown during the construction process 🙂
- I think the armhole is perfect for an armscye with a sleeve. On the sleeveless version, I think the outside shoulder should be moved in by at least an inch to give the upper bodice some distinction and anchor the dress. However – the depth of the armhole, as it is, barely covers lingerie. I used a 1/4″ seam allowance when I attached the armhole binding, and it’s iffy. Alert…
- Of course I tried on the bodice before I decided on the ‘wrap’ of the front pieces. BTW, I cut both my fronts based on the right front, to avoid bulk in the neckband. I’m OK with the result, since this will be a lounge dress for me. But a caution: try it on and figure out the best landing place for the wrap. Adjusting the skirt to the bodice after deciding the wrap is easy, since it’s just eased in.
Bottom line. I’m happy to have this pattern, because I can adapt it to some other project. I particularly like the front and back seaming detail at the bodice/skirt join.
It’s definitely a sew and size challenge. But for me, it’s a pleasant alternative to my usual knit shifts. Next time I sew it, I’ll include some tips on managing the pattern without a lining.
Bye for now! Coco