I like Seamwork magazine; it is well produced, I like Colette patterns and I’m happy to support the effort. When last month’s issue arrived I was excited at a “relaxed fit” “go to shift” that would take less than an hour to work up. Just what I need for North Carolina summers and to use up my burgeoning stash of knits. It would be a good entry for my stashbusting Sew Mama Sew online sewing match challenge 2 – the dress.
My first problem came when I looked at the sizing. While I am a comfortable size 10/medium for Colette patterns, I found that the finished garment measurements had about 3 inches of negative ease. Even with a knit, this doesn’t match anyone’s definition of “relaxed fit”. No, problem, I simply cut the size that would match the measurements of a favored RTW Tee Shirt dress.
I don’t mind putting together PDF patterns, and soon had it traced. I used some Art Gallery knit fabric in my stash. I love these knits because not only are they a really nice weight, but the pattern, selvedge and grain of the knit all line up, so laying out the pattern and cutting is easy. But soon further problems followed. When I put it on, I found the the upper hip area was very tight (which puzzled me, as I had measured the pattern pieces), and there was a funny little “wing” right around the top of my femur. I realized that this dress had a very pronounced curve from waist the hip (not shown in the line drawings) and a very long torso. I’m 5’4′ and in order to have the curve for the waist to hip transition match my body, I had to shorten the torso by 2.5-3 inches. I have never modified the torso length in any pattern (or any RTW for that matter).
My second version was out of an inexpensive lightweight cotton (shown here; bonus shot of my sweet kitty on the chair, wearing her “cone” to stop scratching) from Girl Charlie fabrics. I love the print, but the fabric is not of the same quality as the Art Gallery fabric. I shortened the torso by 3 inches and the torso/hips fit well. Because the fabric is a lot lighter and stretchier, it is a bit big on me, but I should have anticipated that problem. Unfortunately I had to make a number of other modifications to the dress.