Made from a medium heavy rayon/acetate/Lycra printed knit this is my second Tracy Reese pattern in my end of summer knit dress sewing.
I want to have easy wear dresses for running errands and love the full swing-y cut of the skirt and feel of this fabric.
But as I worked I found flaws that needed mending and uneven dyeing throughout so I didn’t attempt fancy construction.
And this is an odd little pattern, anyway. It seems as though there is a deliberate flaunting of poor dressmaking techniques in the construction. There is no support for the cross drape so my fabric just flops around rather humorously. The pattern draft relies upon the front crossover pieces being stretched tight across the bust to keep the gathers visible and in place. That is not a good style on a big bust. I tacked the neckline closed to keep it modest. Besides, my tan doesn’t go down as low as the neckline naturally drapes and DH mentioned the “white headlights” coming at him. I’m not a Shock and Awe kind of girl, anyway. (I’ll clip that stray thread.)
An example of funny drafting and instructions is the front encasement of elastic: there is no attempt to remove all the thicknesses at the front waist. The extra deep waist seam allowance is simply turned up and top stitched. That is 5 doubled layers for the front tummy area if you don’t add the petticoat, 6 if you do. LOL!!! A sacrilege to those of us who stitch to flatter the female form.
Another odd thing is that you are instructed to run basting stitches across the gathers at the top of the front bodice pieces but are not warned that these will be permanently left in the garment design nor informed as to the proper anchoring and typing off of the basting stitches.
The trim lovelies who have made up and reviewed this dress (gorgeous!!) have faithfully located front gathers over the tummy but I need no extra fullness there so I gathered where I should and left the tunny unadorned. I also dropped the waist line on my pattern and left the waist elastic quite loose so my high hip in the back is not accented by a tight waist and wide spreading of gathers over the backside. My version of this pattern seems to have a 30’s – 40’s sensibility that fits well with the fabric and colors. It makes me feel romantic. I should have vamped up the hair and makeup for these photos, right? Ah, too complicated for me right now.
I am sorry that the cutest feature of this pattern, the back neckline slit, is obscured by the back bodice fullness and ties. But I can feel the breeze so at least I get to enjoy that feature. I simply put a knot in the ends of the ties for easy laundering.
I cut a 14 through the shoulders, did an FBA, added 4 inches to the waistline and skirt and after all that pattern altering, I think I could have just cut a straight 14 throughout the whole garment, maybe due to the nature of the fabric. I raised the underarm seam by 3/4″, finishing the sleeves with narrow 2 thread overlock that is turned and top stitched. I used the same technique for the hem. It makes a very nice narrow hem on this fabric.
And I left off those full gathered pockets: I simply ran out of fabric. I had to cut the side skirt sections 2″ narrower and 1.5″ shorter as it was to get this dress finished.
I like the combo of fabric and my changes to the pattern and hope that Fall will bring warm days so that back slit can be enjoyed as my little secret. What a funky little dress!