Wednesday 3 May 2017

Red Timeless Tunic Dress

As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I wanted it. There was a Threadcount wardrobe builder pattern that came with a magazine that included a similar dress/shirt pattern, and it just seems really versatile depending on what fabric is used. That being said, my first attempt was a bust (pun intended, as you'll soon find out).

First issue was that my cutting of the bodice was a bit off. After a lot of thinking I figured out where I messed up (and it's totally on me, not the pattern): When I attached the interfacing, I just ironed it on, but the instructions say to sewing it right sides together then flip it right side out and iron. This meant that my lining piece was bigger than it was supposed to be. If the fabric had a bit less structure it might have looked alright, but it is stiffer fabric than I had originally thought (issue #2). The third issue is that my bust is smaller than the pattern was intended, and I cut this before I made my Blixen Blazer, so I didn't realize how big of a difference it would make. It really looked like a sack of flour on me. My extremely helpful sister Sarah recommended that I wear it to a toga party.

On the bright side, I'm really happy with how it turned out with regard to finishing items. I did a good job on the hem, the elastic waist and casing went really well and I like the facing for the arms and neck (other than me screwing up the cutting and interfacing).

I added length just above the bust because I find many sleeveless patterns are too tight on the armpits, and I added length to the skirt. These ended up being the correct modifications for me, I just should not have added any more length to the bodice. Since P4P drafts for an hourglass figure, I didn't modify anything else, although I now know I should have either done a small bust adjustment (SBA) or sized down the bodice. I'm still learning what adjustments I can get away with not making and which ones are required. I have yet to actually try a SBA, but I think it's time I learn to do one.

After I had finished the dress, tried it on and discovered it was possibly the most unflattering dress I've ever sewn, I made some changes in hopes of making it wearable. First, I took in the side of the bodice to make it less baggy. Second, I shortened the bodice in the front by about an inch, because I miscalculated when adding length and it was contributing the to flour sack effect. Lastly, I took it in at the waist, because I found it was not as snug as I wanted it. Usually I find I have a reasonably defined waist, but it just disappeared. It is now what I consider barely wearable, but I don't love it and my modifications didn't really make the waist fit right.

Will I make this pattern again? Not soon, but I might come back to it after I've knocked a few more projects off my list. I really want to make the free peg leg pattern from P4P, they were recently updated and look super cool.


Material: A woven fabric from the discount part of Fabricville (mostly synthetic, unknown fibres, $4ish/m)
Modifications: I added half an inch above the bust, an inch below it and a couple of inches to the length. After finishing the pattern and trying it on I took the bodice in on the sides to try and improve the fit and removed the extra bodice length. Next time I will size down in the bodice and actually follow the instructions. 
Learning: Pay more attention to the bust measurements of the pattern, and alter appropriately. I also learned a fun new method of facing a tank. An important learning was that clothing with a even moderately loose waist does not flatter me at all.

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