Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Blog Tour: Two Versions of Pattern Review's Winter Street Dress


My turn, my turn! 

Well, welcome if you're here for the PatternReview blog tour of the Winter Street Dress! Thinking I had some spare time to sew, when Deepika put a call out a few weeks ago for pattern testers I threw my name into the mix.  

Silly me.  By the time Deepika sent the PDF pattern and instructions my free time had already disappeared. Why do I share that with you?  Because even with the small amount of time I had available to test this pattern I was able to sew two. 

Yes. Two. Because it really is that simple.

So let's back up a bit.

The dress itself is designed for knits, either long or three-quarter length sleeves with or without ruffled flounce.  The neck is nicely scooped - not too low, not too high, just right.  The skirt has two inverted pleats on the front and back.  The bodice is drafted for a C cup.  Sizing ranges from XS to 4XL.

Step one was to download, print and tape together the PDF pattern.


Ugh!  I discovered I'm not really a fan of that task.  It's so tedious!  

But my little buddy was there to keep me company. And by company I mean she scattered the papers all around as soon as I had everything lined up and then curled up for a nice long nap.  Snoring loudly too.


Anyway, back to the dress.  I decided to sew version number one - the pink dress - with minor alterations, using the recommended knit fabric. In my case a hot pink ponte knit. 

That I realized I had put aside to use for another partially finished project.  Of course I remembered the half finished project about oh, five seconds AFTER that last snip of the scissors. Oops!

The minor alterations?  A forward shoulder adjustment and adding 2" to the length across the bottom of the front bodice.  On the back I added the 2" to the side and graded back to the original pattern cutting line. 

At the testing stage, I did not have the final, detailed (and nicely photographed) instructions to follow.  As Sherril mentioned in her blog post, when we began testing the pattern piece for the neck band was not yet included. I used a 2" wide knit to bind the neck edge. 
On the test pattern there were no markings for the gather lines on the sleeve flounce - just general instructions to gather the center portion of the flounce only.  I left 2" on each side flat.

The fit of the pink dress is okay - but not quite where I would have liked it to be.  Even though this is drafted for a "C" cup, if I were to sew this again in a ponte knit I will need to an FBA.  You can see how it is too tight across the bust. I ended up taking in the waist at the side seam an 1" on each side and it's still loose.  I tried to pull it in with a belt but I think that just emphasizes the tightness of the bust. I would also peg that hemline more.


On the bright side - the back fits  very nicely. And don't let that innocent little face fool you - she's a little terror  when it comes to ripping paper!


I was done at this point, until  I started seeing all of the FABULOUS dresses on the blog tour. Yikes!  Mine looked so simple. So plain. So boring.   What to do, what to do, what to do....A-ha!

I remembered a piece of fabric I had ordered online about a year ago. It had this interesting pattern of boxes that grew in size from tiny at the selvage, to large in the center, back to tiny at the selvage. I was rather surprised when it showed up as that part wasn't clear when I ordered the fabric. 

Never one to shy away from using a border or unique print (see maxi dress, asymmetrical top, orange knit dress, baseball style tee) I tucked it away until the perfect project came along. It just so happened that was the Winter Street Dress.

I had to think carefully about how to place the pattern pieces as that yellow/green could not be near my face. Unless I wanted to hear "are you sure you feel okay" all day long. 


The small  boxes were used for the bodice, large boxes for the skirt and purple boxes for the neck edge.


As I was sewing the dress I kept thinking it was too much.  But I like it.  Both the fabric design and the fit. 

It's interesting that I cut and sewed this second version EXACTLY the same as the first. The only difference was the fabric.  This fabric is a lightweight sweater knit.  It works much better on my curves.

The back view.

I'm glad I was able to test this pattern because in all honestly I might not have purchased it as I thought the design was "too young" for me. (But what the heck does that mean anyway?  That's another post for another day. )


Be sure to check out the other dresses on the blog tour:  
The Winter Street Dress pattern can be purchased at PatternReview.com

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28 comments:

  1. Both versions look very good. It sounds like such a quick dress to sew, and looks so different with your varied fabric choices, very nice.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yes this is a quick dress to sew and I like how different it can look with different fabrics.

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  2. You always look wonderful in everything you make. What's age got to do with it?!!!!! This would look great shortened and worn with tights too.

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    1. Awww, you're so sweet Rhonda. And you're right - age has no place here. Love your idea of shortening it and wearing with tights.

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  3. I like both versions but LOVE the second one with all the squares.

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    1. Linda, that one is my favorite also.

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  4. Sharon, love both dresses! Regarding PDF patterns, I did a photo tutorial just recently which might make you a convert :) I know I am. Here's the blog post. http://sewing.patternreview.com/blog?s=1800674

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    Replies
    1. Deepika, thanks for the link to the blog post. I'm slowly learning to love PDF patterns :-)

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  5. So gorgeous! I really do love the printed knit. FANTASTIC!

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    1. Thanks! I really like the printed knit also - although when it first arrived I honestly didn't if I'd ever find the right use for it!

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  6. Like the way you've used the square patterned fabric differently on the bodice and skirt - makes the colours pop, I wondered how pdf patterns work - I may be tempted to use one

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    1. Thanks Linda. As I stated I wasn't a sure I was a fan of PDF patterns, but they are slowly growing on me. They really are convenient.

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  7. Lovely versions - both suit you very well but have enough differences to make for great wardrobe pieces.

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    1. Thanks Sue - I agree, especially if the flounce is left off of the sleeves this dress could be sewn over and over and over

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  8. I love your versions of the WSD, especially the addition of the scarf to the pink WSD!

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  9. Great post of a fun pattern. I left you a comment on PR! :)

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    1. Thanks Laurie Lou! P.S. It was fun seeing you at RetroRama!

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  10. The print really transforms the dress. Great work. ;)

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  11. Oh those sleeves and your print placement....lovely!

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    1. From the queen of fabulous print placements I consider this high praise! Thanks!

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  12. Congratulations on your two versions! Both dresses are beautiful ... and I'm a fan of pink in all its shades ... but, Oh, Lady! The second one is .... really fantastic! The print fabric really did the trick! Love it!

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    1. Thank you! I love pink also and green not so much - but I do love my print version. The fabric was a "what in the world will I do with this" that ended up being perfect for this dress.

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  13. I like both versions too. Love the print on the second one.

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    1. Thanks! I've discovered I wear the printed one quite often and the pink one rarely.

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