Monday, May 30, 2011

CJ Princess Seam Dress

The minute I started to handle this fabric, as in lay on the cutting table waiting to be cut out, I knew that it was too thin for me. If I'm using a knit, it has to be a little beefier because otherwise it shows every lump and bump of my bodacious body.  So that was my first challenge.

The second one was that I thought I would make the pattern as is from the pattern envelope.  This was my second challenge because "as is" even though I measured to insure there was enough ease for my body...still needed some additional ease added to the pattern to have the fit I like.

So let's go to the pictures:

The dress front unfinished:


The dress back unfinished:


Let's start with what I liked about this pattern:

1.  You serge it together instead of sewing it on your sewing machine.  Okay this is super quick, easy and fun!

2.  I love the offset neckline.  This is an unusual detail that would be quite interesting in a dress.

3.  In another fabric, the ease and flow of the dress would make it a great dress to wear.

4.  The pattern instructions are great...easy to follow and logical.

5.  The pattern is well drafted and well notated.  All notches match, there are lines for the centerfront, the neckline, the underarm, etc.  It is just a very easy roadmap to use to create the dress.

Dislikes:
~I would never line the dress with the same fabric.  I'm in the midst of personal summers and this much knit would cause heat exhaustion.  I would faint in the subway.  I was going to use a tricot knit to line this.

~I'm not sure why you need to interface the neckline except to stabilize where you'd clip to insure the facing flipped in correctly.  It seems to me that you could accomplish the exact same thing (stabilizing the clipped area) with a piece of stay tape.

~This is too short on me.  I cut away at the hemline suggested, even after holding the pattern up to me and double checking in the mirror, the fabric manuevers a little differently than paper does.  Also the pattern instructions suggest a serged hemline...which is on the dress I made.  But personally, I would rather have a hem with a twin needle finish.

In conclusion: 

While I don't particularly like this dress on me from this fabric...I do love the pattern.  This is a look that I don't presently have in my wardrobe and the princess seams and flared hem would be very attractive on me in a different fabric.

I will make this again in a beefier knit fabric from my collection with a couple of minor alterations because the "likes" of the pattern greatly outweigh the "dislikes"...which mostly have to do with the weight of the rayon/lycra fabric used.

One more thing...I'm sure that others will have a different experience with the fabric and pattern than I did.  Again, this is just my opinion and my experience.  If you have a better experience, that is a good thing...as Martha would say.

Look for another version of this dress here soon...cause again I really like the style of the dress, the ease of construction and the pattern details.

...as always, more later!

34 comments:

  1. You look so unhappy in the photos. I hate when that happens. I spent all weekend altering and then making a dress with a full gathered skirt? Why? They never look good on me. ARG!! g

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  2. Shame it didn't work out as you hoped. Can you shorten it to make a top or tunic? Having pants underneath may help with the too thin fabric drape.

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  3. I'm sorry the fabric didn't work out for you. The dress style is flattering despite the fabric. I can't wait to see your new version.

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  4. "Personal summers"--I love it! Right up there with "Power surges." I'm sure the next version of this dress will be perfect.

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  5. Bummer! But your facial expression in the first picture is priceless.
    I can't wait to see the improved version of this dress.

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  6. I like the neckline and while you may not like the fabric the dress really shows off your curves. Waiting for the second version.

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  7. I like how you have matched a solid stripe with the point of the V - the material looks really good - too bad it is too thin .
    Will you finish off the dress ? this style does suit you so look forward to your next version - be interesting to see how it drapes.

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  8. I love the offset neckline. Shame the fabric is too thin 'cos I think the dress really suits you:)

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  9. I agree. This is a great design on you. As always, you will make it work wonderfully. In the meantime the tunic idea sounds like a good option.

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  10. Sorry it didn't work out, I could tell from the first photo, it wasn't a winner. I do like the neckline on you. Good luck on your next version.

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  11. Too bad this didn't work for you in this fabric. I agree with an earlier commenter who said it really shows off your curves and I like the neckline. I'm looking forward to seeing it in another fabric.

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  12. Mmmm, this didn't turn out as you wanted it to but, the good news is that you have found a pattern that, basically, you really like and now you have learnt a lot about how to make it work for you. So, your time hasn't been wasted because your next version will be a real stunner!

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  13. First, I love,love, love that you share the "not so good" projects. Also I loved the fabric pattern and how you fit it to the dress.

    I looked forward to seeing this dress finished. The neckline is a wonderful detail of this dress however on your "bodacious body", I think a more dramatic ie more offset point of the neck would look better. Since you are doing it to test the pattern, you probably can't do this but just saying.

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  14. This style looks great on you. Hope you find a fabric for it that would make you happier.

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  15. It's such a bummer when you feel like you've missed the mark!

    Like everyone else so far, I think the dress is very flattering.

    From the pictures, the length looks nice and summery; not too short, not too long, right at the kneecaps.

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  16. I really like the lines of the dress on you despite the fabric issues. I've always been told to try princess seams on my curvy figure but could never get them to work. This dress though, looks really good. Maybe it's the knit vs. woven thing because this flows nicely. I may have to order a couple patterns from her. I am excited to see another version of this.

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  17. I love the offset neckline of the dress. I realize you don't care for the fabric but the style of the dress is quite flattering on you at this length. Maybe a beefier knit on the next go around?

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  18. I think the dress looks good on you, but if the fabric isn't right, then it doesn't work. I've been anxious to see your work on this and now I'm anxious to see the next one. You'll get it right for you. I know you will!

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  19. Carolyn As thoughts popped into my head looking at the photos, you repeated them right there for me.

    Looking at the angles of the asymmetrical neckline, I WOULD stabilize it with clear elastic. That bias edge is just going to sag sadly with wear.

    I am looking forward to seeing a happier marriage of fabric with this pattern on you!

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  20. A muslin is for learning. I am not a fan of serged hems. They look unfinished to me. Personally, I would lengthen then add back about 1-1/4" hem allowance. That will give the garment needed weight and stability. You are correct that a beefier knit is needed with this dress. I have purchased the pattern and will also have my own adventure with a new pattern.

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  21. Ihate when I make something and it does not work. I look forward to seeing the new version of this in the meantime this would be a great top.

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  22. I'm with Vicki on shortening it to a top. It's a great style on you, though, so I look forward to the next version. Incidentally, my word verification for this comment is 'dishate'.

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  23. I like the bones of the dress. Consider this a muslin and make it in a fabric you like. :)

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  24. The fabric could be recycled into the lining or outside of a vest so that it shows when you move around. The vertical lines could be flattering hanging straight instead of clinging when sewn as a dress. We all have these in our closets waiting for some great opportunity to strike but we don't have the courage to show them on our blogs...Good for you for sharing and making at least one reader feel better!

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  25. I think the lines of the pattern are good - princess seams are versatile. Too bad this didn't work for you for this round, but I glad you gave it an honest evaluation as to how this pattern works for you and the way you sew.

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  26. I'm sure you'll get the look you want next time. Thanks for your honesty.

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  27. I completely understand when you say you prefer beefier knits. I do too. When using rayon knit ,I like to double the front and back because I'm very self conscious about my ever growing boobs.This can get costly and wouldn't work on maybe a dress. I've never used rayon knit for a dress for exactly that reason.
    I'll be looking forward to seeing your next version Carolyn.

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  28. I so admire you for your ability to work through your personal alterations and keep going. You've been a huge inspiration to me as I've been going through my own body changes.
    Have to say, I love Christine's patterns and fabrics, but with the rayon knits, which I love by the way, I usually add about 1/2" more than I think I need to each seam because they do fit the body more closely.
    To make this particular dress work better for you, could you add some fabric along the princess lines, either in matching or contrasting fabric and then add the same fabric as an added hem to add weight and length?
    Thanks for being such an inspiration to all of us sewers who had given up due to "bodacious" figures who want to be stylish!

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  29. YOur expression tells it all. Think about recycling it into a top that you could wear under one of your black cardigans.

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  30. I do like the lines of this dress. I am thinking about buying some of her patterns as I loved the Threads article she did about sewing a wardrobe...I'm on a skirt kick right now!

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  31. Love the way the bottom of this dress hangs on you. Can't wait to see the next version!

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  32. Isn't it funny how different types of fabric...or even prints will either make us feel like it's winner or a lesson of disaster?
    Your face...priceless!!
    Take care!

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  33. My only disagree with your commentary is the hem - I really like the serged hem with the serged seams. It's too bad it didn't work out - it is a nice pattern, may have to hunt it down. But it's an overall good look for you and I'm looking forward to the next version - just a little beefier and longer.

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  34. You continue to be an inspiration to me. I recently remade a wedding shrug for a friend that just didn't cut it, but she would have worn it and never known the difference. I especially love the gentle folds at the hemline of this dress, gives you an hourglass shape. Thanks so much for showing the good, and sharing your process when it doesn't work so well.

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