It started with this email that Jo Ann sent to Connie Crawford about my challenges with the pattern:
Well the first dress went well and she got rave reviews but the second was not good. Can you tell what went wrong? To me it just still looks too big for her.
It is important to note that I did not ask Jo Ann to contact Connie. It was something she did on her own.
Connie's answer is here:
"Hi Jo Ann:
Thank you for your email. Since your email did not explain what you are comparing the dresses with (pattern numbers), I am guessing that the blog is what you wanted me to see. I am sorry to hear about your situation with this dress, however, I will offer you some hints as to what I think lead to some problems...since you asked.
In the red dress, I felt that the dress was cut without using paper (underneath the fabric). Many times when cutting a soft fabric (rayon, silk, polyester, light cottons etc.) the necklines will stretch out of place and make the garment look as if it has too much ease. Believe me this is looked at very carefully in all of my samples. Also, when cutting with paper, you can be sure to lay the center front EXACTLY on center without adding any unintentional grown from center front to the princess seam.
Now for the princess fit.... if it was possible for me to custom make a pattern for every body type, I certainly would and could. However, 80% of full figured women have lost their waistline by having a fuller stomach. Since it is easier to take in a princess seam and the side seams, I had to choose to make it for this group. And, this is the reason why we have included the princess fitting step within the sewing process. The princess seams also allow you to take out any amount of flared fullness and actually make this dress with a straight skirt look.
With the 45 years that I have been making patterns and conducting fitting seminars, I want you to know that I do make the patterns on full-figured women. Last weekend this dress was on a 1X professional model in a fashion shows and afterwards several ladies tried on this dress and it fit perfectly. I also have had several emails from women who have made this pattern and it fit perfectly since this pattern came out the first of March.
If there have been cutting mistakes, you can always measure the pattern and the fabric and see if there are any discrepencies in the pieces. I can always look at the dress personally and see what went wrong. Unfortunately, not all women are shaped the same, but I try VERY HARD to make these patterns for the full-figured women. NOBODY else does a full range of patterns for the ladies above a 2X. 15 years ago I dedicated my professional skills to make a collection of patterns for full-figured women. After all someone need to for these women.
Also, on a personal note, I make 20 cents per pattern. In other words, this is strickly a dedication I have made in helping our larger customers.
As I told Jo Ann, there are two sides to every situation and it is only fair to present both sides. Personally, I'm done with this pattern and will think 3x before purchasing another but if you own the pattern and have had success with it, would you kindly place a link to a photo in the comments so that we can see it? It really would be nice to see some of the successes because there are no reviews of this dress on PatternReview...and when I add mine it will have a negative bent to it based upon my experiences.
On Tuesday, I wore the B5620 dress to work and it actually wore well with the sweater buttoned over it. I got a couple of you look pretty compliments, too. So even tho the fit is suspect, it did alright in the wearability test and it will remain in my closet.
...as always, more later!