Saturday, 17 December 2011
A review on Sense and Sensibility's swing dress pattern
In the beginning of this year Casey at Elegant Musing hosted sew along for Sense & Sensibilities swing dress pattern. I joined, but when it was time to hem it I completely lost steam and only last week I finished it. Here is my review on the pattern
Sense and Sensibility says this about it:
Here is my 1940s “Swing” Dress Pattern, inspired by an original Hollywood design, circa 1942. The design comes from the WWII days of fabric rationing, which meant narrower skirts and more tailored lines.
• Sizes 8-26 all included in one envelope.
• Unique yoke with gathered shoulders and two sleeve options (short and “bracelet-length”).
• Gored skirt great for twirling! Put on your dancing shoes!
• Transition this pattern to evening wear by lengthening the skirt.
• Photo Instructions online (coming soon in PDF format).
• Click to download the Swing Dress Pattern yardage chart.
• Available for instant download as an ePattern in PDF format!
• I also have an online class available for this pattern.
I opted to buy the printable e-pattern, so my review is based on that.
# It’s very easy to buy pdf-patterns, and cheaper too, even if you consider the printing cost.
# You can always print a new pattern piece if it goes missing or you need another size.
# The pattern was easy to so it fitted better
#The pattern comes in several sizes.
# Even if the sew along is over you can still follow Casey’s excellent instructions over at Elegant Musings- don’t miss that!
# It is pretty fiddly to assemble the printed patter. That pieces isn’t very clearly labeled, some papers will just have a straight line, for example, and no indication where it will go. If you, like me, manage to drop your pile of papers and loose the order, you will have to think rather carefully so you put everything right. But it’s definitely do-able, you just have to be careful.
# There is a small dart at the back neckline. It’s only marked with a dot on the pattern and quite easy to overlook. Only when you read the instructions do you realize that there should be a dart there and it is supposed to be 1/8 wide at the top. Of course, one should always read the instructions, but I still think it would have been helpful if the dart had been drawn in on the pattern.
# The yoke was quite hard to get right and I found the directions on Sense & Sensibility very fussy at that point. Luckily Casey went through it in detail, otherwise I’m afraid I would have quitted the project at that point.
My own adaptions
I had to change the pattern somewhat, but that is perfectly normal- most patterns that you purchase will need some changes to fit you better. In my case I needed to give my breasts some more space. The first thing I did was to NOT shorten the bodice, even if I’m very short-waisted and that is something I usually do. The extra length in the bodice got nulled out by my chest. It wasn’t enough though, so I slashed the front in the middle of the parts that is gathered and added a few centimeters. That means that the front has more gathers than the original pattern and that gave enough room for me. I also lengthened the belt to make it easier to knot nicely. Not really needed, but something I did because I wanted it too, was to change the sleeves so they are gathered at the wrists. I used a very light-weight wool for my dress, something that I had had in my stash for years. When I dug it out I realized that it was actually a wool blend and that it was quite stretchy. I therefore omitted the side zipper as the fabric stretch enough so you can easily pull it over your head.
It’s a cute dress that can be dressed up or down depending on material. It’s also quite forgiving if you gain or lose weight as the waist is pulled in (or out) with the help of the belt. The construction had some difficult areas, so I don’t think you should choose this pattern if you are unused to sewing. However, if you read Casey’s instructions carefully I think you will find it quite easy to make. I have no immediate plans to use the pattern again, but it is not at all unlikely that I will, eventually.
Pictures of me in the actual dress will come as soon as possible.
colour by number
The Great Pattern Review (Scroll down to the bottom)