Sunday, December 20, 2009

Two Years Later, I Wear this Dress

I actually made this dress, according to my note on the pattern envelope, in December 2007. I just wore it for the first time on December 13, 2009. Why the delay? First, I simply didn't have the right occasion. The lovely fabric, with its gold threads and colorful pattern, seemed to demand an especially festive event. Second, the neckline was just too low to wear without a camisole. Believe it or not, I didn't have a large enough scrap after cutting the dress (in a single layer layout) to make a modesty panel or cami. I just couldn't get into the idea of pairing the dress with black. I wanted to keep it all happy colors.

The breakthrough came when we found out we would be traveling to Portland, OR to celebrate the wedding of my brother-in-law. Festive? Check. Cleavage? I decided to cut up a lovely top I had made in a gold fabric that turned out much too small (very little stretch in that stable metallic knit). The camisole from the 2-2009 Ottobre Woman magazine was perfect, as it had a bodice panel piece which I could just fit onto one section of my repurposed fabric. The unseen, princess-seamed portions of the cami were made from two kinds of black knit scraps from other projects.

Interestingly, at the wedding party, I looked around a room filled with black and gray clothed revelers. Wow, did I feel like a Southerner at that moment. It had never occurred to me that my bright dress would be very different than a typical West Coast urban evening dressy dress. But I don't mind being different! I just went with it.

With Kwik Sew 2948 cardigan

Closer view of fabric

Pattern Description: Knit dress in two lengths with bodice variations.

Pattern Sizing: Sizes 4-12. I made a combination of sizes 8 (at shoulder, neck and sleeve) and 10 (below armhole).

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it's a pretty straightforward silhouette.

Were the instructions easy to follow? As I recall, now two years on, they were easy to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the lovely results seen on other PR reviewers of different shapes and sizes. I could see that this is a forgiving design. I actually have decided that I don't particularly care for wrap styles on me. I never seem to feel completely secure in them, and they tend to place an emphasis on the bust line. I should have shortened the neckband slightly, which would have made the neckline more secure and lessened the need for a camisole underneath.

Fabric Used: Beautiful slinky knit from EmmaOneSock, described as having come from Chico's. I believe there were only one or two cuts of this print and I was thrilled to score one. I really had to work hard at the layout to get the dress out of the two-yard piece with the gold stripes running the way I wanted them. I cut a duplicate of each unfolded pattern piece and a full version of each on-the-fold pattern piece so that I could lay it all out before I began cutting.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a 3/4" FBA and shortened the midriff and midriff overlay by 1". I chose the shorter skirt length (D), and I don't believe I shortened it further.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I'm not sure whether I will sew it again. Even though I like it and I feel like the fit is good, the fact that it took me two years to wear the dress makes me wonder whether this is a style that I feel comfortable wearing. But looking at all the lovely results PR members have gotten from this pattern, I can definitely recommend this pattern.


  1. The dress is lovely, and I am glad you got to wear it to an event. Don't woeey about being the only person wearing colour, the others have no imagination!

  2. That is a lovely dress, and the colors look great on you!

  3. Lovely dress but what pattern is this?

    1. Oops, how could I have omitted that bit of information? Simplicity 3775!