Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's a Wrap

The BWOF dress is done. (October 2008 issue, Dress 120)

From the magazine: "Tiny pleats at the neckline and in the skirt as well as a raised waist are the girlish attributes of this dress, yet the severe graphic print in cool colors makes it ideal for every woman."

I don't know that I'd call my print (a poly something print from Hancock Fabrics) severe or graphic, but it is rather sophisticated, at least in my opinion, and it worked well for this dress.

I like the overall style of this dress. It's easy and comfortable and it makes me feel kinda cute in a dressed up way. I haven't found just the right accessories for it yet, but it's just a matter of time.
I made a size 44. The only adjustments I made were to add 1/2" of width to the bottom of the sleeve, and I snugged up the side seams a total of 7/8" from the underbust seam down. After all, there's "loose and easy fitting" and then there's "shapeless and sack-like." I was going for the former. The fit seams pretty good. The shoulders and back do feel a bit snug, but since this is my first BWOF pattern in over 15 years, I don't know if it's because I chose the wrong size, or if it's just this particular pattern. I will need to try a couple more patterns before deciding. I really don't think I could have gone any larger in the bust. This fit me fine even without a FBA. And incidentally, I did make a muslin and it did not seem to be quite as snug. Hmm.
My favorite feature of the dress is the neckline pleats.

I also love that the neckline is modest, but not too severe. I chose not to use the facings that the pattern called for. Instead, I used bias binding cut from my fabric to finish the neckline. I cut a double width, folded it in half, stitched it to the dress, folded it to the inside and topstitched it down. It's almost unnoticeable, and it stays hidden. I was worried about the facing trying to roll to the outside, especially at center front.

One word of caution if you are thinking about making this dress: Check the length before you cut. I added 2 inches to the pattern piece for a hem and only ended up using 1 and 1/2. Although I think this dress would be really adorable in a shorter length- on someone else- I really wanted to be careful. I felt that the length I ended up making was just right. Short enough to be fun and fashionable, but not so short as to be unflattering or ridiculous. Okay, make it two words of caution. Make sure and use a fabric with plenty of drape. There are 6 pleats across the front of this dress and 6 across the back. A stiff fabric will definitely give you that "Mother to Be" look that so many of us are trying to avoid.

I'm going to give this pattern an A-. For now anyway. I'm going to have to wear it out and get a good feel for it before I decide if it's a favorite. I wore it to church this morning, but it was so cold I never even took my coat off, so it doesn't count. In any case, I'm glad this dress is done because I'm ready to move on to other things.

Like Winter Garden.


Dawn said...

I really like the tucks at the neck. It's very flattering.

Vicki W said...

Very pretty and very flattering! I love that fabric.

Anonymous said...

I think this dress is absolutely adorable on you. Quite smart and trendy.

Shannon said...

Thanks for the kind comments, y'all.

Lori said...

Very pretty dress, the pleats are a nice feature on this pattern.

Mary Nanna said...

Very nice.

Funnily enough, I stumbled across another great review of yours last night. Me and my sister were researching shirt dresses. I remembered the one you made (and had more success with than me - I made a very poor fabric choice) and we came across another one made by you - a green one, with lots of top stitching..almost military style? Anyway, we stopped for a quite a while to admire the top stitching and the nice little details like the metal loops.

This dress looks lovely.. I suppose it'll be a while before the coat comes off at church though. shame.

angie.a said...

Yay! It looks fabulous on you. (as does everything you make!) I'm convinced enough by your guinea pig to finally start mine! :P

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

I am late to this party but I really like the fabric you chose to make this dress out really gives the dress personality!!!

tiger said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.