Years (decades ago) I used to sew clothes for myself. I used to believe that I could take a commercial pattern and apply it directly to my body. No wonder they never fit right - too big, too tight, gapey, not sitting properly. No wonder I found myself disappointed and frustrated and gave up. Only recently when I decided to sew for myself once again that I investigated further and found that fact I had to alter the pattern to suit my unique, one-of-a-kind, not out-of-a-packet body. Yes, in this journey of self-discovery I have come to be very aware of my broad back, square shoulders (or are they sloping?), sway back and wide hips. And yes, there would be benefit in making a "muslin" version for fitting. So for the first time EVER I made a muslin of a dress - the Parfait - and then fitted it to my body. I then cut it out from the better fabric and made this trial run. I love it! It perhaps needs a tweak here and there but unless someone points out something that would make it look even better, I think I'm right to run into the good fabric and make another.
I'm wondering though if perhaps I need an adjustment for a sway back?
This is a great summer dress and I totally love it with my new shoes ($8 from Target!).
Pattern Description: A versatile dress designed to be worn as either a sun dress or layered over a shirt or blouse as a pinafore style in cooler weather. Features a gathered bust and flattering curved midriff that fits snugly around the high waist. The straps and gathered pockets fasten with buttons. Skirt is a gently flared six-gore style. Closes with a side invisible zipper.
Pattern Sizing: 0-18
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, the instructions are quite detailed except for the zipper. It just says to sew it in "according to the manufacturer's instructions". Now I'm still new to invisible zippers, and being that there were no instructions that came with my zipper, I referred to the tutorial on the Colette website. I also did a bit of a google search and find some hints relating to sewing in a side zipper. One was to allow a bit of extra on the seam allowance on the top to create a little "house" for the zipper pull.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I love the heart-shaped neckline. I think it is really flattering for my figure, particularly as I'm smaller up top. I disliked the length of the skirt. I like a bit more on the length.
Fabric Used: Poplin, on sale from Lincraft. A thicker fabric would have been better as I wouldn't need to wear a slip with it but for the purposes of a trial run it was fine.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a size 10 up top and size 12 from the waist down. I also adjusted the sides in a touch at the underarm as it was gaping a little there. I didn't include the pockets as I thought this version would look better without them as it was already quite busy. I added 2 cm onto the hem and would do this again as I like the length. Next time I might add a bit more next time as for this version I hemmed used bias binding as I wanted as much length as I could get.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: yes and yes. I already have the fabric ready for the next . I thionenk though the straps need to be a bit tighter as they slip a little. Also I'll add in a little extra (just a touch) on the waist as it is a bit too firm fitting there. It is wearable, but a little bit of ease would make it more comfortable.
Conclusion: Great pattern which totally lived up to my expectations
Pattern: Colette Parfait from Crafty Mamas
Buttons: Sewco and from my stash