Ok so first up, the September issue - I love love love this one! So many good patterns that I will definitely be using next year when our weather cools down (one of the disadvantages of being in the opposite season) or when (if?) my waistline finally gets back to pre-baby measurements. Like these gorgeous dresses:
or these funky tops:
The pattern I selected, #109, is a very simple shift dress with minimal shaping, just two curved darts on the front:
The reason I picked this pattern is because I really wanted to use that funky striped ponti knit I bought a little while ago from Spotlight, and I thought that this pattern would pose minimal interruption to the stripes and would also look casual in a funky kind of way.
The problem however with this pattern is that I don't particular like shapeless shift style dresses - as a pear shape such a style emphasises my wide hips and obscures my waistline so I really don't know what I was thinking! I knew I'd need a sway back adjustment to get a nice fit in the back so I decided to make a muslin first which was a good move because now my fabulous fabric is still sitting there waiting for the right pattern but I've also ended up with a dress I like, a real win win situation.
I pulled out a mysterious double knit fabric from deep within the stash, which I think may have come from my grandma's stash that I inherited because I don't recall buying it. Since my grandma seemed to favour plasticky polyester type fabrics I didn't realise until I was sewing and pressing this fabric that it is actually a nice ponti style knit that presses really well and drapes quite nicely. And here's my finished version:
My version is sleeveless partly because I didn't have enough fabric to make the three quarter sleeves, but mostly because it was only after I had sewed it up that I realised this dress was a keeper, and then I discovered that the sleeves are actually sewn on in two pieces (the cap sleeve) or with a split in the middle of the cap, and are sewn onto the front and back separately, and then joined with one seam from the neckline, through the shoulder and down into the sleeve. I was just too lazy to undo the neck facing and shoulder seams to sew the sleeves in, so sleeveless it remained!
These photos make the dress look a lot looser around the midsection and neckline than it is in real life, but I think that it's because this is a clingy knit which I didn't line. But look at this awesome fit at the back, and pretty ok fit in the front:
I did make a swayback adjustment to the pattern of about 4cm before I cut out the fabric, which helped reduce fabric pooling I usually get in my lower back. But to get that close fit I also put in two vertical darts parallel to the zipper, and I also had to put in small darts at the back neckline because it was gaping a bit. The back looks a little messy, but I can live with it since it fits well now:
I also ended up shaving quite a bit from the sides so that dress is a closer fit to my waist and hips and not the straight line of the original shift pattern. And what I've ended up with is a nicely fitting sheath dress that has a graceful a-line skirt that falls in nice folds thanks to the drapiness of the fabric - all good but not the loose fitting shift dress of the original pattern though!
I know that the dress, despite being well fitted and in a glorious deep blue colour, is a little boring as it is. I toyed with the idea of piping or contrasting top stitching, but instead I had a dress up session while Toby was having a sleep and decided that any one of my numerous scarves, or a colourful belt + shoe combo, or my absolute favourite asymmetrical cropped jacket (from Veronika Maine many seasons ago) jazz the dress up enough to leave it as it is:
So about the pattern itself - it's super easy to sew, and is even the illustrated sewing lesson in the magazine if you're a beginner and need some assistance. If you like this style of dress then this pattern is pretty good. But since I don't particularly like the trapeze/swing shape of a shift dress I doubt I'll make this pattern again, although I did note down all the changes I made so I could use this pattern as a fitted sheath dress again in the future I suppose!
Oh and check out how big my little wombat is - he just turned 6 months and is growing at a rapid rate!