This is a project that I started way back in August. I've had the fabric cut out and waiting to be turned into a lovely dress. I used Simplicity Pattern 2403, and set out to make the dress on the right. Here is what I ended up with. Slightly different than I envisioned, but a learning project none the less. There are several things about the dress that I like, but several things that I wish would have done differently.
I've talked a little bit about my fear of tissue paper patterns in the past, but they are well founded, and here are a few reasons why:
1-Getting the right fit.
I always worry that I won't get the fit right. I know that pattern sizing is different than ready made clothing sizing, but it is just a bit hard for me to know what size to select. I took my measurements, and was right between sizes. I don't have the experience to adjust or tailor a pattern, so I figured it would be better to be safe than sorry, and made the larger dress size (which was basically +10 on my regular dress size). Consequently I'm left with a dress that I probably won't be able to fill out until I start nursing another baby, or take up tissue paper enhancement.
I wouldn't call myself a beginner sewer, but I am by no means an expert. Somewhere in-between probably. I am a pretty visual person and for the life of me cannot interpret their illustrations. Not only that, but they combine about six steps into one illustration, leaving me a bit lost.
Also my idea of the left side of the dress always seems to be the patterns right side.
I hate marking patterns, the more I sew the more I am coming to realize the value of marking pattern pieces, but after cutting out the pattern, and the fabric I am ready to get down to business. I don't want to take the time to mark every single piece of fabric. Maybe it's due to my mistake, but it seems that they have you mark the wrong sides of your fabric pieces, but by the time that you need to see the markings they are encased in a band, a placket, or who knows what.
Alright well those are the things that I dislike most of prepared tissue paper patterns. They are rather helpful, and I appreciate that someone went to all of the work to design a piece, and make all of the measurements, but they just never seem to turn out as I hope they will.
Take this dress for example. I know that the material is a bit blah, but who knew that the dress would turn out so matronly, or that the sleeves would be SO pouffy.
Oh well, I learned a lot of new things while sewing this dress. Prepared patterns really help me gain a better understanding of clothing construction, and the usefulness of a seam ripper. It seems that every other seam I sewed on this dress had to be unpicked. It has just been one of those sewing weeks (full of unpicking-because of my error).
I do have another dress pattern on hand that I plan to try out. Maybe I'll make a size smaller next time, and use some fabric that I love. I'm thinking some Heather Bailey fabric, what do you think. After a month of avoiding fabric purchases I am going to indulge and buy something that I love.
Any advice on pattern sizing? I typically wear somewhere between a 2 and a 6, the dress I made was a 12. What size discrepancy have you found?
I never intended for this post to sound so negative, but I just feel a need to express my sewing frustration. I am going on a sewing vacation for the next couple of weeks (because I'm going on an actual vacation). If you don't find me here you'll know why. I might pop in here and there, but I will probably be slow in replying to any comments.
Any pattern using advice would be more than appreciated (sizing, favorite pattern lines, ect.)