I have tried a pattern from a Craftsy seller Deby Coles at So Sew Easy.
The pattern I tried was the Cross My Heart Dress.
Here's what the designer's dress looks like:
I promised her facebook group members here that I would explain some aspects of the construction. The main thing I did differently was to make the dress sleeveless.
Let's start at the very beginning ... (yes, the older I get, the more everything seems to relate to a song)
This alone caused words of exclamation at my house. Never mind that only one other person lives there besides me. Having a cleared cutting table is not the norm here:
I opted to have my pattern printed at FedEx/Kinko's, a popular mailing and printing place in the US. The printout was three feet by four feet, with a total of 12 square feet. The cost was 75 cents per square foot, so I paid $9.00 plus tax to have this printed:
I cut the pattern pieces apart to facilitate the tracings I would do:
My tracing medium of choice was called PatternEase. It's now called something else, and I've forgotten what that is. I cut pieces large enough for either the whole project or for individual pattern pieces. I steam press the Pattern Ease before using it:
I use Nancy Zieman's Pivot and Slide technique to trace the patterns. You may be able to tell that I used the small neckline, the large shoulder and armscye, and I shortened the back waist length. I also bypassed most of the waist indentation:
Not shown is that I made neck and armscye facing patterns by marking a 2.5-inch distance from the necklines and armscyes. I connected the dots and traced these onto the PatternEase. I cut these facings from a very thin polyester knit that's in my stash:
After cutting out the dress pieces from the fashion fabric, I started by turning under the long edges of the drape pieces. I pinned these narrow hems in place, controlling with pins at an angle:
I stretched the fabric slightly while stitching with a narrow zigzag stitch:
Here's a cool trick: take a picture of your sewing machine settings so you can remember for next time. This picture shows the settings for zigzag topstitching:
This picture shows how I pinned the back pieces for the center back seam:
I followed the instructions pretty closely to attach the front drape pieces and to sew the shoulder seams.
I sewed the shoulder seams of the armscye facings and pinned thtem to the dress:
I turned up the aremscye facigs when I stitched the side seams:
Then I turned the facings to the inside and pinned well:
first I stitched near the stitched edge of the facings from the inside, watching carefully that the facing would not show from the outside. I placed another row of stitching to hold it down better. After that, I trimmed off the excess facing fabric. This picture of the neckline shows the inside and the outside fairly well:
The dress fits me fairly well, but it's not hiding my belly:
I also learned the hard way that I should have used a smaller armscye:
This is wearable, and considering my current body shape, it will work for going to the store but not to work.
Aside from using a smaller armscye, what do you think I can do to make this dress better?
I plan to try at least one or two more patterns by this designer. I hope you will try some, too!