*sigh* When am I ever going to learn to listen to my gut when it comes to sewing projects? Once again, I rushed through a making a garment because I wanted to be done with it so that I could sew something else, and once again, I made boatloads of errors with an easy pattern that resulted in a garment that I'm probably not going to wear very much.
Back when it was first announced, I was super excited to participate in the Curvy Sewing Collective's first sewalong--a "wrapalong" for wrap dresses. I pulled candidate patterns out of my stash and pre-washed fabric. I envisioned not just one, but several wrap dresses to be made for the sewalong. The sewalong officially started on September 29th, when my mom was in town, and when my mom left a few days later, I realized "Oh shit, it's October!" "October" meant that I really needed to get cracking on my daughter's Halloween costume, which was important enough to me that I didn't want to leave it up to the last minute. This project loomed over my head the entire time that I worked on my wrap dress. Like many, many other little girls this year, Eva is going to be "Elsa" from Frozen for Halloween, and Elsa's dress is a bit more complicated than my typical knit top or dress projects. I was both nervous about this and really wanting to dig in to my Elsa dress project.
Stressing out over both needing to and wanting to work on Eva's Elsa dress, I elected to go with the simplest (faux) wrap dress pattern that I had in my stash: StyleArc's Slip-on Suzie. In StyleArc's words, "This is a fantastic fake wrap dress, it is easy to make and wear, just slip it on. You have the choice of a cap sleeve or a long sleeve, so it’s suitable for all seasons and occasions." The description is accurate, you couldn't ask for a much easier knit dress than this.
|StyleArc Slip-on Suzie|
- After I'd already had my heart set on using this pattern, I pulled the pattern out and discovered that the pattern was a size 20, when my measurements currently put me in a StyleArc size 22. I'd apparently ordered it about a year and a half ago during the 5 minute window when I'd lost some weight but before I'd regained it. Lesson learned: On a single size pattern, check the size before you get your heart set on making it if you're in a rush.
- I figured that it wasn't a big deal to grade up one size, but when I went to grab my pattern tracing paper, I'd discovered that it had been toddler'ed and that I didn't have anything suitable to do my alterations with. Lesson learned: Make the trip to JoAnn's or Hancock and pick up some replacement paper while waiting for your replacement roll or paper to arrive.
- When cutting out my fabric, I decided to fudge my upsizing by cutting out an extra large seam allowance. Unfortunately, when I went to sew the side seams, I discovered that my eyeballing effort wasn't very accurate and one front side seam was several inches shorter than its corresponding back side seam. To fix, I had to shorten the entire dress by another 2". Lesson learned: Don't eyeball adding to the side seams.
- The 2" of extra shortening probably wouldn't have been an issue if I hadn't already shortened the dress by 4" via altering the paper pattern. You see, I'd had it in my head that reviews of this pattern said that it ran really long, so I decided to shorten the skirt by 4" right off the bat. If I'd actually had the patience to read through the reviews again, I would have found that I'd mixed up the length issues of another StyleArc wrap dress--the Kate dress, with the Slip-on Suzie. Most Suzie reviewers made minimal adjustments to the length, whereas the Kate was the dress that ran really long. Lesson learned: Re-check any pattern reviews before cutting your fabric.
- Because I hadn't made/worn one in a while, I'd also forgotten how set cross-over styles like this bisect right across my boob, rather than going under it because of how large my bust is. Yes, I know that this avoidable with a large FBA, but I'm not convinced that the neckline going under the boob is any better of a look when you're my size. Other surplice style necklines are a much better look on me.
Here's the line drawing for the pattern:
|StyleArc Slip-on Suzie line drawing|
FabricThe fabric that I used is an ITY jersey from Gorgeous Fabrics. I bought this cut to use specifically with this dress because I wanted a dress with a larger scale print, and I knew that this simple pattern would show off the print well.
Pattern SizingConsidering that the dress I made was a size too small, I'd say that the pattern fits true to size. One size up, had I actually graded properly, would have been perfect.
Pattern InstructionsThis dress has minimal instructions, as is often the case with StyleArc patterns. However, it's such an easy dress that a fairly beginning sewist could probably successfully tackle this pattern. Here are a few notes about the instructions:
- There's no binding or facing for the neckline. (In some reviews, I see that some people drafted their own binding.) You just stabilize, then flip and stitch.
- The instructions have you sew the side seams then set the sleeves in in the round. I ignored this and did my usual order of construction for knits where I set the sleeves in flat and the sewed the side seams/sleeve seams all-in-one. I was a bit surprised to see this from StyleArc because while their instructions are usually minimal, they also usually follow standard practices.