I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. For weeks, I have anxiously waited for this time. The university is closed from Christmas to New Year's day. That is a treat in itself. So, it's a good time to post more reviews, sew, and get some sleep.
Today I am reviewing Rhonda's Perfect Travel dress. She posted how to make it back in October, 2012. Finally, I started on it two days before Christmas, finishing it at 2:00am on Christmas Eve. It took about four hours to sew, with the sewing, turning and threading the cords taking the most time. All in all, this was a great dress to make. I must also add, it's more than the perfect travel dress. It's a great party dress too.
This first rendition was for my daughter. She is my principal model for testing design and drapy. The next one I'll make will be for my sister. She has been dying for this dress since I posted a picture of it on Facebook.
Pattern Description: The dress pattern consist of five pattern pieces: bodice front and back, skirt, neckband, and cord. It can be described as pullover dress, loose-fitting through bust,with neck band. The sleeves are wide with shirring cords anchored at the sides of the neck band continuing along the shoulder to the end of the sleeve. The skirt is close fitting, straight with shirring cords along the sides. This dress can also be worn as a top.
Pattern Sizing: You determine the sizing with measurements from mid shoulder to waist and the circumference of the hips.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. My dress is very close to the design lines of Rhonda's posted dress. The neckline of her dress is wider, but you can easily accomplish this by increasing the width of the neckline.
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were good. Nothing difficult or confusing.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I liked the shirring along the sleeves and skirt.
Fabric Used: Plum jersey knit with moderate stretch from Vogue on Roosevelt. I got it from the remnant room. It was about two yards in length. I just had enough to finish the dress.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: There are a few things I'd like to point out. For the neckline, I followed the instructions. It was not a large as shown in Rhonda's version and the hole was not wide enough to easily fit your head through it. So I increased the width by 1 inch on the front and back, 1/2 inch on either side. Then, I increased the depth of the front curve by 1 inch with the center front being 1 1/2 inch as the lowest point. So to get the exact neckline as Rhonda's top, you may have to play around with the neckline measurements. For the cord casings, make sure you sew them about 1/8" wider than the width of the cord to ensure easy threading and adjusting of the shirring. You may need slightly larger seam allowance (6/8").
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes and Yes. I will make this dress in red for my sister sometime in the next week or so. (I think, ;-) )
Conclusion: This is the perfect travel dress. It's knit and won't wrinkle on a long flight. This dress can also be the perfect party dress. The shirring and length options are endless. It can double as a hip length top or a knee grazing tunic. I think it is definitely worth a try.