After making my son’s second dress shirt, I felt ready to make one for myself. I found the construction to be fun and great to do spread out over a few days. And the Alder dress pattern proved to be fun to sew, even when I had no clue as to what I was doing (hello, collar stand!). There was something about this pattern that made me put a stop to everything else I’ve been trying to make. The dress, to me, says classic, comfortable, and put-together. Everything I want to add to my mom wardrobe.
I applied the following changes to the pattern pieces:
- 1.75 inch Full Bust Adjust, 1/2 inch off the shoulders and scooped out a bit at the armscyes
- added 1/4 inch of width to the yoke and back bodice
- reduced the yoke using a Rounded Back Adjustment
The dress is made from a quilting cotton I had in abundance. I’m saving the good stuff for when I get the fit *just right*. In regards to fitting, I initially started with a 1.5 inch FBA. At the last minute I second guessed myself and increased it to 1.75. I should have believed in my initial measurements and gone with them because I ended up with excess fabric above the pockets (at least, that’s what I’m guessing is causing it. If not, let me know!).
I also noticed that I can do with reducing the shoulders and armscyes a bit more.
But I loved the width of the dress. I was afraid the FBA was adding way too much width at the waist and below, but in the end I love it. When I sit the dress doesn’t gape over my belly. HUGE PLUS! I believe there’s still a bit of excess fabric in the back yoke but it’s nothing I am going to worry too much about.
I thought I followed the collar construction down to a T, but when it came down to stitching the collar stand ends I was lost, no matter how many videos I saw, or various explanations I read. I would replicate the technique and the end result was completely wrong. So in the end I just topstitched it down and called it a day. I’m going to blame late-night sewing. My brain was quite tired by then.
But overall I’m pretty proud of that collar: straight topstitching and no puckering. Hoozah!
Another time I wish I had listened to the voice in my head was when I noticed that the right button band was cut off grain. I had already topstitched it in and after five tries of trying to get the fabric flatter I gave up. I contemplated cutting up another button band and re-doing it but I was so over my seam ripper at that point. I just sucked it up and told myself, “It’s a test garment, keep going!” But a nice button band would make this dress look a wee bit more polished. Oh well. I still like it a lot and plan on wearing it.
It has already survived a trip to the playground. I’ve already made some changes to the pattern and I’m planning to add a few of these dresses to my mom wardrobe. Jen announced some lovely variations she will be going over in the sew along. Making a shirt version will allow me to use the initial stripe fabric I wanted to use (it’s not wide enough for a dress, boo!). This pattern is going to get a lot of use. I’m pumped!
Note: This dress made me do crazy things. My arms are out! No cardigan! BIG fecking deal for me! Eeek!