Welcome! This is a reveal of something I've sewn for me!! Over the last couple of months I've actually found the time to do a bit of sewing just for me and it does indeed seem selfish! Not that my boys have complained!
This bit of selfish sewing was probably the least of my selfishness as it was assisting the lovely Kennis of Itch to Stitch with the testing of her recently released Marbella Dress pattern. It was a great test, run through Facebook, and I was lucky enough to be in the company of some wonderful ladies testing this pattern. It was a warm and friendly environment, all encouraging with their knowledge and all turning a blind eye to underwear revealing toiles/muslins. All in the name of pattern testing, of course!
Kennis has developed the 'ultimate versatile' Dress. The dress itself has a lovely wide boat neckline; a front and back yoke; princess bodice seams; a tulip shaped skirt with front pleats and back darts; functioning roomy inseam pockets that attach to the waist seam (love how they stay put); and an invisible zip to finish.
And although all those features are awesome, I haven't even mentioned the best bit yet... it comes with A-D cup sizing!! Hallelujah - No FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) required!!!! Which is what totally attracted me to testing this pattern in the first place! Since having my children my bust never went back to it's original 'B' sizing, and I have been learning to sew and dress for a 'D' (ahem, on a good day) cup size. Trust me, it's taking some getting use too!
I chose to sew my final version in a vintage red and white polkadot pique and only lined the bodice to cope with the heat of our upcoming Australian Summer, it's going to be a scorcher apparently! However, I am planning a dress in a pretty summer cotton floral, and also a luxurious evening silk LBD. I think a scuba knit fabric would make an awesome rendition of this dress too! Oh and you can colour block, you must go check out Ann's black yoked version over at 1 Puddle Lane - it is perfection!
This is marked as an intermediate pattern and although it has princess seams, which are generally easy to take in, adding the yoke at the neckline front and back means that you need to get the fit of the yoke perfect. You can't really take it in after you've cut your fabric. I definitely recommend doing a toile of the bodice, at the least.
It is true that I have some fitting challenges with my wild succulent woman shape. I have small shoulders across the front, rounded at the back, I am short waisted, big high busted (thankfully gravity has not taken a hold as yet!), rectangle shaped and sway backed. I needed to take further darts from the front and back yoke due to my narrow shoulders; and I also took a dart from the bust point to under the arm, due to my bust acting more like an 'E' than a 'D' - how dare it! Yes, doing a toile and fitting does take time but now I have a perfectly fitted tried and trued pattern - happy days!
Sewing the Marbella Dress together, even with the alterations I made for my body shape, was a dream. All the pieces fit together perfectly, everything lined up as it should - specifically the bodice princess seams lined up with the centre of the front skirt pleats and the back bodice princess seams with the back skirt darts! I was really impressed!
My favourite part of this dress is the pockets. I have made many inseam pockets before but I have never, who knows why, made pockets that are sewn into the front waist seam! Genius! They don't flop around, they stay put, look so neat from the right side and they don't pull, gape or roll out when wearing the dress. I've learnt something new, thanks Kennis.
Secondly, Kennis' invisible zip instructions and associated diagrams were very clear. I often attach the second leg of the invisible zip only to find out that I've somehow twisted it! So frustrating. With Kennis' instruction it went in perfectly, for both my toile and the real deal! Yes, I did a little happy dance - not stressful at all!
So all in all, I'm very happy with this dress. After seeing the photos I had two thoughts. One, I could definitely go a bit tighter in the bodice under the bust, there is plenty of swivel room, but hey it's the perfect 'lunch with the girls' frock; and Two, I wonder if someone will mistake me for Minnie Mouse in my red and white polkadot dress?? Ha ha, it's very fresh, that's for sure!
If you would like to read more about the lovely Marbella Dress and see what the other lovely tester's did with this pattern head on over to the Itch to Stitch Blog to see who's on the Blog Tour. Oh and while you are there be sure to enter the competition to win your own copy of the Marbella Dress Pattern, if you can't wait for the competition to close because you want your copy NOW, Kennis' is offering to refund your purchase if you are the competition winner! What are you waiting for?