Pattern: Sunny Dress by Friday Pattern Co.
Fabric: Bamboo/Cotton French Terry
Size sewn: XL, with adjustments to the upper body
Difficulty: beginner, easy construction, and assuming you have an extra pair of hands for pin fitting, a good fit is fairly easy to achieve as well
Changes made to pattern: adjusted shoulder angle, shortened sleeves, shortened hem
In an effort to be more involved with the online sewing community, and in order to appease that checklist loving side of myself, I have signed up for #SewMyStyle2018. The garment for the month of January is the Sunny Dress by Friday Pattern Co.
We had a shop sample made up of this dress last year. I remember really liking the shape of the dress, but also being concerned about how it would look on me. I am fairly self-conscious of all the lumps and bumps that make up my hips. All my weight settles there, and I usually choose garments that hide those extra rolls.
I did briefly consider just skipping this month. There’s no reason why I need to do every single garment in the 12 month list. But, and this will not surprise anyone who knows me well, skipping something on a list seriously goes against the grain. I blame my mother. Both of us have been known to cook through cookbooks in order. Having signed up for this challenge, I was ready to go all out.
I did my research, read other people’s responses to this pattern, and debated fabric options. Finally I settled on a french terry, hoping the thickness of the fabric would address my concerns about the fit of the dress. We have a buttery soft bamboo/cotton french terry in the shop, and I enjoy just holding this fabric. The weight and texture are just perfect.
As for choosing a size, I took a look at the size chart and realized that as per usual, my measurements spanned 3 different sizes. I know there are plenty of others in the same boat, finding their measurements puts them in the “pear” category, or as I like to call it, the “slightly uneven hourglass.” I could have graded between the sizes, but instead I chose to just trace the XL (the size matching my hip measurements). I cut everything but the sleeve and then just basted the shoulder seams and side seams. This allowed me to try it on and have someone help me pin the shoulders and upper body to fit.
As you can see from the pictures, the shoulder seams were brought in at an angle.
The side seams had a pretty even 3/4″ extra, but I used a french curve to trace a smooth curve from the hips through the waist and bust. Once I was happy with the fit of the upper body (the lower body was really quite a good fit from the beginning), I compared my new sleeve opening to the pattern and chose the sleeve that matched the size of the armhole. This turned out to be a small.
For finishing I chose to bind the neckline and the hem. Since neither of these places needs to stretch I used a woven from my leftover fabric stash and stitched with a straight stitch. For the sleeves, I turned them under and used one of my new favorite knit hem stitches, the stretch triple straight stitch. This mimics the neckline and the hem, but still stretches a bit.
I’m really happy with it. It fits well, the french terry is super comfortable and yet still super chic, and the fit is flattering. Since the fabric travels well without too much wrinkling, and the dress works for both dressy and casual, this dress is the perfect travel garment. I am planning on throwing it in my suitcase for my trip to AZ this weekend. I am definitely glad that I stepped outside of my comfort zone and made this dress.