When I was sewing this dress I had some doubts. I really liked the fabric, both the print and the feel. I really liked the pattern, thinking that it would be flattering to my shape. But would I like the two combined? I was still unsure when I hung it on my dress form. But I wore it to work the next day anyway.
And yes, I was very happy with it! I had so many compliments – I think it’s the print and colourway more than anything; it really does stand out.
The fabric is a poly/viscose/lycra knit, pretty much like a lightweight ponte, from Darn Cheap Fabrics. I bought it at a discount as there were some marks on the fabric, but I was able to cut around them easily. It was very easy to sew and to wear – these photos are taken at the end of a full work day, and the dress doesn’t look all that the worse for wear! The pattern is Lekala 5806.
I ordered this pattern from Lekala to my own measurements. In addition to specifying height, bust, underbust, waist and hip/largest protruding lower body area measurements, I was able to tweak some of the measurements to my shape. The hardest part of doing that was working out whether certain proportions were “regular” or not. I ordered this one with the waist height as “high”, upper arm circumference as “increased”, and shoulder width as “reduced”. So far this seems to be fairly appropriate for me. The sleeves were much roomier than I am used to, but they were extremely comfortable to wear and I think that I should probably continue with that change for any fitted sleeved patterns I order from Lekala. The waist height and narrower shoulders were excellent. The dress is a little too wide across the back, but it’s not drastic .
I suspect that is a function of my measurements being evenly distributed between my front and back on the pattern pieces. However, most of my body mass is located on my front – it’s all on the abdomen, both upper and lower. So I might need to think about altering these patterns a little to narrow the backs and increase the front, while keeping the overall measurement the same. A full abdomen adjustment! There was no proper attempt made to match the stripes at the seams since they are so large, blocky and irregular, but there was some attempt to match the pattern across symmetrical pattern pieces. It seems to have worked out okay.
Either way, the finished dress is certainly very wearable! It feels like a happy dress, and was very straightforward to sew as well. The collar does have some handstitching to secure the facing in place, but otherwise it was constructed on the overlocker, with just the tucks, the collar attachment and the topstitching and hemming done on the sewing machine. I think that I’ll use this pattern again – I have just the right fabric already in stash! And Lekala have definitely reeled me in with their new adjustments feature. Even if I now do have to pay an extra 50c to have seam allowances included on the pattern.
Actually, this dress was such a success in my air conditioned office at work that I made another Lekala dress to wear to work later in the week. Shall show you that one soon!