Quite a few Hot Patterns have made their way into my stash since they started offering pdf patterns. I’ve admired the designs for some time, but the hard copies are in large envelopes and are printed on substantial paper, so the postage costs from the US to Australia are a killer. I’m also still working out how the Hot Patterns drafting and sizing works with my body shape, so a pdf is handy as it can be easily reprinted (I am not a pattern tracer).
This is the Hot Patterns Nexus T-shirt dress. From the pattern website: Meet your new wardrobe superstar, an easy-make, easy-wear, throw-on-&-go T-shirt dress. Choose a medium weight knit with a little stretch and drape like a heavier jersey, panne velvet, velour, ponte, a firm sweater knit, French terry or a double knit.
Unlined, semi-fitted, pull-on dress features a center front seam and integral tie that can be cinched snug or loosely knotted at the waist. Dress has a bound ‘V’ neckline; decide between elbow or full-length T-shirt-style sleeves, and a midi or above-knee length; dress and sleeves finish with deep hems.
You’ll get year-round mileage from this style with a simple change of fabric weight & sleeve length; try it with long sleeves, thick tights and flat knee high boots in cold weather, or wear the short sleeved version with flat strappy sandals when it’s warmer. A gorgeous metallic, beaded, or sparkly knit will make a f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s party dress too…
There were a few things that drew me to this pattern. Firstly, the lack of a defined waist. That’s always a winner for me! Secondly, that it was in a knit. And thirdly, the v-neckline and integral front ties. Fabulous!
After some deliberation I chose to sew size 10 (my bust and waist are more like a 14 and higher) as I felt that this would work better around my shoulders and upper body. Hip fit is rarely an issue for me. I sewed the shorter length, with short sleeves. The fabric is a cotton/spandex knit from Clear It. It’s substantial enough for a dress, but still seems to have enough drape for the ties to work.
I have a feeling that I didn’t really follow the instructions for the neckline. I pressed the neckband in half along its length, sewed it to the inside, then turned it to the outside and topstitched it down. This was done before sewing the centre front seam up. After sewing up the seam, there is a nicely finished V neckline.
The ties are unlined, which niggles me slightly. I think that when I sew this again I may line them, depending on the thickness of the fabric that I use. I finished the edges by turning and zig-zagging to secure – I wanted to retain stretch. I did pay attention to the instructions when it came to where to place the tie that is sewn to the side seam, and put the dress on and had Clare fiddle with it until it was in the best position for my body.
The sleeves are finished with deep hems, and are quite loose. This makes them very easy to wear. I used a twin needle for the hems on both the sleeves and the skirt. The slightly dropped shoulders look quite intentional, in my view. Hot Patterns say that you can wear a small shoulder pad with this style if you wish – I don’t think that I intend to.
This is a fun and easy pattern to sew. The front ties are far easier to construct than you may first think, and there’s a centre back seam that allows for alteration and shaping. I’ll be sewing this one again.