I had high hopes for this pattern. And there’s a lot to like about the finished dress. But also a bit that feels rather ‘meh’.
I think that lots of my issues with this dress were due to the size that I chose to sew. I really haven’t got Hot Patterns properly figured out. The last few times I’ve sewn one of their patterns I’ve sewn size 10 (I measure more like a 14, 16 or 18 around the waist) and generally that’s worked out to be the best size. After some flat measuring and oohing and ahing I made the decision to cut size 10 for this one as well. And the body is okay. But the first rendition of it had sleeves so tight that I could barely get the dress on – and then I could barely move!
I unpicked the sleeves and recut them in size 14 (maybe 16?), re-sewed them up, and reinserted them into the armscye with a little bit of faffing around. Then the dress fitted!
That twisted, knotted front was what initially drew me to the pattern. It’s visually interesting and I wondered how it was constructed. I was aware that it could go either way in regard to being belly enhancing or belly distracting (I have a decent size belly).
From the Hot Patterns website: You’ll L-O-V-E this figure-flattering shirtdress, perfect for blouse or shirt-weight weight fabrics like cotton shirting, chambray, crepe or linen. Use a woven with a little added stretch if you’d like, but do also consider a stable knit with a little body, like silk(y) jersey, ITY knits, double knits like ponte, or a lightweight French terry. Semi-fitted, button-through shirtdress has a faux shirt-style shawl collar and an optional invisible side seam zipper. 3/4 length sleeves are finished with a slit and a deep hem facing; the skirt hemline finishes j-u-s-t below the knee with a narrow hem. Dress has a very slightly raised waist seam and a twisted front. This is the very definition of a throw-on-and-go dress; it’s easy to dress it up or down for day, night, work or the weekend, and depending on the season and your fabric choices, this one works with boots, shoes, sandals and sneakers. The fabric is lovely – it’s a linen check that was a gift from a lovely friend. It was really nice to work with; it pressed well, yet has that give in it that you find with linen and linen blends. The front facings/collar pieces were interfaced with lightweight Vilene fusible interfacing, and they turn back beautifully. I particularly like the shaping at the centre back collar seam.
Now, I actually sewed this back in March, and have only just got around to photographing it. I don’t mind how it looks in most of these photos, but also feel that my hair and skin tones blend into the colours of the fabric a bit too much. And really, it fits closely. More closely than I’d probably like. I really don’t know that I’ll wear it.
I do like to give different styles a try every now and then – but I always do so knowing that it could be a gamble. I’m glad that I sewed this dress, but will I sew it again? I don’t know….possibly not. Actually, this dress has already been transferred into the wardrobe in the spare room…and we all know what that means!