I’ve changed size a fair bit over the past year, and consequently have been trying out different sizes in different patterns to see what works best on me. I’m actually coming to the conclusion that my shoulders and upper chest really don’t vary much no matter what size I am, and I am best to choose the size that fits those areas nicely, and either grade for the rest or select styles where precise measurements don’t really matter.
I sewed this Pattern Emporium Exhale dress in size 14 – it’s actually too big. Wearable, but larger through the shoulders and upper bust than it needs to be.
The fabric is a slippery poly knit that I bought from a facebook destash seller. Tanya often has marvellous fabrics! I adored this print when I saw it. Although it wasn’t super easy to sew, a few extra pins made it quite successful. Construction was on the overlocker, with the machine used to hem the sleeves and to set in the band around the V shaped neckline. I left the dress unhemmed – didn’t want to interfere with the drape and flow of the fabric. I’m always a bit nervy when I leave an item with raw edges, even knits like this one that don’t fray – it goes again my ‘neatness’ and sewing training!
The pattern website describes the Exhale as follows: Here at PE we love a relaxed look that you can wear and love every single day and the Exhale certainly has you covered. Whether you want to Netflix and chill in a long sleeve sweater knit top or beat the heat of summer in a sleeveless dress, there is a style option for everything.
- 4 Necklines: Rounded high, mid & low. V-neck.
- 4 Sleeve Options: Sleeveless, Short Sleeve, 1/2 & Long Sleeve.
- 2 Top Designs: Short & Long.
- 3 Hilo Top Designs : Top, Midi & Maxi. Dress: Knee Length Gorgeousness with Optional Tie Belt.
FABRIC SUGGESTIONS: ITY, Poly Jerseys, Viscose Elastane, Rayon Elastane, Modal Elastane, Bamboo Elastane, Double Brushed Poly, Single Brushed Poly, Merino Wool Knit, Stretch Lace, Sweater Knit, Hacci, Slub Knit, Scuba (avoid stiff), Liverpool, Cotton Elastane (avoid performance or stiff CL).
It’s pretty obvious from the photos that I chose to sew the dress with short sleeves and a V-neck. This is a really simple dress to sew. Pattern Emporium have very good instructions and an active facebook group if you need any help.
It’s incredibly easy to wear, especially on warmer days, and there is plenty of space and swish through the body. I happened upon some suggestions for styling this type of dress, so got out an elastic hairbands and had a go myself.
There are actually lots of ways to style stretchy dresses with the help of a coin/elastic band/bangle on the inside! There is a massive Pinterest rabbit hole for this. Knowing me, I’ll usually wear this as originally sewn, but it might be nice to alter the look occasionally.
Since sewing this dress I’ve used the pattern again to sew a top, in size 12. SO much better! It will get blogged eventually. I feel that I’m finally catching up on all the garments that were unblogged over my six month blog break. My plan is to get everything up here by Christmas. Because straight after Christmas we’re heading off on a family holiday to Borneo…