So where were we? Oh yes, Built by Wendy 3692. Behold my second version of this pattern—this time as a dress and made in a size 10. I was pretty zealous in my last post about the fact that this is four sizes smaller than what the pattern measurements indicate should fit me. A little over zealous perhaps, because while it feels comfortable and fits more or less fine, when I looked at these photos I started to wonder if the 12 would fit better. Primarily because the shoulder seams look a little high to me. And perhaps it’s a wee bit snug through the bust. Also, my measurements are between the 16 and 18, so if I rounded down and it turns out the 12 fits better, I’d have to revise my earlier recommendation that you size down by four sizes. At this point, I’d say more like two or three sizes.
I still like it a lot the way it is. I’ll just continue to test and tweak. And report.
Oh, and I’m in love with this fabric. It’s a
soy/bamboo blend with a tiny bit of lycra which I got at Mill End. The
color is so gorgeous.
What I’d love advice on is the dress part. It’s pretty shapeless—almost like a night gown. I thought I might sew in some elastic at the waistline to give it more shape but then I took it to the Friday night Sew-cial at MD and the good gals there suggested I simply do a few rows of shirring in the back. Sounds great, right? And it looks okay from the front—but is seriously unflattering from the side!
So what do you think? Should I do elastic all the way around the waist—or should I just cut it off, hem it and call it good as a top? I’m leaning toward the latter.
On a side note: I think I need to hire Lauren to be my photo stylist, so things like the twisted necklace don’t happen again. And speaking of helpers, we also had a post-shower streaker run right through our shoot. Good times!
So this may be somewhat out of order but I am posting about this top first although it was not my first adventure with knits. I tackled this project after twice failing with a basic Jalie T-shirt. (One of those is wearable and I'll talk about it another time). But right now I have a lot to say about this pattern. I agree with Melissa’s assessment—it is a good one. But here’s what you have to do: first compare your measurements to those on the back of the pattern and find the corresponding size for those measurements. Now…are you paying attention? Cut out the pattern three or four sizessmaller than that[I have revised my stance on this. See here.] and you’ll end up with a super cute and well-fitting top. Seriously. My bust measurement is 39/40, putting me between a size 16 and 18 according to the pattern envelope. At the suggestion of my teacher, I cut out the 14 and it was huge. I took it in at the sides a good two inches (so four inches total!) and that seemed to do the trick for fitting through the body. Of course the neckline is still too big as you can see by the way it bunches up there. Ultimately I needed the size 10 (see, this is 4 sizes smaller than what the pattern indicates) Crazy!! But I like the top anyway and consider it a success. It’s super comfortable and pretty cute even though it doesn’t lay flat at the neckline. Oh, and it really fits a bit more loosely through the bust than it looks in these photos. Reaching your hand out in an awkward sideways position to take a photo of yourself in the mirror tends to make things pull a bit… you know.
I also think the construction technique for securing the facing
to the body is really whacked. The instructions have you attach the
yoke to the body first (both front and back). Then the facing to the
yoke. The weird part is that now you’ve got a yoke facing flapping
around inside and you’re supposed to secure it by top stitching blind
on the right side where the yoke attaches to the body. Then they want you to
trim away any excess fabric along that stitch line. This is not easy
and really doesn’t make sense. It works much better to sew the yoke and
facing together first and then attach to the body as one piece. An
added bonus here is that you don’t have to top stitch, unless you want
to. I hope this makes sense. Let me know if you need clarification.
Finally: don’t be afraid of a little lycra in your fabric. I
have always thought it sounded kind of gross, but just a touch—2 or 3
percent—gives your fabric good recovery which will be your friend while
sewing—and wearing. I have learned a lot about choosing knit fabrics,
mainly that the amount of stretch and recovery in your fabric greatly
affects the fit and wearability of your garment. Duh.
Alright, I’m done. Except to say that I have made this pattern in a size 10 and will be back to share that project ‘cause I need a little advice…
When Will was 7 weeks old, Kirk and I went to visit my parents in Utah for Thanksgiving. We spent a day window shopping in Park City and I saw this beautiful locket in an antique store there. I loved it. He secretly bought it. I forgot about it. Then he surprised me with it on Christmas morning. It is truly one of my most special belonging and I wear it all the time. I should update the photos inside since they are about three years old.