Monday, 22 April 2013
Ok, so unlike the jersey batwing tops I recently made, this is the first garment I have to show you that is a definite pregnancy-directed diversion from my usual style of clothing. As I warned might happen: shit just got pretty tunic-y up in here!
I mentioned in my Mild-Maternity plans post that I was considering buying and making the Tova tunic/dress pattern by Wiksten. It received a lot of love in the comments section of that post so I was convinced! Also, it's available as a printable PDF which I tend to prefer because they are often cheaper and I don't have to wait for it to be delivered. Plus, if I totally mess it up I can print off another copy.
So first up, I have to say I really enjoyed making this dress. Despite sewing being my main passion and something I love to do, some projects can be a bit of chore to get through, can't they? This was not. Even though I tend to wear jersey or stretch/knit garments more often day-to-day, and firmly appreciate the comparative quickness of sewing such a garment, I also sometimes LOVE to get my teeth into a project like this: that requires lots of super-neatness in the form of pressing every damn step and careful top stitching. Although I don't wear them much, from time to time I adore creating woven garments with a really clean finish. That was kind of my niche when working at TRAIDremade, although I did of course turn my hand to jersey, knit and sweat makes whilst working there, especially when my boss left to go on maternity leave. Anyway, I digress. I think with this type of project the trick is to not be in a rush and to take your time. I wanted to get this dress made before I went away to Berlin a couple of weekends ago because I thought it would be really comfy to travel in (it was), but I gave myself a good few days to finish it without stress.
I made this using the same fabric I used for my first attempt at the Ultimate trousers, a super-soft pale grey something-or-other! This dress is therefore made from stash fabric, but I can't say I've busted it out of there because there is STILL enough remaining for at least one more dress or pair of trousers. I have to say, this fabric works way better for a dress than it did for the fitted cropped trousers, although I think the rest of it may be destined for a pair of looser wide legged trousers at some point, post-pregnancy. I'm thinking something like these but with black buttons.
Pattern Sizing and Changes:
I cut out the medium for the top section but added 1 cm to each side seam from the waist area down to accommodate my growing belly and bootay a bit more to get as much wear from this make as possible before I become enormous. Being that it's not a maternity pattern, I'm sure I'll get lots of wear from it post-pregnancy too, however perhaps not for a while because if I am able to breast feed, this dress'll be pretty useless whilst the baby is boob-dependant.
The only other change I made was to add a little popper about a quarter of the way up from the bottom of the placket (after I took the above photos) to stop the opening from flapping open too much. I'll be tempted to make button holes and apply buttons along the placket for my next version.
Normally I use sewing pattern instructions as a mere suggestion, but I followed them pretty closely this time because I liked the explanations and order of construction. The only time I diverted from the instructions was to complete the neckline before inserting the sleeves, just because I wanted to avoid the raw neckline stretching out of shape. Oh, and I also took some advice from one of the reviewers of this pattern on patternreview.com to stitch the gathered section to the inset panel and then stitch the two sides, rather than doing it in one continuous and scary process. Next time I'll add some interfacing to the placket and collar, especially if I use a thinner fabric, which I probably will because I think this fabric's thickness is the upper limit of appropriateness for this pattern. Thank goodness I didn't make it in denim like I originally intended!
Even though I am not convinced this dress is what I'd consider to be 'my style', I do really like it and have worn it heaps since its completion. I thought the smock style might look a bit 'farm-hand', but Pat actually declared it to be sexy, in a sophisticated kind of way. Hmm, are anchors not sexy then?! I'll ponder that another day I think... Anyways, the pattern is a 'win' and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who has been considering purchasing it. Expect to see this dress crop up a lot in the documentation pics during MMM'13!