I’m not very good at this blogging thing, lol. No blog posts for a year and then 3 in one day 😀 One difficulty is that it’s difficult to take good photos – there aren’t many blank walls in our house, and generally it always feels quite dark. We definitely need to upgrade our lighting in every room. But now that my boyfriend is away on a trip for a week, I can take over the house and use it as my sewing studio!
The other difficulty is that I have always been uncomfortable being photographed. My awkwardness and discomfort shows. Well, I purposely cut my face out of the photos since I don’t do my makeup on the weekends. After trying to photograph 2 projects back to back, I actually feel slightly more comfortable. Looking at, and trying to evaluate the photos somewhat objectively, I realise being a bit more conscious of having better posture improves the photos 200%. Maybe I could also learn on working to “give face” in photos, but let’s take it one step at a time 🙂
Anyway, on to the review! I had been wanting to make this dress probably since I started sewing 2 years ago. I think it’s impractical with dresses outside of summer, but browsing the clearance fabrics at my local store, this stable, thin, stretch “denim” twill (probably viscose poly blend) jumped out at me. It would pair so cute with this pattern! And if you’re going to make a cute, impractical dress, you gotta go all the way and make it in white! 😉 I never buy white dresses due to risk of getting ruined – but when you sew, you can just sew another one!
The construction is fairly simple, though fitting was slightly challenging. I love the design and seamlines of the dress – most indie patterns are pretty basic and in my mind not worth paying for when I can trace a Burdastyle from the library for free.
Some fitting tips (or how I did it)
I put together the pdf, traced off a single size (I would need a smaller size for upper half, but figured it would be easier to fit if I traced a single size), tissue fit my bustform to check the general dimensions. I adjusted for my erect/short back. I noticed that the center front hips would need some additional width, and that my center front bust would probably need to be taken in.
To do a muslin fitting, I sewed all the pieces together, except for a 1″ SA pinned along the entire back, and divided the front with a 1.5″ SA. That way, I could get the muslin on, adjust from the front, and remove the back pins, and transfer the fitting adjustments back to my tissue pattern. Since the center is on the fold, I needed to do some pattern drafting adjustments to get more fullness in the hips. I didn’t want to mess with the design of the seams too much unless necessary (only adjusted for my erect/short back).
Because the final fashion fabric was so stiff, I had excessive length/bubbling in the back and the bodice was “lifting up” causing gaping in the neckline, which I attempted to fix by taking up the shoulders and increasing the back center seam. Probably the fabric is not the ideal match for this pattern (the cotton bedsheet muslin sewed and draped perfectly), since there are some fit wrinkles in the back which I don’t know how to resolve. I probably need a sway back adjustment as well.
Overall I think it is cute, but there are few fitting woes that I don’t know how to resolve (or maybe the fabric is a bad match for this pattern). On the bustform it looks great, so maybe the dress needs to be tighter, since it is a stretch twill?! But then again, my body is not covered in flocked velvet texture which can hold the dress in place 😉
The minimalistic Moda dress will add a subtly demure element to absolutely any occasion with clean, sharp lines and curved cap sleeves. Featuring a plunging square neckline and delicate piping that contours the body, the wearer can make full use of the nipped in waist for a more modern, feminine look. Experiment with colour-blocking dress panels and contrasting piping to create a more statement piece, and to enhance that all important body-shaping aesthetic.
UK 4 – 16 (EUR 32 – 44 / US 0 – 12)
I sewed a UK 8/EUR 36/US 4 according to my measurements, but I needed to grade up the hips during the muslin making process. When I looked back on the sizing chart, I realised that the sizing chart was based on finished garment measurements (oops)! I missed that since I usually wear European size 36, so be aware that his pattern sizing has minimal ease.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, the line drawing, although I skipped the piping.
I also added pockets.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
The construction of the dress is fairly straightforward, although there were some misprint/typos in the labelling of pattern pieces. The front side pieces are actually the back side pieces and vice versa. Also, when tissue fitting the pattern together, the front side piece was “mirrored” (had to place with print side facing in). There was one pattern piece where marking lines were missing.
For a beginner (and an “indie” pattern), the instructions are quite sparse. He didn’t explain how to finish the top of the invisible zipper in the side seam, though I suppose if you are experienced that is not a problem (I tried to search online and fairly certain that I did it not do it in the proper way…)
I actually changed the order in which I sewed certain seams in order to make additional fit adjustments.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
The pattern itself is beautifully drafted and designed! Really brilliantly designed so that the darts and shaping become unusual design elements. The pattern pieces consist of many straight lines, which is perfect for beginners like me – and sewing it together was really fun and satisfying due to all the seams coming together like magic!
One major drawback for beginners is that you will need to have some understanding of pattern grading to get a good fit, due to the mystical shaping/darting/seaming, it is not so easy to “just draw a smooth line between” to grade between sizes on the flat pattern.
** fitting tips above **
Stretch cotton viscose poly twill (almost like lightweight stretch denim) that was on sale! Probably not ideal for this project as mentioned.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Fitting adjustments as mentioned.
Added pockets, lengthened the dress 3 cm though it’s still a touch short.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
As mentioned, this is technically an easy sew, although fitting requires some pattern drafting understanding. I’ve read reviews that his patterns are more geared towards slimmer body types, so this pattern may be a bit challenging to fit.
I will DEFINITELY sew this in more fabrics! Would like to try it with contrast piping, in a jacquard or silk, in chambray, in print… It’s so cute, and the fit is coming along. I’ll just need to figure out how to vary the design a little so that it becomes less obvious that I’m sewing the same pattern 🙂