Tuesday, May 24

Jersey Dress for my Daughter & Bootstrap Pattern Review



Wrangling in this child for this photoshoot/pattern review, was not as easy as I thought.   Since I was sewing a dress for her, I thought she would show up ready and willing to fit and take pictures whenever I wanted.  OOOOOhhh....but no!!  Going "live" on the internet for review and scrutinizing of her clothes isn't something your average person wants.  Everything has to be perfect, her hair, face, nails, mood, weight, and everything else you can think of when presented with the idea of being put on a quasi-chopping block.   This model-child doesn't have a problem walking a runway for designers.  Neither does she have a problem with self-esteem.  However, presented with a "sewing" blog and still shots that are there to be reviewed and analyzed is a game changer for sure.  I present to you my review of the Bootstrap Fashions Jersey Dress for Jennifer.....please be considerate and remember this is a HUMAN Child you are dealing with!!!

This dress was easy to sew up and took less time than ordering a pizza from dominoes.  However, the time was spent deciding on the placement of the birds in this print.  Yes, those are birds, not houndstooth. Jennifer loves this dress. So let's just bask in that for a quick second. You see, usually she would have to settle for a dress riding up the back and too tight on the arms. Along with those issues of the shoulders being too big at the neck and the front opening showing all her décolleté.


Nothing beats the feeling of a garment that actually fits just you.  Being plus-size and sexy-curvy does not mean it is easy to find clothes that are perfect, even when they say the garment or even the pattern is made for the plus-size woman.  That is a mis-norma.   My child is "fine as all get out!" and is NOT the average plus-sized woman.  She is "CURVY!!" but still proportioned based on the "normal" pattern making standards and "grading" rules that have cropped up for "plus-sized" folks. Truth be told, she and I are built pretty much the same.  We both have "cinched" waist and well rounded butts.  I do say right now....she already has a long list for me to sew for her.  I'm glad she is back to being interested in me sewing for her own style.
bootstrap fashions
Look at that skirt tail...I lengthened the back by 2" inches to make sure it didn't ride up as she walked.  I did take in the center back seam more than normal, but using a strip like this continues to skew the lines a little more than I wanted in order to get around these awesome curves.  The shoulder could have been taken up a tad in order for the "horizontal" balance line above the shoulder blades to stay "horizontal"....but!!  I would have needed to adjust the sleeve. Which is something this person here, didn't want me to waste time doing.  She wanted this dress NOW!!  It is way better than anything she has ever bought in the store!

Construction and Pattern Details:

  • The dress is based off of a custom fitted block/sloper I got off of BootStrap Fashions as a tester they provided me in the form of a store credit worth $6.95.  Normally, I create slopers from my Cameo Pattern Design software, which I have owned and used for about 7 years.
  • Disclaimer here:  NO Flat pattern will give you 100% fit, no matter if you draft it yourself or have a computer aided draft done...you will still need to "do some fabric draping" to get the perfect fit whether on a body or a dressform.
  • To create this I made it pretty close to the base design in order to test the fit of their patterns.  (I did not made a muslin because I was confident with my measurements going into the project.  
  • In the photo here, you can see that we have wings, although, the "block" was listed as "no ease" or negative ease in the bust, waist, and hips, it still was 4 inches too big.  Look at those wings.  I don't understand how that happened.  I measured the pattern after I taped it together and still this is what I ended up with.. so you see...85-90% on fit.  Now that is awesome still, especially when you are short on time.
     
  • The picture below show the pattern layout on the PDF with drawings showing you the changes that I needed to make.... Red is my changes to get the fit you see on the first go-round.  Since, this doesn't have darts, I can tell where the shaping was automatically moved to in order to make this fit...ie- The under arms are huge and baggy.  I have seen that on a lot of "so called" plus-size patterns when they have been graded up over the average of size 16, although, this is "custom", the darts had to be "put" somewhere.

  • I still may go back and pinch out some on the shoulder points in order to get those birds to fly straight across her back.  For now, she really didn't want me to do anything else.  She took the dress and wore it right out.  
  • The pattern didn't include any facings, neckbands, or instructions, rightly so, since this is a "base/block" pattern used for patternmaking.  I drafted the neckband using my own formula for determine the stretch factor and length of the neckline opening.  
  • Basically I would say this is a success.  The pattern is only delivered to you as ONE chance.  Which means, if you make a mistake in measurements, you will need to pay an additional fee (60cents or so) in order to have a new pattern emailed to you.  You can also buy the pattern as a digital download in any format for use on another pattern drafting software that you can use for manipulation.  Something, I like most..since, what's the use of a "base block" if you can't manipulate it any way you see fit.  I like patternmaking, but, I don't like tracing and retracing patterns when designing. 
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