Simple Sew Grace Dress

I wanted to love this pattern – it has all the features of a stereotypical dress in my wardrobe; it’s perfect office to evening style; with either a V or scoop neck and a choice of gathered or pleated skirts, I figured Grace was a sure thing. Depending on the fabric you choose, this dress could be as statement or demure as you’d like. So, yes; I wanted to love it and was sure I would but I have come to the sad conclusion that it’s just not for me. Or, at least, I’m not prepared to labour over it when I have other patterns in a similar style that work really well with my body that don’t require the excessive toiles and tribulations which were evidently necessary for the Grace dress.

So, what was so wrong with the pattern, you might ask? I always make a straight up toile of bodices because I find that they always need a few minor adjustments. The first problem I came across in this case, was that it’s pretty clear that the pattern does not account for D+ cup sizes so an FBA was inevitable; the bodice was also too big at the arms and neckline. When I did the FBA, the problems at the arms and neckline became even more pronounced. When I tried to modify these, we came back to the issue with the bust. It just wasn’t a pattern I was going to waste a fourth modification session on; it’s nice but it’s not *that* nice. At this point, I threw the bodice peices away and reached for my trusty Sew Over It Betty pattern and used the V-neck bodice pieces to create a bodice to match the skirt from the Grace dress. It works ok – it’s wearable – but I just don’t love it.

Another thing I’ve learned from my first sewing fail is that I don’t like crepe. This fabric calls for light to mid weight fabrics such as viscose, crepe and silk but crepe is not a fabric I’m dying to use again any time soon. I don’t particularly care for viscose, either. I prefer natural over synthetic fibres. I loved the print of this fabric and bought it on a whim before I took up dressmaking and knew anything about how different fabrics act. It’s an old Lindy Bop fabric and I’ve always loved that white/china blue combination. My conclusion, however, is that I would prefer this dress (skirt included) to have been made in something more stable, and should have stuck with my staple of cotton in some form.

This is the first garment I’ve made that I’m not enthusiastic about which is kind of counterproductive to one of the reasons I sew – to build a sustainable wardrobe filled with pieces that I’ll love to wear over and over again!

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