Pattern Description: The Fringe Dress from Chalk and Notch Patterns. I don't normally purchase pdf's, but I decided this one was worth it. And it was. I made my first version (the black floral one) two days before Easter in a mad dash because I had nothing that fit my lumpy postpartum body. It's a perfect nursing dress with the front button closure. I liked my black floral one so much that I immediately cut out the orange and blue zig zag version. I only recently made the blue and white stripe goldfish version with some changes, and I don't love it. It's currently on the chopping block. It might become a top.
Pattern Sizing: Pattern comes in sizes 0-18. I made a 10, which lined up with my bust measurement but not my waist measurement at the moment I gave myself a little more seam allowance at the bottom of the bodice just in case, but I don't think I needed it since the bottom of the bodice hits very high on me. And as an aside, I'm definitely in the midst of the normal postpartum body struggles since I had a baby five months ago. I'm at that point where I really don't know what size I am and nothing fits. And being a second baby, I feel like the weight is just hanging on for dear life. I'm still nursing, though, and I've decided to be kind to myself until I'm done nursing. I'm sucking in like a champ in these photos. Ha!
Fabric Used: The black floral version and the blue and white stripe goldfish print are both rayon poplin from fabric.com. It's one of my favorite fabrics to work with. The orange and blue zig zag print is a rayon I bought from Hancock right before they closed down.
Alterations/Deviations: I lengthened the black floral version to a maxi after reading the tutorial on the Chalk and Notch site. No other changes. The bodice hit me just under my bust line, so on my second version I added about 5/8" to the bodice. After looking at pictures, I can't decide if I like the longer bodice or not, but I do get a slight maternity vibe from the black floral dress. For the last version, I roughly went up a size by adding to seam allowances when I cut the fabric. Not the proper way to do it, I know, and I just eye-balled it. I thought I wanted a more relaxed fit. I also added some more width to the the hem line by pivoting from the back and center front. So the skirt has a bit more flare. All three versions I did the button front because I'm nursing a baby. I did the elbow sleeve and sleeve tabs on the orange and blue version, which is a nice design feature. I put the ties on the first two but left them off the goldfish version.
Likes/Dislikes: The pattern is great. The design is really easy to wear and like I said before, it's a great dress for nursing moms. The fit is really spot on according to my measurements, though having the higher waistline helps. I wore my first two versions weekly when I went back to work at the end of the school year and they made me feel good and like I actually had myself together, even though I sure didn't! I love the black maxi version the best. In fact, I'm thinking about making another maxi version before school starts back again in a couple of weeks. I like the orange and blue version a lot, too. I spent forever on pattern placement. I actually had the back piece cut horizontally like the front but discovered I had a slight tilt when I started sewing it together. I had just enough fabric to go back and cut the back bodice the other direction instead. I knew having one side that didn't match up would drive me nuts. I'm not in love with the blue and white stripe goldfish version. Even thought the fabric is supposedly the same substrate as the black floral, it's much thinner and lighter weight. It's slightly see-through, too, so I'll have to wear a slip to wear it to work. I'm also not a fan of the more relaxed fit, although that could have something to do with the fact that I added to the size just by winging it. I think it's going to get chopped shorter and become a top. I also have some pulling at that first button that I need to try and fix.
Conclusion: Great wearable dress! Skims over my lumpy, post partum mid-section and cinches in the smallest part of my waist. As much as I hate taping together pdf's, this one was worth it!
Side note: Baby! I haven't been on here much (ummm, last October) but for a very good reason. I can't go without mentioning the new little brother in town, baby B. He was born February 15th and is just the perfect missing piece to our family. I have really been soaking up this time with him, especially since I wasn't sure we'd ever get to have that missing member of our family. I'm not sure how many people are out there still reading my blog after all this time, but if you recall, my husband has chronic myeloid leukemia. He was diagnosed shortly after our daughter was born five years ago. With the crazy medication he takes, we weren't sure we'd be able to add to our family. But long story short, we did :). And he's here. And we are just so lucky!
I don't post much here anymore (obviously) and I skim through my blog roll only occasionally when I get a chance. I do, however, spend more time on Instagram. In fact, I find that most of my blog reading comes from following a link from Instagram these days. I like that I can click through to get the whole story since Instagram is really just a quick snippet. So if you are on Instagram and I don't follow you yet, give me a shout. My account is lizajanesews.