(I made this dress before I had the baby and I´m very happy that I´m now finally able to wear it!)
I don´t consider myself the ´curvy´ girl Cashmerette patterns is meant for. Sure, technically I do need an FBA whenever I make a pattern (being a C/D cup) but seeing I almost exclusively sew knits, I take the lazy way out and just don´t bother.
Whenever I´ve sewn a wrap dress though, this has proven to be an issue. Not enough coverage and lots of gape. I´ve never really found a wrap dress pattern which I was 100% satisfied with. Gaping necklines, weird tie attachment, fumbling with the waist seam and swayback adjustment or they just generally take up A LOT of fabric.
When Jenny released her Appleton dress, I was intrigued. It promised a no gape wrap dress without a waist seam with a built-in swayback! I saw all these gorgeous versions popping up (here, here and here) without gape and even though the smallest size was theoretically slightly too big, the finished measurements put me at ease and I purchased the pattern (with Gillian the enabler whispering in my ear;) ) .
That was a few months ago… I kept putting it off until I finally decided to get the pattern printed in a copy shop… followed by another few weeks of lying around my sewing space.
I have to admit that my new sewing room definitely sparks my creativity. Somehow I like to keep it nice and tidy and my space is perfect for all the big projects (big as in pattern pieces) I want to make.
So when I finally decided to tackle this dress, I went all in. I cut the pattern out one night and sewed it up the next day. It would have been a really quick make, but I don´t feel comfortable sewing when my munchkin is awake, even on weekends when my husband could entertain her. It feels selfish and I can´t focus. So I sew when she naps or when she goes to bed at night.
This dress took barely one naptime and one evening sewing session from cutting to completing. Which I guess, is about 4 hours. I could have gone faster but I wanted to do it just right.
My main fabric is a lovely cotton knit and has great stretch recovery. It´s not really light weight or drapey but I like that for this pattern. The feel of the fabric is nice but sadly the inside of the fabric is white and it shows in places where my needle pierced the fabric too much (maybe a stretch/jersey needle might prevent this – shame on me) or where it stretches a little too much. All in all not a disaster and it won´t keep me from wearing it, but if I had known in advance I might not have bought the fabric. (downside of online fabric purchases). I chose to use a contrast black cotton knit for the ties and bands. I really love how it breaks up the polka dots and I´ll probably sew future versions with contrast bands as well.
Because I´ve been trying to sew from stash only, I had to piece one of the waist ties in order to get the right length. It´s not noticable and I made sure the join was in the back, so I´m not bothered at all.
I didn´t make any changes to the pattern and I must say that fit wise it is spot on. The shoulders are just right, the length of the arms are perfect (I have short arms so if you have longer arms, you might want to lengthen them) and the hem length is perfect. But most importantly, as promised: NO GAPE. NO.GAPE!!
And as a bonus feature, my boobs look great in this dress. My husband isn´t the one to get excited about my makes but this one certainly met his approval. (Note to self: Sew more cleavage 😉 )
I see many more Appletons in my future. I have the right fabric, so it all comes down to picking which ones I´ll use (very difficult). It´s perfectly nursing friendly as well, big bonus! The only thing I´ll probably change next time is the wrap part itself. The right front is designed to be narrower than the left part and I´m a bit scared it might not widthstand a big gush of wind, so next time, instead of trimming the right part, I´ll leave it like it is and use the left band as well. More wrap means more coverage (hopefully)
- I cut a size 12 C/D cup
- Teal/black polka dots, cotton knit (stash) – My colourway is long sold out but they do have others.
- Black cotton knit (stash)