It’s no secret I am a big fan of the Lady Skater Dress by Kitschycoo. I have made oodles of them and even dedicated a TNT post to the variations. So I was intrigued by peeks of Amanda’s latest release as it wend its way through the sewing blogs … The Comino Dress & Top, an extremely versatile A line dress and top for knits with several variations.
What I particularly liked about this pattern was that it’s not a fabric eater (unlike the Skater) and you can get a really nice little dress from a modest size piece of fabric (1.5 yards on the largest size).
You will also note that there is a version of this pattern with a shaped sweetheart neckline insert in a contrast fabric. I have to say I loved this on sight but common sense ruled in the end. I decided I don’t need any extra detailing to draw attention to my ample cleavage, in fact, the heart shape detailing seemed to be the sewing equivalent of decorating my bust with flashing fairy lights, and hey, the girls get enough attention as it is, so I decided to run with the safer one fabric all over version.
Amanda has her own unique sizing based from 1 to 8, based on high bust, high waist and full hips. This runs from a high bust measurement (this is the measurement under your arms above your full bust) of 30″ through to 44″. It’s also important for fit to choose a jersey or knit with sufficient stretch (it needs at least 40% stretch to work well). Based on my experiences with the Lady Skater Dress I cut the size 8 throughout.
As Amanda suggests I made a muslin of the bodice from some knit scraps and was surprised to discover the fit was spot on without any adjustment at all. Even the armholes, which I feared would be too tight, fit perfectly. As I was planning to cut into one of my favourite jersey fabrics to make the dress itself I also decided to do a quick trial version of the skirt, and I was really glad I did. The skirt fit, but, it made me look like a bit like a sausage! The problem was not with the pattern, but with my pouchy stomach. As the dress is a neat A line fit there is only a little extra fabric in the top section of the skirt …. which for curvier girls with a bit of a tummy could be problematic. It hugged my stomach, showing every lump and bump. Fear not though for this was easily solved!
I recut the skirt, moving the side seam out by around an inch all the way down (grading out quickly from the original waist width) and I also moved the centre fold at the bottom edge to allow another inch of ease there. This makes the skirt a little more wafty than originally designed but allows for a tummy. Once I had attached the skirt to the bodice the weight of the skirt moved the high waist too low down, so I ripped the seam, cut an inch from the length of the bodice and then reattached. Much better and much more inline with the pattern photos, and an altogether more pleasing shape. I also found the skirt quite short so cut it two inches longer than the pattern. Do remember though that if you do these changes you will need to allow at least an additional half a yard to your fabric allowance.
One of the things I wasn’t sure about on the bodice was the bound sleeve edge and I hate the feeling of anything restrictive around my upper arms. Instead I cut a slightly wider armhole and extended the piece an inch and a half to create a cap sleeve which I did a simple twin needle hem on.
One of the things that surprised me was how much I liked the neckline on this dress which originally I thought I might feel was too high. Actually, I love it and made no changes to it.
What did you like?
I love the clear instructions of Kitschycoo patterns and the fact that there is a visual step by step guide for newer sewers, or those sewing knits for the first time as well as shortened instructions for experienced sewers. This is a brilliant out and about dress that would be equally at home with sandals on the beach or in a more glamorous fabric with heels for a night out.
It’s also fast – I like things that are quick to make as it eliminates most wardrobe problems. If you get the fit licked on this one you could probably run one up in an hour. Imagine, only 60 minutes stands between you and eliminating all those “I have nothing to wear” moments, how marvellous!
What will you change next time?
Next time I will try the banded sleeves as I’d like to use a contrast for the neckband and sleeve edge. I’m also planning a maxi dress version of the pattern. I will continue to change the fit of the skirt to allow extra room and because I think a tiny bit more fullness in the skirt is more comfortable for me.
What advice do you have for curvy sewists?
Make sure you make a muslin version of both the bodice and the skirt. Be prepared to tweak the skirt width and allow enough length unless you are aiming for above the knee finished length. Other than that go for it! I can imagine this becoming a summer wardrobe staple.
Curvy rating (1 – 5)
I’m giving this pattern 4 and a half. It would have had 5 but the narrowness of the skirt means that many curvy girls will have to tweak the fit.