Great knit dresses seem to be popping up everywhere around the blogosphere. With my shape, I have found many of them to be not quite right. With 14 inches difference between my hips and my waist, many of the knit dresses everyone has been making and loving seem to grab me in all the wrong places. Then, a few months ago I came across Greenstyle Creations and their Laurel Tunic or Dress pattern. The empire waist with pleated skirt was just perfect for my body shape.
Greenstyle’s patterns are in PDF form, and they print and go together like a dream. I had this pattern taped together and cut out in less than 45 minutes. The instructions are concise and easy enough for a beginner to follow along. As a slightly more advanced sewist, I used my serger for the majority of the sewing and changed the order in which things go together. First, baste the skirt pleats on a regular machine (if I were using the pockets, sewing them to skirt would be my next step). Second, sew the cowl together to make it round. Third, sew the shoulder seams together. Fourth, insert the cowl and sew it in. Fifth, sew the sleeves in the flat method. Sixth, sew the skirt pieces to the bodice pieces respectively. Last, sew one long seam from the edge of the sleeves to the lower hem. I usually finish it off with a twin needle at the lower hem and sleeve cuff, though on this particular dress because of the heavy cotton wool sweater knit, I opted to hand sew the sleeve cuffs and lower hem with a whip stitch.
Pattern Name: Greenstyle Creations Laurel Tunic or Dress
Sizing: XXS to 3XL
What size did you make: 3XL
What are your measurements and body shape: 52-50-64 I am a pear shape, but with a bit of a low tummy.
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take: I normally take a sway back adjustment. For this pattern, I just curved from the long torso line on the back bodice, which is the size I used for the front bodice piece, up to the short torso line. This gave me the perfect sway back adjustment! It took me about a minute to make this adjustment. Also, I just left out the pockets that are sewn in the side seams. They would have hit me at my widest area, and from experience I know that they would have gaped open because of that.
What did you like: I like that the Laurel Tunic/Dress comes with so many possibilities. Sleeves alone are offered in short, elbow length, three-quarter and long lengths. The pattern offers regular shirt length, tunic length, just above the knee length, and dress length skirts. With my curvier body, the above knee is more tunic length on me, and the dress length is more above the knee. I am 5’6” and am not sure what height these patterns are made for, but I do realize that the curvy factor takes up some length as well. The pattern also can be made for short, regular or long torsos. I make the long torso for the front as mentioned above, and then grade down to the short torso for the back bodice piece. One last variation, you can make the skirt without the pleats in the back or with, but if you are curvy like me, you will need the pleats!
What will you change next time: Nothing, I love this pattern straight from the printer!
What advice do you have for curvy sewists: If you have a large behind leave the pleats in the skirt back piece. If you are really busty you may need a FBA with this pattern. I am only D-cup, and if you were any larger, you would end up with the waist seam up on your chest. Also, the directions for the tunic are fine as printed, but do yourself a favor and sew the sleeves in the flat method instead of doing a sleeve insertion!
Curvy Rating: 5 out of 5 stars! Between the knit materials and the full skirt, this pattern is a 5 all the way for me and the sizing is very comparable to RTW!
Angie from Greenstyle Creations has offered to give a copy of the Laurel Tunic to one lucky CSC reader. Please tell us why you want a copy of this pattern by January 26th (Monday) for a chance to win!
About Me: I am a 30-something plus size gal who is working hard to sew a great wardrobe that actually fits. I also am a thrifter who loves a good refashion, and you never know what great treasures I might find at estate and yard sales. You can follow my adventures in sewing at pandorasews.blogspot.com!