Tanya and I must have been having a Vulcan mind meld when she was formulating her recent CSC post on sweaterknits. I’ve been sewing up a sweatknit storm, which is slightly ironic since I live in Florida. But it was COLD here recently and it will be again (for a few weeks at a time even!), so none of them will languish very long in the closet between wears. Plus it’s always the Arctic zone in my office so a sweater in Florida in August is not out of the realm of reality.
With my first guest post on the CSC I’m going to review the Hot Patterns 1090 Classix Nouveau Uptown/Downtown Knit Dress (whew! that’s a mouthful!), pattern illustration below (and please excuse the craptastic photos … lighting is hard to come by this time of year). The cardigan I’m wearing above is a Muse Jenna … which I also LOVE and you can read about on my blog here. Its contrast pieces are from the same gray sweaterknit as my HP dress.
Sizing: 6-26 in one envelope, but I find the sizing to run on the bigger side so the top end of size 26 is probably the same and if you’re past the 26, you may not have to grade at all.
What size did you make? I’ve finally learned to go smaller than I usually first think with HPs for the shoulders/chest area and for this dress I cut the neckline at 12, the shoulders and upper torso (and sleeves) at 14, and blended to 16 at the waist seam and below. This is definitely smaller than my measurements compared to the envelope sizing would indicate. While this may seem frustrating when picking a size, the good news is that once you DO settle on a size with HP, it’s very consistent after that. For anyone new to HP, do as HP designer Trudy recommends and MAKE A MUSLIN.
What are your measurements and body shape? Full bust 44DD, waist 39, hips 47.
What adjustments did you make, and how long did they take? I’ve made this pattern once before, for a summer knit dress (below) and for that make, I lowered the neckline 1-1/2″ for more of a scoop and pegged the skirt using my TNT pencil as my template (tapering inward about an inch per sideseam). Because I knew I wasn’t going to use the hem band, I also lengthened the skirt 1-1/2″ which gave me a nice wide hem allowance.
I kept the lowered neckline for the sweaterknit version and for both I didn’t adjust the neckband at all. The summer rayon knit was stretchy enough that everything went together without puckers, but the sweaterknit was a bit more stable and I did end up with gathers at the neckline. But that’s OK because I actually like how they look.
I also made the sweaterknit sleeve bands a lot wider (about double) than the pattern calls for to give me the option of folding up a cuff if I decide to wear this without a top layer. I wear them flat under a cardi and they stay in place fine and at this length, do NOT give me an unwanted bicep bulge.
This rear view shows the sleeve bands folded up. OK, maybe you have to squint a bit to see that.
The last change I made was during the construction for the waist elastic for both versions of the dress. I never sew a joining seam such as this at the same time as applying the elastic, which the HP instructions have you do. Too fiddly. 😉 Instead, I sewed with a 5/8″ seam allowance (1 below), then used a narrow ZZ to sew the seam allowances together close to the raw edge (2 below), leaving an opening to insert the elastic. After the elastic is inserted, sized, and adjusted evenly inside the “casing,” I use a 3-step ZZ (3 below) while stretching the elastic and fabric flat, which holds the elastic in place and prevents it from twisting.
What did you like? I think I like everything about this pattern. It’s easy and fast, no real fitting to do, and it’s versatile since it can be made for warm and cold months. There are also two other options for where the waist seam will hit so even more variety is an option. For mine, I used the “medium” bodice which provided just a little bit of blousing as I wanted and expected. For honesty’s sake, I didn’t believe the pattern for my summer dress and first cut the longer length. Let’s just say after picking out the sewn/serged seam, I became a believer and won’t doubt that length again.
What will you change next time? I’ve already incorporated the changes I need/want the first time I made it, so the sweaterknit version and any others to come are cut and sew. Love that!
What advice do you have for curvy sewists? Give Hot Patterns a try. You’re going to love them! Stylish, with fun details for all sewing levels.
Curvy rating (1 to 5 stars) 5 stars! A very wide range of sizes for all bodies, the dress pieces go together like a dream, and the instructions are good too if you’re a beginner. And as usual for me with HP, no FBA done or needed. Always a win for curvy busty girls!
|With RTW cardi and me-made scarf from scraps of a past project|
We’re thrilled that Hot Patterns is offering a giveaway of this pattern to a lucky CSC reader! Just tell us why you want to win, by December 22nd 11.59pm EST.