Hello, Curvy Sewing Collective! Recently, I was on the hunt for a new standby knit dress. However, when I first saw the Davie dress, it left me a little…cold. I couldn’t really see ‘me’ in it. Fast forward a few months and, at my fabric store’s monthly sewing forum, we had a special guest – Tasia from Sewaholic, herself!
She came to talk to us about her business and her patterns. And what was she wearing? A super cute Davie dress in a polyester blend. We oohed and ahhed over it, then the store sold out of the pattern that very day. I think I bought the second last one! Even better, I had a perfect blue ponte de roma waiting for me at home.
At the talk, one of the questions from the audience related to Tasia’s decision to switch to professional (read: tall and skinny) models for her patterns. It turned into a very interesting discussion. The general consensus was that with the new professional model, we didn’t see ourselves in the patterns the way we had when she modeled them herself. While I understand all the reasons she gave for this transition, from a business perspective, it still colored my initial reaction to the Davie dress. It took Tasia wearing this silhouette to really convince me on it. However, I’m very happy I gave it a try.
Once I got going, this was a quick make. Then, when I wore this dress to work, I got so many compliments on it that I ran out to buy more fabric at lunch! (The curse and the joy of working on the same block as a fabric store.)
Personally, I like the swooshiness of the Davie skirt. It’s a really good width for me, and doesn’t cling too much.
Construction was pretty easy. My usual Sewaholic process is to start with a 14 at the shoulders, then grade up to a 16 at the waist and hips. I also took out my standard 1” from the torso, as I’m on the short side. Initially, I basted all the seams together to test the fit, which turned out to be very necessary. (Not to mention a pain picking out all those basting stitches!) The fit is excellent below the armhole. At the armhole, however? Hmm…
To start with, the armscye is really deep and very scooped out at the back. I am wearing a matching blue bra underneath here, because any other bra I owned would be very visible. There’s a weird fold of excess fabric around the armhole, as well, which is pretty common in Sewaholic patterns for me. I’m not crazy about the sleeves, either. They are cute in theory, but not very practical.
As far as the rest of construction, the instructions say to topstitch all the seams on each side, which was tedious, and used up thread at an alarming rate. I ended up have to run and buy more to finish. I like the look of the seams, but I don’t know if I would do it again. It does make the keyhole possible, which is a cute design feature. It started out scandalously low, though. I ended up hand-sewing it together by nearly an inch and a half, since it was all the way down to my bra! Even with this length, the bra is visible sometimes if I’m not careful. This isn’t even a particularly high bridge for a bra. However, if I had gone any higher, the keyhole would’ve begun to disappear.
The back is ok. It fits pretty well over my butt. There’s some pooling of fabric that I’m not keen on, which I always struggle with in a dress without a waistband. Overall, though, a winner! There were a few issues, yes, but I like the final silhouette quite a bit.
I decided to experiment with a second version, addressing the issues I had with the first, and trying some new ideas. I shopped in the Gala Fabrics ‘Garage Sale’ section, where fabrics go to die, or be made into wearable muslins. I loved the look of this patterned peach color and I wanted to see how the dress would behave with a) sleeves, and b) contrast welting. So, I bought a scrap of cream polycotton knit for the contrast, and went home to see what I could do.
For new armhole curves, I copied the Muse Jenna Cardigan pattern, which fits me pretty well. The sleeves, meanwhile, are from the flutter sleeves from the corresponding Muse sleeve pack. This fabric did not have quite enough drape for this sleeve, but whatever – experiment! I’m not keen on sleeveless and wasn’t sure how the welting would look with the cut-on sleeves of the blue version.
Additionally, I took in the princess seams along the armhole, for a much better fit. I tried to deal with the fabric pooling at back, as well, with some success. Although the fabric is a little, er, clingier than the blue ponte. I think I need to wear a slip with this version, which is just as well, since the polyester is fairly itchy. (I know, what do I want for $3/m?)
I’m pleased with the welting, though. It gives it a really sporty look, which I like. I ended up using the contrast at the neckline, but not on the sleeve ends. Not sure why. I just didn’t think I wanted a horizontal line at the widest part of my sleeve, but my thinking process wasn’t really that logical. I left off the topstitching, and just serged through all the layers with the welting and fabric. That made the process quite a bit quicker!
Size Range (1-5): 4 – Sizes are from 0-20 – The largest size fits 45-39-51. I made between View A and B. (They are the same except for the length. I started with the A, and trimmed off about 41/2” inches in hemming, getting it closer to a B). I started with a 14 at the shoulders, and graded out to a 16 at the hips. I think it could be graded up without too much trouble, thanks to the princess seams.
Pattern design and instructions (1-4): 4 – I think this is pretty well designed. I did have some issues with notches matching, but everything lined up in the end so I didn’t worry about it. I bought the paper pattern, not the PDF, so not sure how many pages the digital file would be. The instructions were very clear and everything fit on one page. Didn’t struggle with anything, but it is 6 seams, some bias binding, and hemming.
Final fit (1-5): 3 – This fits really well through the bust and hips, but I’m taking some points off because of the weird fit around the armhole, with armscyes that are too deep. I think just about anyone would want to adjust these.
Overall Curvy rating (1-5): 3.75 – I think this would be really flattering on a wide range of sizes, though I had to make some adjustments. I really wish the original came with sleeves, however!