Until recently the designer concentrated on girls’ patterns. One of her biggest successes so far was the super cute Waterfall Raglan (shirt and dress) for little ones. Everybody who worked with Chalk and Notch patterns is intrigued by the quality – everything is just perfect. At some point I found out that the designer is a professional pattern maker who has worked a long time in the fashion industry. That explains a lot, right?
Obviously a lot of customers and happy sewers kept asking her to design women’s garments. The Women’s Waterfall Raglan is her first project for grown-ups. I was (once again) in her tester’s team. That is, by the way, a strange term for what we did. There wasn’t much to test. I sewed up the first draft we got – and it fit to the point. Not a single alternation was needed. That is really rare.
Before I provide you with more information, here are the basics about the Women’s Waterfall Raglan:
Size Range: 0-18 (18 equals 44’’ chest, 14,5’’ biceps)
My measurements: Height: 5’’ 9’, Bra: 40 D, Bust 43″, Waist 38″, hip 44″, Shape: hourglass
Which view did I sew?
As I’m a dress girl, I, of course, sewed the long version. It can also be made as a top. And if you prefer a tunic or a maxi dress length just go ahead! Shorten or lengthen the bodice, it’s quite easy to do. There are three sleeve options: short, ¾ and long. And you can add a small front pocket – or skip that detail.
The Women’s Waterfall Raglan should be made out of light weight knit fabric, to get the best drape, literally the waterfall effect. It doesn’t really work with heavy knits or wovens. You can easily color block (that’s what I did) to create an even more interesting effect.
Adjustments: None! I added some fake buttons for design reasons, but the rest is the original look.
Construction process: That is an easy one. You have to assemble the raglan cross, close the side seams, add the ruffle, add the neck binding, hem – that’s it. I consider it a pretty quick sew. If you are familiar with the pattern you can easily make several Waterfall Raglans in a row within hours.
Fit: There are only two relevant measurements: bust and biceps. It doesn’t matter if you are bottom heavy or if you are apple shaped. When it fits around your shoulder line, you’re fine. I wear a D-cup, but it would have also worked out with a D or an E cup. There is enough spare fabric due to the construction. The raglan sleeves are fitted. That makes perfect sense to balance the drape of the bodice and the ruffle. If you prefer a different neckline, you can also alter it easily. But in my opinion the neckline is just fine as it is.
Here comes the BUT: The dress can look a bit nightgown-ish if you just let it flow around your hips. If you are smaller and wear flats, or if you’ve opted for a nightwearish fabric, even more. But that’s just my opinion. I always like to accentuate my waist. That could be easily done with a belt. Have a closer look at my pictures. The belt surprisingly helps to enhance the drape. These small folds where the fabric gets gathered by the belt make the dress even more beautiful.
Although I haven’t made the top version I’ve seen a couple versions on the other testers. It also looks pretty good on curvy women, but you have to like the A-line fit. If one wears a bigger cup size she might consider the dress version. Otherwise the hem might end up too high. Again, I highly recommend a light knit with a nice drape to get the best result.
Advice to others: Once you’re used to this new look with the ruffles, and the intentional contrast between the fitted sleeves and the wide bodice with its ruffles (“waterfall”), you will love it. I would – as always – recommend a first go with a muslin, just to be on the safe side.
The size range is not that big, BUT I’m positive that it will also fit, if you wear for example a size 20 or so. The knit is stretchy and it’s definitely worth a try.
Size Range: 3
Instructions: 5, they are just the best!
Final fit: 4, It’s so nicely balanced between fitted and flowy. In the top version the ruffle ends in a perfect position right above the crotch and above the butt, which is not only flattering but really clever. You get me, right? I understand, though, that it might not everybody’s thing to go A-line.
Overall rating: 4.5, I really love my dress. I guess you can see that 😉