Monday, November 16, 2009

The "New" Perfect Knit Dress-McCall's 5974

Another knit dress to add to my wardrobe. I mean really, who doesn't like a good knit dress? Well this is a great one and I love it. This was one of the few McCall's patterns that caught my eye and after viewing Sharon M's review on PR, it quickly moved up in my sewing queue. I decided that this would be my birthday dress and I'm pleased to have finished it a whole month early!

Pattern Description: Misses dress with bodice variations, front pleats, neckline variations, self-faced midriff, pleated skirt front, back zipper and sleeves in three lengths. I made view D which has a wrapped bodice, v-neck, self-ties and long sleeves.

angled front view

Pattern Sizing: 8-16; 18W-24W. I cut a 16 but could have gotten away with a 14 because of the material.

front view with ties undone

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Of course silly.

Midriff and bodice with ties tied

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes. This is the 3rd P/P pattern I have used and love them all. Per their usual, they offer various fitting tips on the first couple of pages as well as throughout the instructions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Where to begin....well, like Sharon, I did not realize how far down the sides of the dress the ties actually go. They start under the arm and go down to the hips. This can be seen on the back of the pattern envelope, which I didn't pay any attention to until after the fact. Since I used a thin ITY knit this was not an issue for me, but is definitely something to consider if using a thicker knit fabric. I feel like the envelope should indicate that the zipper is optional. It says so in the instructions which you probably wouldn't see until after you have purchased notions. I am against knits with zippers anyway so I had already omitted that. I almost opted to leave the ties off since I did a lot of work on the midriff to make sure it was just right only to have it covered up by the ties. I do love all the fit options that P/P patterns offer and I really like how this one turned out.

Close up of bodice

Fabric Used: A creme and black ITY knit from denver fabrics. The weight was just right and worked particularly well when it came to do the neckline and hems. It also doesn't add bulk to the sides where the ties are attached.

View of where ties are attached

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
I made a FBA and shorted the skirt. The FBA wasn't 100% necessary but since the bodice had pleating I didn't want to take any chances. For the neckline as well as the sleeve and skirt hems, I serged the edges, folded, pressed, then stitched down. For the ties, I serged the edges and pressed but didn't bother to stitch them down as I really didn't see the point. Also I only had 2.5 yards of fabric and not the 3 that is says is needed. Sometimes this isn't an issue but in this case it meant my ties aren't as long as they should be. They wrap all the way around but the knot looks silly so I just tuck the ends under and it works just as well.

Close up of midriff

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I will sew this again in view A, most likely in a solid fabric. I do highly recommend this to others.

Other Notes: Definitely try the dress on during construction. It is very easy to make adjustments as you go if you follow their order of construction. I didn't have to take in the sides any but it would have been easy to do without a lot of work.

Close up of side

Omit the zipper. Trust me when I say it isn't necessary if your knit has any stretch.

Close up of center back seam

The midriff band helps give definition to the waist area which isn't always the case with knit dresses.

The bodice pleats do not add bulk which I was a little worried about.

The skirt pleats do not make this maternity like at all. I think that having the midriff band faced not only adds stability and definition but also helps make this dress very fashionable (and forgiving).

Close up of front pleats and midriff band

Conclusion: I really really really like how this dress turned out and is definitely the New Perfect Knit Dress-easily replacing 5752. I feel like it is more versatile than some of the others and while it is a faux wrap I still love it. I am now on the hunt for a solid fabric to make view A. Seriously if you don't have this pattern yet what are you waiting for?

Back view with ties

Bottom Line:
Fabric: 2.5yds @ 4.75/yd = $11.88
Pattern: $.99
Notions: thread from my stash
Total: $12.87

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