12/9//2010 Edited to add a modeled dress.Next up on my Sewcation was a dress. For some reason, cowl necklines are calling out to me lately. I picked up this pattern, Butterick 5523,
during a 99 cent sale and then tried to find the right fabric. There are two beautiful versions at Pattern Review that looked fantastic. They were both done in a single color but I still like the two-toned version shown on the pattern envelope. When I saw this two sided knit fabric in Hancock's, I thought it would be perfect. It's a heavier, stable knit. I think it is considered a ponte knit.
This pattern was quite an easy sew. Sizing was good except the sleeves ended up too short. I wanted long sleeves but the cut edge ended just at my wrist - i.e. no room to hem. I really didn't want a 3-quarter length sleeve so I came up with the idea of using the contrast color to make a cuff. I love how it turned out. The other two reviews mentioned the length of the dress was short so I added 2" to mine. Turned out the length would have been just fine for me and I ended up with a 3.5" hem. I could have shortened it but I thought the weight of the hem would be good for this heavier knit. I love the pleat in the sleeve. I actually sewed down the sleeve pleat as well as the pleats in the skirt. I just like that look better. I also opted to gather the back rather than do the pleats as both reviewers said they didn't care for the pleats in the back. The "cowl" is more structured than a typically floppy cowl due to the weight of the fabric but I think it makes the dress look more professional (i.e. business professional.)
I'm happy with my new dress and plan to debut it at a meeting on Thursday.