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  • Nicole Seafolk

CWE: The basic knit dress (+ pattern review)

I live in knits and dresses have quickly become my go-to for a quick, easy dressing choice. This dress, which is both made from a knit material and, obviously,a dress, just so happens to be one of my first successful clothing makes ever!

For the first projects in my capsule wardrobe experiment I wanted things that would be easy, functional, and versatile for my wardrobe. The cream knit fabric for this dress was purchased at my local Jo-Ann’s store and was meant to be used to make a wearable muslin version of this dress but it ended up  turning out so well I have been wearing it as is! The pattern is a McCall’s “Learn to Sew for Fun” pattern, number m7313, and was specifically designed for the beginner clothes maker, making it perfect for me! I feel confident in my quilting and bag making skills but for some reason, making clothing has always challenged me, especially when it comes to getting the right fit. 

Since I was using a fairly stretchy knit fabric I decided not to do a full bust adjustment (FBA), something I would normally do, and just hope the finished product would fit. That worked out fairly well but, I do think, If I make the pattern again and do not do a FBA I will lengthen the bodice at least an inch, maybe even too, to compensate for my gigantic chest.

I chose to do the scoop neck, long sleeved option of this pattern and the scoop isn’t nearly as “scoopy” as in the picture, on me it is more elongated-ly round. The sleeves fit just right without any major adjustments besides length. I did choose to french seam all of the seams in this dress and while it looks very pretty hanging up, the seams are quite bulky, which you can kind of see in the pictures around my arms/shoulders/ 

By far my favorite feature of this dress is the hidden elastic in the center seam. It pulls the dress in right in the smallest part of the waist, making the garment very flattering on my hour glass shape (although maybe not for other body shapes).

Over all I would give this pattern an eight out of ten. It is a clear, concise, and quick to sew but really isn’t all that ascetically interesting. It’s a perfect basic but by no means terribly unique. I do agree that it is perfect for beginners who want a nearly fool proof first sew but it definitely is a basic pattern that could be found from many different makers and designers.

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