It wasn’t that long ago I was bemoaning that unlike other sewing folk, I wasn’t quick thinking enough to enter the Indie Pattern Month challenges. And yet here is my post in the “New to Me” category! All of that inspiration flowing through my blog reel must have been motivational.
One such inspiration was the dress right at the top of TMS “New to Me!” post – the Victory Patterns Jackie Dress. After a quick browse through the Spotlight online store, I found this unique eye print, and decided they would be a match made in creepy print/dramatic dress heaven. When I went to my local Spotty and found the exact amount of fabric I needed left on a bolt in the clearance section, I knew the sewing gods were smiling on my plan!
Victory Patterns is a company that I knew little about prior to this month, and I was pleasantly surprised by this pattern. Not only does it offer an interesting and unique style, the instructions (both included with the pattern and in a sewalong) are comprehensive yet not infantilising, containing specific details which are lacking in many other patterns: finished garment measurements, the height and cup size the pattern is drafted for (168-175cm and a B cup, in case you’re wondering), a detailed description of suitable knits with a stretch percentage and stretch gauge, and fine attention to detail such as accomodating vertical shrinkage when applying interfacing.
The only complaint I have, and it’s not much of a complaint, is that there are a lot of notches on this pattern. I counted 10 on the front princess seam alone. I can see how they can be helpful in moderation, but having so many snips into a 6mm seam allowance seemed unwise, and caused a bit of trouble with pattern matching when I aligned the wrong notches together. All I could think was Fashion Incubator comparing excessive notches to “some kind of a communicable disease.”
The garment itself came together quite easily, unless you count my ill-advised attempt to convert it to a pullover style with no back opening (pro-tip: don’t do this, unless you have a smaller head than mine). I cut the dress one size up from what my body measurements indicated, going by the finished size chart instead – purely personal preference for fit.
And the fabric – oh, the fabric. Despite the fact that near every fabric I’ve purchased from Spotlight in the past has been off grain, I was still surprised at how off kilter this print was. Guess I’m a slow learner! After a bit of consultation on social media, I decided to align the pattern grainline with the actual fabric grain and the vertical print, treating the drifting horizontal print as a diagonal and attempting to align horizontal lines across seams where possible.
And there we have it! One spectacular, spectacularly creepy midi dress. Is it a commentary on society, like the looming eyes of Dr T.J. Eckleburg symbolising the death of the American Dream and casting eternal judgement on the empty morality of those who pass beneath? Or just a trend that has finally made its way to chain store fabric? Either way, it’s a project I had great fun working and of which I am immensely proud.
Pattern: Victory Patterns Jackie Dress
Pattern details: “Jackie is an elegant, easy to wear, super comfortable knit dress that slips perfectly from day into night. This style is designed to be easy and quick to make without fussy closures. It features a built up neckline and shapely, figure flattering seams that lengthen and emphasize your curves. It is fitted at the waist with a full, flowing skirt. A subtle opening at the back upper bodice closes at the neckline with three small buttons and rouleau loop closures.” Sizes 0-16, available as a paper pattern or PDF download for copy shop, A4 and A0 printing.
Fabric: Just over 4m x 148cm wide printed cotton spandex, eyes, black/white, $24 on sale from Spotlight
Other materials: 3 black shank back buttons, from stash. Tessuti lightweight interfacing. Clear elastic, from Aliexpress.
Mods: None! Unless you count cutting a size up from what my body measurements indicated.