Pattern: Tessuti Fabrics Sadie Slip Dress. You never know how a pattern company is going to fit you or if the pattern will come together well or not but after successfully making the Evie Bias Skirt I knew I wanted to make this pattern. My measurements for this are bust 84 cm, waist 72 cm, and hip 90 cm. On the size chart I am right between an xxs and xs. I went to the printed pattern and measured the pattern across the bust front and back and removed seam allowances for both the xxs and the xs. Across the bust the finished product in xxs would be way too tight. I decided to grade from xs at the bust to xxs at the first notch. This is shown in highlighter below.
As I was cutting my muslin I decided to add 1" seam allowances at the bust and grade to 1/2" seam allowances at the hip (second) notch. After my first attempt to try it on, I decided I needed to let the bust out 1/2" and sew the entire side seam at 1/2" in order to add the fish eye darts in the back for shaping. I had to go back and make this change to my paper pattern.
I checked the dress pattern against the facing pattern and they were identical. I decided this wasn't going to work for me. I've tried using the same size facing sewn to the same size neckline many times before and have always gotten pretty bad results (facing turning to the outside, facing bunching and not laying flat, that sort of thing). I drafted a new facing by removing 1/8th inch from the neckline seamline and then adding 1/4" seam allowance to this. I kept the side seams the same (although the pictures show them taken in 1/8" I cut them the same size). I used the same facing length as the facing pattern.
This drafted facing worked well in the fabric I chose (mid weight polyester with some body) but if I were to use a lighter weight fabric I would also slash the middle of the bust and bring it together slightly to force the facing to stay down (see third image above). If you do this you need to true up your center line and side seam after making the adjustment (because when you overlap the middle the center front/back and side seams pivot on an angle, you need to make them vertical again). Avoiding a facing altogether, the other option would be to do a bias strip on the neckline, which honestly, I think would work best in thinner fabrics.
Muslin/Fitting: Something about this dress, it's so sexy even in muslin. I think the fit looks great. If I wanted I could take the fish-eye darts in a bit for a tighter fit but I like how drapey it is right now.
This muslin does not have the facing attached.
Fabric Cutting: There's not too much to say here. Yay for minimal pattern pieces :). This is a polyester fabric from Joanns in a Prussian blue color. It's rich and elegant with some body. When I search the item number from the receipt, this comes up on the website. It's $6.99 a yard, I bought 2.5yards, so the fabric cost of the dress was $17.48 before tax. I also bought Gutterman sew all thread ($4.49) to match and used some interfacing I already had.
Sewing: I followed the sewing directions; they are really good. I interfaced the facing with interfacing thesewingplace.com. It sews up quickly but I did take my time with details. I used a narrower stitch length (1.5 on my machine). It's important to sew the neckline directionally at every step (stay stitching, attaching the facing, understitching). This means starting at the center of the neckline (both front and back) and sewing to the side seams. When I understitched the front facing I started sewing about a 1/4" from the center point so that the V wouldn't pull.
I did a narrow hem by sewing a straight stitch at 1/4", ironing and folding over, sewing a straight stitch at 1/8", cutting the access off, ironing and folding again, then sewing a final straight stitch at 1/8".
I didn't sew the facing to the side seams, I loosely tacked it to the side seams. I'm afraid if I sew the facing down at the side seams it will pull in other places. I want to wear it first to see if the facing stay down or not.
I had a late night crisis when I broke a needle sewing over a pin which caused a pulled thread to run across the front of the dress (from neckline to side seam). I tried to pull it back and steam it out as much as possible. It's more noticeable on the wrong side of the fabric than the right side. Fortunately, it runs under my bust so I don't think it will be visible when I'm wearing it. I want to say I learned my lesson and won't sew over pins anymore but I know that's just not true!
Final Product: I am seriously in love. I don't think there has ever been a more perfect dress pattern (bold statement I know).
I'm really really happy with Tessuti Fabric Patterns and I plan on making the Oslo Coat next.