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Vancouver Sewing Blog

Socialite Dress – Review

January 30, 2011

Filed under: Jenny,Product Reviews,Sewing — admin @ 2:32 am

I’ve just finished making Anna Maria’s Socialite Dressusing Kafe Fasset’s Daisy fabric in rust, and I love it!  The winter months have been dragging on, so I thought some inspiration in the form of a cute new dress to take me into Spring would keep me going until all the snow melts.  Of course, I’ll have to layer it with leggings and a cardigan for now…  But hopefully not for long!

Overall I thought the pattern was great, but let’s get right to the nitty gritty.  I have one main complaint.  The pattern does not include a size guide.  It does include a chart with the finished garment dimensions, and though the dress is roomy, I didn’t feel comfortable guessing how much room would be best.  I did end up finding one on Anna Maria’s website (which is posted below), but not until after I made a muslin of the dress to make sure it would fit properly!  Otherwise, Anna Maria’s directions are fairly clear and easy to follow.  I didn’t make the optional waist tie, as I thought the fabric I chose would look better with a black belt instead.  I did alter the dress a bit to fit my high waist by shortening the straps (and therefore the front & back yokes as well), widening the armholes to accommodate the shorter straps, and lengthening the dress accordingly PLUS just over an inch.  Here’s a few hints for those of you planning to make the Socialite Dress:

  1. The notches on the back and the back yoke do not line up.  I thought at first I marked it incorrectly when I shortened the straps and yoke, but when I checked the original pattern they didn’t line up either.  So, either move the notches on the pattern before you cut it out, or simply mark the center of the back as well as the center of the back yoke BEFORE you gather the fabric.
  2. When sewing the yoke to the front or back of the dress, it’s a little awkward with the gathers on the dress.  I found it much easier to stitch them together with the yoke on the bottom.  It feeds through the machine much better, and gave me more control of where the gathers were.
  3. Follow the seam allowances carefully!  If you make a mistake, you may be able to see your stitches where the fabric is gathered at the neckline, or you may run into trouble with the pockets.  The directions are very clear as to what seam allowance you need where. 
  4. If I make this dress again, I will definitely finish the side seams and the shoulder seams with the serger.  The directions don’t call for it, and I should have thought of it the first time around!

I’m quite happy with my Socialite Dress.  I love the gathers around the neckline, the pockets are fun, and although I’m looking forward to wearing it on it’s own when the sun comes out it works well layered for now.  I want to give the dress 5 stars, but because of the missing size guide I can only give it 4 stars out of 5. 

Anna Maria Sewing Pattern Size Guide:
(actual body measurements)

XS: bust 32/33”, waist 25/26”, hip 34/35”
S: bust 34/35”, waist 27/28”, hip 36/37”
M: bust 36/37”, waist 29/30”, hip 38/39”
L: bust 38/39”, waist 31/32”, hip 40/41”
XL: bust 40/41”, waist 33/34”, hip 42/43”

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