Embossed Knit Suzy Dress
When Athina reached out to me about testing her dress I was hooked on the boat neck view. I immediately saw a very vintage, Jackie-O style from the high neckline and 3/4 length sleeves, and the interesting cutout from the overlapped skirt was so cool! I wasn't sure how it would look on me but I knew I wanted to give it a try, and I knew I wanted to find something special to make it in.
One of my goals for 2019 is to work with a wider variety of textiles and I was so excited when I stumbled upon this neat white embossed knit from The Sewing Workshop. I hadn’t seen anything like it before and I was eager for it to arrive so I could finally see what it was like in person. It was fascinating to stretch and pull it and watch the embossed design (appropriately named “Antoinette”) spring right back. It also had the perfect amount of stability to work for the Suzy Dress—just enough stretch and not too clingy or drapey. I couldn’t wait to get started!
Sewing the Suzy was a great reminder about fitting 2D patterns to 3D bodies. Athina has done a lovely job of drafting a beautiful and classic dress, however I was disappointed that as a worked on mine, the look I was hoping for just wasn’t there. Things weren’t fitting my waist the way I would like and I just felt…frumpy. I sent in my fit photos and decided to set it aside for a few days before diving back in to find a solution.
After some time apart I came back to it with fresh eyes and renewed motivation to make it work for me. I realized that, even though I used a thin, nude fabric for the pockets, they were still adding unwanted volume to my hips and needed to go. I also decided that the sleeves and waist needed to be a tad slimmer. I took in the sides of the dress, nixed the pockets, and shortened the bodice a touch, and it was like I had a brand new dress! It now was exactly what I had hoped for when I chose this white knit.
It would be so great if makes fit us straight out of the pattern envelope (or google drive), however the reality for most of us is that it’s just not gonna happen. All of our bodies are amazingly different! And I think this dress shook me up just as I was starting to find a comfortable home in the fit of a handful of other patterns. I was bothered at first that this dress that I was so looking forward to felt like a fail. But there is so much good in the failures, mistakes, or “works of whoops”, as @little_kotos_closet likes to call it. Working on this dress and troubleshooting my issues recommitted me to my work and finding solutions. It reminded me how satisfying it is to experience the highs and lows of “failure” and success. I was so excited about my dress because I had overcome a challenge and had gained another learning moment, and now I love it so much more.
Now that I know how to make this pattern work for me, I am already looking forward to when I get to make it again. I can’t tell you how much I love the cutout in the skirt—its a genius detail! And feels so feminine to wear. I also always believed I couldn’t wear boat neck garments because of my bust size, but I was shocked at how much I liked it on me. It feels like a wealth of patterns has opened up for me! I just might give the Mandy Boat Tee a try now too.
Have you ever made a pattern that seemed like a bust at first but turned out to be a winner after some troubleshooting?