Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hot Patterns 1090 - Warm and Cozy Weekend Dress

I'll admit, the Uptown Downtown Knit Dress from Hot Patterns was nowhere close to being on my radar... until I saw Michelle's version. It looked so comfy and easy - basically the requirements of a perfect weekend dress.


I got the pattern during the holidays, but was a bit unsure of what fabric to use. As luck should have it, I ordered a burgundy "wool sweater knit" from Fashion Fabrics Club during the winter and was expecting a nice sweater knit that I could use to make a wrap cardigan or maybe a dress. However, when it arrived, it resembled a slightly higher end french terry or sweatshirt fleece - something that was also noted by Lindsey T and Amanda S. While it wasn't right for my original sewing plan, I knew that it would be great for this dress.

I kept putting off starting this project because I wanted to muslin the dress first, since this was my first time sewing a pattern from this company and HP doesn't give finished garment measurements. Even after doing a muslin, I still had to make alterations along the way to accomodate the heft of the fabric and my personal preference. I started off with a size 16 in the skirt and after shaving off a ton on the sides, I probably wound up with a size 10 or 12 on bottom. For the bodice, the arms were cut to an 8 and the main bodice was a size 10. I should have cut the sleeves a bit longer, but made up for it with longer wrist bands.

I was lucky that this fabric had lycra in it, so the self-fabric bands behaved well in regards to springing back to their original shape after being stretched to fit the neck and wrist holes. However, the thickness posed a bit of an issue for this novice and cause a few puckers that I eventually gave up trying to work out. Ah well, the one in the front, that is most obvious, I'm just calling a "design feature." ;) I was also annoyed that somehow the elastic at the waist went in a bit wonky (total user error) and there seem to be a few more gathers on one side than the other. Grrrr. Thank goodness this dress really looks best when worn with a belt, as it hides the elastic snafu for the most part.


{photo by Jim}*

So, after the list of mistakes and issues, what did I think of the dress? I really like it! It's super comfortable and the wool fabric makes it incredibly warm and cozy when paired with tall boots. I've worn this to run errands on the weekends twice and was as comfortable as if I had been in my pajamas, but I think I looked much better. Ha! I even wore this out today during the downpour we were having in Los Angeles and was thrilled to not have been schlepping around in jeans that would have just gotten soaked within seconds of being outside.

If you're hemming and hawing about making this dress, just do it already! I promise, you'll be very happy with it. :)


* Jim is now insisting on photo credits on the blog. I thought it was pretty obvious that he is my personal photographer, but for the record it is my very sweet (even when he is making fun of me for the hurried photo shoots) husband.

** Yes, my hair is shorter than the last crop of pictures. I went in for a trim and since my hair grows so fast, she thought she'd go a bit shorter than normal so the style would last longer. It's fine, but I think I prefer just going in more often to maintain the shape. Ah well. I figure I'll just have her reshape it a bit when I go back in May and I'll return to the flippy 'do.

21 comments:

weezermonkey said...

I actually like the hair, and the dress does look good with a belt. Methinks it might be a tad shapeless without -- good call!

Sewtellme said...

Super cute. I keep going back and forth on this pattern but I think you and your dress have just pushed me over the edge. Love the hair.

Karin said...

Your dress does look good. Fancy starting with a 16 on bottom and ending up with a 10! In those situations, I am so pleased to be smaller than I thought that I don't even mind the extra work!

BConky said...

Cute dress. When you are adding ribbing to a garment put the piece that needs to stretch on the bottom when you sew it. That way you won't end up with little folds/pleats in your fabric. I would never have bought this pattern if I had not seen your version. It's much cuter than the pattern illustrations.

Eugenia said...

Gorgeous dress, it looks wonderful on you. I think I might have to make one of these! I really like your new haircut - it suits you. Good for Jim on insisting on a photo credit - he's doing a great job!

KID, MD said...

Aaah! First Michell, now you!! I must get this one!! It looks great on you!

Shannon said...

I love that dress on you - the colour and style is very flattering. And, I love your hair a bit shorter - this length makes your cheekbones look fab!

Nanette said...

I, too, like the hair a lot on you! Love the dress, love the photographer!

Lindsay T said...

Me too, liking the whole look. Nice save with that wonky fabric!

Angie Eats Peace said...

Very cute!

tam pham said...

1. LOVE your hair! So fresh and cute!

2. I really like that dress! It looks so luxe especially with that belt and those lovely boots!

wan said...

you are NOT a novice. that title belongs to me. the dress looks great, and i love the color, too!

and, i can't tell you how much i love your hair. it looks so freaking cute on you!

feminist gold digger said...

The hair looks great. Love the photo credit. LOL

kenpen said...

Very cute--dress and 'do!

Amanda S. said...

What a great little weekend dress! I sent my cut of that fabric back but maybe I should have kept it after all... That's a great color on you, too.

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

OMG I love your dress! It is so perfect for weekend wear. Great color, too.

Winnie said...

Hee, I love that Jim wants photo credits on your blog. The dress is very cute! I would have never guessed it was handmade.

Pyjammy Pam said...

Super cute! V impressed, as usual. :)

dapotato said...

i need some good winter dresses. must look for some like this. i was so happy all summer not to have to squeeze into my pants when slipping into my casual dresses.

i like the shorter 'do, but i do like flippy better.

alyssa said...

so impressed! i love the hair!!! love the dress, too :)

Leslie said...

You look great, as usual. :)

Love that you wear dresses to run errands. I wish I was a dress person.