November 20, 2013

The Brasilia Dress Pattern Testing

Pattern: The Brasilia Dress (test pattern, one size only)
Fabric: printed stretch cotton
Alterations: added short sleeves, added a V back neckline, omitted the back zipper

So I signed up to do some pattern testing for The Brasilia Dress, a pattern from House of Pinheiro's Rachel. I wanted to do this because:
* I liked her version very much
* thought that the outline was pretty interesting, with those front joining darts
* I had never before tested a pattern for release :)

I'm glad I joined the fun, although this was no piece of cake. Let me explain why. First of all, I'm very lazy. So lazy that in 2 years of sewing I had not once made a muslin. That's because I was pretty lucky to fit Burdastyle's measurements chart and if I ever got fitting issues, they were small and I could work on altering them directly on me or on my dress form. But this was not such a case. After cutting the pattern I realized I had to make adjustments to the bust, the lenght and width of the bodice and hips. All this was pretty daunting for me so I thought "Oook, THAT moment has come! Let's do the muslin thing!"


So after I fitted my muslin I had a second version of the pattern that was more or less closer to my measurements. But it turns out I forgot my fabric was a stretch cotton. So the dress was too large for me even after the muslin adjustments. I still had to take in a lot on the bodice sides. On the bright side, the stretch cotton fitted me just fine without the need to add the back zipper. Yey!
The back is still too long though. I noticed this pretty late and no matter what I tried, I couldn't fix it.

And just when I was so upset and thought I wasn't ever going to finish this dress something good happened :) I was going to add the interfaced doubles for the armholes and after sewing the joining seam I realized I could as well use those for short sleeves. I added some lace on the inside of my new unexpected interfaced sleeves and voilĂ :


To emphasize the side panels I added some red piping. Initially I wanted to layer the side panels with lace but I gave that plan up because I thought it looked weird.

All in all, it was a fine experience. Thanks Rachel for giving us the opportunity to test your pattern and I can hardly wait to see lots of Brasilia dresses popping out all over the internet! :)