Hey y’all! Its been a long while since I’ve written to you, soooo welcome back to my little corner of the internet! I hope you missed me as much as I missed you. You may have noticed that things look a little different around here, but I hope you’ll [still] find it comfy. Talking about comfy, go grab yourself a cuppa (or a glass of wine) and come get all the tea on Closet Core Patterns newest release – which just HAPPENS to be included in their 25% off sale which ends on Sunday! Happy Reading 🙂
This year has been a slooooowwww pattern buying year for me partly because I haven’t been sewing much, and partly because I already have sooooo many patterns in my stash, half of which I will probably never get around to sewing. I’m sure my wallet thanks me, or at least it did until I saw the newest pattern from Closet Core Patterns – Closet Core Nicks.
The Nicks retails at US 18 bucks for the PDF and comes in two different size bands: 0-20 with a B Cup Block; and 14-32 with a D cup block i.e. fitting a bust of 31” at the lower end of the spectrum all the way up to 60″ at the top end. A round of applause for Closet Core on their size inclusivity! The pattern, which was inspired by singer/song writer Stevie Nicks, comes with 3 views:
- a midi length, bohemian type dress with long sleeves
- a tunic with a gathered waistline; and
- a blouse.
I opted to make the bohemian-like dress, with a few mods.
Pre-pregnancy I was a solid C cup. Now, postpartum, my bust size easily fluctuates throughout the day. IYKYK! According to my measurements I should have made a size 16 using the B cup block [perhaps with an FBA]. However, based on the finished garment measurements, I felt certain that I could get away with sizing down to a 14 in the B cup block AND nix the FBA. But what do you know? I printed off the size 14 in the D cup bodice by accident! It wasn’t until I had already done my flat pattern adjustments that I realized my mistake. If my momma was alive she would tell me ‘hurry man nyam raw meat’ and I think my meat was a medium rare at best!
As far a fit goes, I reduced the length of the bodice a total of ¾” at the front: ½” between bust and waist and ¼” between shoulder and bust; and did a ½” reduction on the back bodice just at the waist. I guess my posture has a lot to do with it but I discovered a while back that removing that ¼” above my bust drastically improved the fit of my bodices and stopped them from constantly falling back and strangling me. If your necklines often ride backwards, you may want to give this adjustment a go! I also did a ½” sloping shoulder adjustment, which is a MUST for me in almost every case. This adjustment both changes the slope of the shoulder whilst simultaneously lowering the armpit making for a much more comfortable fit at the underarm.
Once I made those flat pattern adjustments I went straight in on my fabric you guys – a black n white polka dot rayon poplin designed by Telio. I think I bought it from fabric.com last Christmas and since they’ve shut their doors, I don’t have a link for ya. Sorry.
Anyhoooo, I don’t have a lot of sewing time these days and every single second counts. With that in mind, plus the fact that this dress is supposed to be kinda loose, I skipped the toile…which may not have been the most brilliant of ideas. You see, after I sewed up the bodice of the dress I tried it on for a quick fit sans sleeves or skirt. I thought it looked a little big on me, but I had pulled out all the stops and French seam this rayon fabric. In case you don’t know, French seams require each seam to be sewed twice and there was no way in hell I was about to unpick them. Besides, I somehow convinced myself that that was the intended style of the pattern so I continued.
Even though the dress version is meant to be midi, I added only two of the three skirt tiers to my bodice and my dress finishes in my sweet spot – just above the knee. Just so you know, I’m 5’ 8.5” and I made no length adjustments to the skirt tiers. I chose View B’s short sleeves but added the cuffs from View A. This means that my sleeves are a little longer than they ought to be…but I’m fine with that. To add just a touch of personality, I opted to use some scrap white n black viscose fabric for the cuffs. Truth be told I intended to use the same scraps to make the button loops but my first try at making the loops failed miserably. The instructions say to fold the piece in half and sew using a 3/8” seam allowance, but that gave me a very fine loop like spaghetti. Even after trimming the excess seam allowance I just could not get my loop turned through. Shoutout to all you guys who have mastered the art of rouleaux loops… I am NOT one of those guys! I ended up having to cut the loop piece again, this time out of main fabric. I starched and pressed it (as I like to do when working with rayons) and instead sewed it at a ¼” seam allowance. The result was a lot easier for me to work with!
One thing I’m not particularly fond of about this pattern is the bias-bound front neckline finish. Don’t get me wrong, I can see why Closetcore chose this finish. I think it greatly reduces bulk at the shoulder line (which has gathers) and at the waist (which has an elastic casing) but I Just.Don’t.Like.Bias.Binding. According to the instructions, the finished edge of the bias binding should be 3/8”. Mine was quite a lot wider and I ended up having to trim it down. I’m not sure if this was user error (because rayon has a tendency to grow) or whether there is a mistake either with the pattern piece or the instruction so just pay attention when you do the neckline. With lots of help form my trusty ‘stitch witchery’, I topstitched my bias binding from the right side (because I think it looks cleaner), without worrying about my binding shifting all over the place.
Its no secret that I’m a huge fan of pockets and this pattern [shockingly] does NOT include them. I thought about adding my own but my experience has shown that pockets, in rayon or viscose dresses, have a tendency to get distorted with the addition of anything heavier than a paper clip lol. Needless to say, I skipped the pockets. Perhaps, if I make this dress again in a more stable fabric, like linen, I’d add pockets.
Once I had completed this make and tried it on, it fell sorta flat…which is probably my fault. The bodice has the blousy feel (as per the design) but I think I could have gotten away with making a size 12 (in the D block bodice); or the size 14 in the B cup bodice (which is what I shoulda done in the first damn place). When you’re printing this pattern, don’t make my mistake. Pay attention to which of the blocks you’re printing! I think I could have also shortened the bodice by another ½” to reduce a little bit of the blousy effect.
For pictures, I styled the dress with a red belt, some pearls and a red lip and instantly felt soooo much better about the overall look. Believe me when I say, styling matters! If you’re thinking about getting this pattern, I’d say snatch it up during their 25%off sale (which ends on Sunday)! And less you think it, I am NOT affiliated with Closetcore in any way. For US$13.50 [the sale price] you’ll get a pretty pattern with 3 different views, a very inclusive size range, and instructions in both English and French! The instruction booklet is jam packed with information to help you choose the right size, select and prep fabric and notions, diagrams (for visual learners) and added tips and tricks to walk you through the construction of this pattern. Nicks is rated for a confident beginner and I won’t argue. For me, the rouleaux loop was the only bit that made me wanna pull my hair out – but I think I’d maybe classify myself as an intermediate sewer at this point.
Anyhoo, if bohemian goddess is your thing… head on over and grab your copy of this pattern and be sure to share your make with me when its done!
Gotta luv ya and leave ya…
Until next time,