“Sew Many Dresses, So Little Time” Pattern Testing

Being a huge fan of The Knitmore Girls Podcast, when I heard their review for the book Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time by Tanya Wehlan, I knew that I wanted my own copy. The premise of this book is that each bodice pattern matches each skirt pattern, with variations of collars and sleeves for an almost unlimited supply of mix and match dress patterns. This sounded like my ultimate sewing dream!

dress 004

To test the patterns in the book, I chose a basic princess bodice with a cap sleeve and half circle skirt.  I had an extreme-sale knit blend from Girl Charlee to use as my test fabric.  The book suggests tracing the pattern for your waist size, so that is what I did.  There is not a pattern included for the half circle skirt, but clear directions are given for drafting your own based on measurements. I chose not to line the bodice because I was just testing the pattern and used a self made bias binding for the neck edge.

This photo really shows the extra fabric in the bodice back.
This photo really shows the extra fabric in the bodice back.

The skirt came out beautifully and can be used again on a knit with no changes. The bodice came out too wide with tons of extra fabric in the back.  This is a problem for me with ready to wear garments, also. The author included pattern fitting tips and the instructions for adjusting the flat pattern for a narrower back are the best I have seen before. I think the next time I try this bodice I will start with a smaller size and then do the back adjustments and should get a better fit. I think that with the patterns and tutorials in this book, I can put together many interesting and well fitting dresses.


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