In my quest for a real winter wardrobe (as opposed to wearing fall clothes that aren’t really warm enough and just trying to layer them), I made a winter dress with more of the Polartec 200 that I used in my Alabama Chanin Long Skirt. The fabric is from millyardage.com, and it has a sweater look on the outside, but is fleecy on the inside. It’s also really thick and lofty feeling and is nice and wide. My husband was wonderful (as always) and bought me six yards, so I have a lot of it. I was inspired by some of the loungewear-type dresses I’ve seen in places like the sundance catalogue and the clothing section of Victoria’s Secret (I couldn’t find the image on their site, so here is a link to it on PopSugar).
As I was wandering around Joann Fabric one day, I found this pattern, New Look S0595 (which is listed on the Simplicity website as Simplicity or New Look 6298) , and it looked like just what I was going for.
I’ve also been in search of the perfect raglan t-shirt pattern, so I thought that if I liked this pattern, I could also turn it into a t-shirt or tunic. The pattern is made for knits, so it seemed like it would have a lot of possibilities.
There were no reviews on the Pattern Review website, which is my gold standard for finding out about patterns before trying them. Fortunately, thanks to the reviews of this pattern on the Ordinary Time blog (here and here), I went with the smaller of the two sizes I was contemplating (I would fit the 14 in the bust and the 16 in the waist and hips, so I went with the 14.). She notes that the pattern has a lot of ease, so when in doubt, choose the smaller size. I wonder if I could have gone down another size, but I wanted some ease, so I think the size I chose was ok. I made View D, but with long sleeves instead of three-quarter length sleeves. (Warmth!)
The pattern came together really quickly. It definitely helped that I used a jersey needle and a walking foot. I’m a slow sewer, but I cut it out one day and sewed it the next. I love that there is no need to finish any inside seams since the fabric won’t fray. That definitely saves time.
I had hoped there might be a little more shaping around the waist area, but there isn’t, so it looks a little…sack-like. That’s not necessarily bad, if that’s what you are going for. As my husband and friends pointed out, my sundance inspiration picture is also a straight silhouette, but the way that the model is standing keeps you from noticing it quite as much (and it’s probably all pinned in back to give it more shape). See what you think:
(Standing sideways kind of minimizes the sack thing.) Here are front and back views:
Now some cool styling. 😉 I was pretty proud of it, but my men’s jacket does make me look a little pregnant (which I’m not). Hm….
Oh, well. I’m still going to wear it.
So, would I sew it again? Would I recommend it to others?
I might sew it again. It does sort of fit in with the idea of wearing blankets shaped into normal clothing. It definitely fits the goals of warmth and comfort. As far as flattering my form, I don’t think it does that, but it’s so comfy, I wear it anyway. I got lots of compliments because it looks so warm and cozy (which it is; this fabric is great), but I wish it had just a little more shaping near the waist. What do you think? Is it worth trying to take it in a little on the sides or in that back seam? Would it work or would it just skew things? Maybe that’s something worth trying if I make it into a t-shirt. Now, though, I’m anxious to get on to other things. I still have a bunch of the Polartec fabric, so I cut out a cardigan, and I have a few other projects in mind, too. Gotta keep things moving!
You can read my review of this pattern here on Pattern Review.
You look great (and cosy!) and I like the way the dress is styled. Possibly a size smaller next time but this one looks like it’ll get lots of use..
Thanks for the feedback. That’s really helpful. I wonder how it would be in a cotton jersey a size smaller for warmer weather.
That looks so comfy! I guess you could always add a belt if you wanted a some shaping. Or add a drawstring somehow. Either way, it looks good the way it is and I like your ensemble.
Thanks! I tried a skinny belt, which didn’t work, but maybe a wider one…I like the drawstring idea, too. I think the pattern does probably have some good hack potential. 🙂
love the cowl 😉
Thanks. This really cool friend of mine made it for me. 😉
Make one with some Alabama Chanin on it 🙂
Good idea! I hadn’t thought of that!