Sew Over It - The Zoe Dress
I've made the Zoe Dress from Sew Over It in Dutch waxed cotton from the Rag Market in Birmingham. The fabric was a wonderful buy and don't be put off by the "waxed" bit because it's beautifully soft and reasonably light weight - not stiff like a Barbour coat!!
The pattern was a PDF one, but there was the option to have it printed onto large sheets instead of doing it yourself at home. It was £9 for the pattern and an extra £4 for the printing. I'd always do this in future rather than sticking together A4 sheets from my home printer, and thought it well worth the money.
The pattern arrived in a few days and was printed onto good quality paper over 2 sheets. The instructions had to be printed off at home, but that was ok. It said that the company didn't allow as much ease when drafting their patterns, so to be sure to measure carefully. Be Warned! They really mean this. I am a size 12 at M&S and found a size 16 in this pattern tight. After a pattern is drafted to a given size, an allowance or ease, is added to enable you to move, sit down etc. This varies between companies and is one reason that sizing is so different between them.
There is a front piece cut on the fold, 2 sides pieces and 2 back pieces; an invisible zip, and 2 sleeve options. There are also 3 pieces that form the facings for the neck, and 2 pockets. The instructions were very clear and well illustrated. It was an unusual pattern for me with all those panels (I am still a beginner dressmaker) but it was perfectly doable - I just had to think hard at one or two points.
The pockets went in well, but I felt they needed to be reinforced at the top and bottom, but this was to ensure that they lay well and pointed happily to the front of the dress. With this fabric the extra stitching didn't show much.
The panels fitted together well and there were no issues. There were bust darts and darts on the back at the neck. I haven't done an invisible zip before so it was a challenge! The fabric sewed beautifully with no problems and it's made a cool, summery dress. I liked the style, but would caution to check your size carefully with the measurements on the back of the packet. If I make again, I will go up a size but ensure I alter the bust darts, and shorten the waist in some way.