Thursday, September 4, 2014

Nursing Friendly Color Block Dress from So Sew Easy {Pattern Review}

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When I first saw the Color Blocked Dress Pattern from So Sew Easy. I knew without a doubt I needed it. I have been looking for a dress pattern with a similar silhouette for some time.


About a year ago I was home for my Grandpa's funeral and had nothing great to wear (I packed something but I didn't like it) so I raided my mom's closet and found a dress perfect for my shape. I received more compliments in one night than I had received in years.
The funny thing is that the dress was originally my mom's friend and she gave it to my mom. Then my mom gave it to me and it has continued to be one of my favorite dresses. The princess seam lines on this pattern make it perfect for elongating and give a good fit.
I had every intention of making it for myself until I thought about Al. As many of you may know Al had a sweet baby girl about 7 weeks ago. I really believe the 4th trimester can be the hardest of all, when you are no longer pregnant and your body is slowly reversing what took 9 months to happen. You are left waiting to feel "like you". I knew this dress could be the perfect celebration of the amazing journey her body has been on and hopefully get her back to feeling herself sooner.  
I did make several modifications to the pattern but they were all pretty simple to do & the great foundation of the original pattern made these very easy.  Each one was made with Al in mind and we really hashed out what would be best for each detail. The original pattern was quick and easy to follow and these modifications added a bit more time but I love the result.
1. Exposed Zipper for Nursing Access: We chose a zipper that was longer than Al's chest so that she could have access without putting any stress on the dress. Since we did a facing we opted out of the neck binding.

2. Slashing and Spreading the Skirt: The original dress pattern is quite fitted at the bottom, Al worried that with 3 children 4 and under she wouldn't have adequate movement to keep up with them. I added 2 slashes on each pattern piece cutting straight up from the bottom of the dress to the hip for each slash I spread 1/2". This was very simple adaptation to because Deby was sweet enough to have the chest, waist and hip points marked very well on each piece.
3. Replacing the cap sleeve for half sleeves: The last few weeks we have had a drastic fall in the temperatures, it seems as though fall and winter are right at our door step. I loved the awesome lines of the dress so much I didn't want to leave her looking for a jacket that would cover it all up. For this modification I used an another pattern I had on hand for a guide on the arm hole and sleeve. I trimmed the excess cap sleeve & stitched on the sleeve. With this modification I only trimmed the smallest amount from the outside pieces and several inches from the top of the middle pieces. I felt like it was easier to do this modification once the panels were sewn together.
4. Increasing the hem length by 2 inches: Al told me that she wanted to make sure that when she bent down to pick up a kid she wanted to make sure she had sufficient back coverage that she could avoid any embarrassing situations. Though Al is pretty average height (about 5'7", so about 2 inches above average) all of those extra inches are in her legs so I added the length to the bottom. If you have a long upper body you would want to adjust the height by using the chest, waist and hip lines on the pattern as your guide.
Did I accomplish my mission of making something that my sister would love and would accentuate her great shape? Yep. While taking pictures she saw her reflection in the window of the building and she said, I love how great this dress makes my butt look. Then while we were driving home she talked about how she needed to make several more. Even how she would love to make a top or tunic with similar lines.
Whether we or not we are 7 weeks postpartum, we all deserve to look our best! This is a great pattern, the simplicity makes it perfect for a beginning seamstress & a great jumping off point for an adventurous one.

9 comments:

  1. I've had this dress on my 'to-sew' list for a while now. Your alterations are pure genius and Al looks amazing for 7 weeks postpartum!

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  2. You look great, Al! I love the dress, especially with the nursing access alteration!

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  3. This looks great! You are so sweet to make this for Al and she looks pretty awesome, too!

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  4. Lovely dress and pictures! I just finished the fourth trimester and all of my clothes are too big or too small and I'm missing dresses! If the baby ever learns to nap I need this dress!

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  5. Wow, you look AMAZING. I love what you did to this dress pattern. I'm sending everyone your way to take a look. And your photos are just stunning. I'm utterly overwhelmed. Thanks for much for giving my pattern a try. Deby at So Sew Easy

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  6. I love love love that you made this for your sister, and she looks fantastic! Great job!!
    ~Michelle

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  7. Beautiful! Both Al and the dress.... that last photo is my favorite! I love the addition of the zipper and sleeves.

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  8. aaaah I LOVE it! I wish I had thought of the zipper--I'm nursing too, and waiting for the day my little one is weaned so I can wear mine out without having to worry about how I'll nurse the little lady! Great idea!

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