Shelf Bust dress!

Name Shelf Bust dress!
Status in progress
Started Apr 7, 2018
Completed Apr 8, 2018
Progress 90 %
Privacy public
Notes Pattern Sizing:
Custom fit, however they managed to make the waist 10 cm bigger than my measurements. Only after I took in the excess did it look like it did on the illustration. So, warning: there is too much ease in this pattern.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes it did, but only after some alterations

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. Unlike the other Lekala patterns I've used, this one had an additional tutorial on how to sew the bodice--with pictures! It was in English and understandable, which is more than I can say for the others.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I love the pleated bust. I don't love that they seemingly used the same bust cup for every size. I say that because I have a very narrow torso, and the bust cups overlapped so much that there was only a slight sweetheart dip. On the pattern pic, the bust cups overlap less. And on another review online of a lady who's bigger than me, the bust cups have almost no overlap! Now, I'm not one for really low-cut dresses, so it worked for me, but a warning to anyone else who's different from the pattern picture size. The bust cups gaped down the middle as well, so I had to take them in and tack the two pieces together at the center.
Also I don't love that there is far too much ease in the underbust and waist.

Fabric Used:
A printed cotton broadcloth(?) type woven fabric which was a joy to sew with, since there was much friction between itself. I purchased it at Bihua Fabric Street in Taipei, and I think it was imported Japanese fabric.
For the contrast bust cups, I used a pastel blue plain weave cotton.
For reference, since Lekala doesn't list yardage requirements, I used almost 3 yards of the main fabric (110 cm wide), and less than half yard of the contrast.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I took out 10 cm total out of the following:
Back darts (2 cm extra each)
Front underbust panel (1 cm from each seam, 4 total)
Center back (1 cm on each seam)
Also, I took out around 2 cm out of the top of both the bust cups, slanting down to nothing at the corners at the bottom, so the bust cups wouldn't gape.
I used my own circle skirt pattern, since I already had one on hand and didn't want to waste printer paper printing out the Lekala version.
I cut the bias collar-thing in two pieces because there wasn't enough space on my fabric to cut it in one continuous length. It turned out fine, and the center seam was useful for alignment purposes.
Added pockets in the side seams of the circle skirt (no pockets in the original pattern!).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Yes, I love the look and will probably sew it in black with a bright print on the bust cups, and with a longer skirt for that 50s retro look. And I've already altered the pattern, so might as well use it again.
I would recommend it if you know how to alter patterns to your size, and can sew concave curves to convex curves (I found it tricky, and had to redo it so they were even on both sides).

Additional comments:
There's no armhole facing, so you have to finish the armholes with bias tape, which is not my favorite method. I did manage to get the bias tape to lay flat this time, because I remembered to clip the curves this time. Yay!
My fabric frayed like there was no tomorrow, so I had to serge most of the pieces before sewing them together.
Personally, this is the 4th dress I've sewn with an invisible zipper, and it's the first one where there is NO PUCKERING around the zipper. I learned the hard way that my invisible zipper foot (cheap, no brand) is a bit shaky if I sew the zip straight in without basting, so I basted the zip in with my normal zipper foot (came with my Juki machine) first, sewing around 3 mm from the teeth, then went in with the invisible zipper foot to get it right next to the teeth (I didn't bother to rip the basting stitches out). I still had to redo the zip, what, 3 times? to match up the waist seam, though. Practice makes perfect.

Can you tell I'm still annoyed that I had to alter something custom-fit? Well, I shouldn't be so grumpy since it's only 3 did sew up beautifully though.

Users Comments

  • Elizabeth Purinton-Johnson

    Thank you so much for your detailed comments. This tells me a great deal about the dress, the pattern, and the company. Invaluable!
    The dress is adorable and suits you beautifully.

  • Tannie

    Lovely dress and fabric.....looks very good to you!

  • désirée boutault

    merci pour tout ces commentaires qui donnent envie de faire ce modele et bravo pour votre réalisation