tiramisu success!

thanks a million for all the helpful suggestions on my plea for help last week! i suppose i was having a mini sewing-related meltdown… i know you all are above such, yes? no?! ha! anyways, i really appreciate the feedback. seriously, you sewing peeps are the best.

and, as if you didn’t know… photographing a black dress is super duper hard!!!

so here’s what i decided to do: even though my pattern printed off-scale at 7/8″ for every 1″ (i believe that’s 12% smaller, fyi) i went with the size i measured (bodice 30 C). now, i’m not a C cup, but all the information i found led me to believe that i should go with my measurement and not my usual cup size. that said, i probably could have gone with a 30 B. for the midriff and skirt i chose the waist size 30 and cut the length one size up. i’m definitely taller than the target size. instead of sewing at the drafted 1/2″ SA i serged most of my seams with a 3/8″ SA. for reference, my measurements are as follows…

high: 32
full: 33.5
under: 30
waist: 29

the only changes i made to the pattern itself were to eliminate the neckline and sleeve bands. i have nothing against the bands, but for this i wanted a slightly dressier look. i added 1/2″ to the neckline to compensate for the bands, then serged clear elastic to the edge from the wrong side, then turned and topstitched the edge. i really like how this worked; it gave me a very fast clean finish. for the sleeve hem i turned it in 1/2″ and hemmed before sewing up the side seams.

the bodice fit pretty well without too much fiddling. i didn’t crossover the neckline as much as the pattern calls for (my CF notches are about 1″ apart) because it looked so closed up on me. actually my only real disappointment with this pattern (which may not be the pattern’s fault) is that the neckline is too small to lay flat around my neck. i could (and may) widen the neckline slightly to eliminate the wrinkling i’m getting, but i’m going to wear the dress a bit before i go in and perform surgery on it.

this pattern has you cut the entire bodice and skirt on the bias, but since i was using a solid color i decided to cut the bodice on the straight (placing the back piece on the fold to eliminate the back seam). based on everyone’s suggestions i left the skirt bias cut. i’m not entirely convinced that cutting the skirt on the bias is necessary to get the nice drape since this is a knit, but i think in the end it helped save on fabric. i had two yards of this fabric which, after washing, was much, much less. i don’t think i could have cut both skirt pieces and the back bodice on the fold.

over-exposed pic to show detail

i decided to leave off the pockets partially out of laziness, but mostly because the only things i stash in my pockets are kleenex, not good with black fabric; and my iphone, which would be too heavy and pull at the skirt funny. i do kind of wish i had a place to stash my hands though, i never know what to do with them when i’m not holding a child.


i wish i could comment more on the actual pattern sizing, but i do know i would have ended up taking this dress in quite a bit. the pattern recommends sizing down for a snug fit and that is basically what my mis-printed pattern gave me. in fact, i think the printing mishap ended up saving me a lot of unpicking and resewing. so i guess that’s a win!

my final thoughts: i can really appreciate what steph is doing with cake patterns. the whole multi-sized bodice thing is a fantastic idea and i think she’s really on to something. that said, i just don’t feel the need to fiddle so much with the sizing on a knit pattern. there is a lot of ease built into this dress and i wonder if that just causes more problems than it solves. however i look forward to seeing how her business and patterns evolve; obviously this pattern has been a breakaway hit, and there is no doubt that i really, really love this dress! it checks all the boxes of wardrobe staple, versatile, comfortable, everyday wearable, works with a cardigan… i could go on. i do want to make a stripy version to take advantage of the cheveron effect of the skirt and bodice… in fact this was such a quick dress to sew up i have no doubt that i’ll be making more!

โ€”lisa g.

18 thoughts on “tiramisu success!

  1. K.Line says:

    Lisa – It looks terrific! And I find your comment about the sizing to be very interesting. I too wonder if the amount of built-in ease causes as many problems as it solves. I think for those on the smaller end, the answer is yes. But for those with larger frames and large breasts, it's probably a helper.

  2. Suzanne says:

    I hate when a pattern includes way too much ease…then you end up taking it in so much it kind of distorts things (like taking it in a whole bunch at the side seams makes for a small armscye, and then you have to fix that, and so on). I agree black is hard to photograph. But the silhouette is very nice on your figure (though I agree the neckline is a little high).

  3. Megan says:

    Looks great! I'm glad the sizing worked out well for you. I went down a size in the bodice on my most recent version and it fit much better, with minimal alterations. I think your version is going to be great for both casual and fancier occasions!

  4. lisa g. says:

    thanks, i'm so happy with how it came out! and you're right, i'm definitely speaking from a smaller-framed perspective–one that has as many fitting issues as anyone else!

  5. lisa g. says:

    the ease thing for a knit is especially tricky since you just can't expect the same results from one fabric to the next. for this dress, all the extra ease was eliminated when the pattern printed the wrong… happy accident i guess!

  6. Gail says:

    I really like your idea of eliminating the neck and sleeve bands and using elastic instead. I made a knit dress yesterday and used the bands, but ended up feeling like they were just too bulky. Wish I'd read this first!This looks like something you will reach for again and again. I'm so glad it worked out for you!

  7. Shar says:

    Your dress came out great in spite of all the issues! I like your take on finishing the neckline and sleeve seams. The length on yours is a bit shorter than on most I've seen which I think gives it a nice modern look!

  8. Crab and Bee says:

    This looks super classy! I'm sorry that you had trouble with the pattern printing, but it really turned out well. I feel you on the pockets question – having a place to put my hands is a big motivator for putting pockets into dresses and skirts!

  9. lisa g. says:

    thanks! i wanted the skirt a tad shorter than knee length, so my skirt is 22 1/2" (as opposed to the 24" per the pattern). it works out a little better for my tall-ish frame!

  10. lisa g. says:

    thanks! the printing is just a gamble we take on .pdf patterns, i suppose. and yeah, i'm one of those shy awkward people who needs a place to stash her hands… sometimes i need to be pushed out of my comfort zone! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. poppykettle says:

    Yep, black is one difficult shade to capture on camera! That said, this looks wonderfully comfy. A few of my sewing buddies have made this pattern up and all had successes – one of them said, on the comfy-ness factor of the Tira – "It's the closest thing you can get to wearing your pajama's in public, and still be appropriately attired". I think she was on the money ๐Ÿ˜‰

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