May 2, 2018

Channeling Mrs. Roper

 When Decades of Style posted a photo on their Instagram indicating they were working on a new Decades Everyday pattern - I commented that I'd love to test for them!  Seriously.  With the exception of the Given a Chance Dress, I have all of the Decades Everyday patterns.  I have 3 ESP dresses in my closet and I love them!  I have even made a couple of their other patterns.  

Decades of Style have been amazing to work with.  I had reached out after making my first ESP Dress and got an incredibly detailed response on lowering the neckline of that dress and given permission to share the info.  And they were fabulous this time as well.  I was given the pattern for free, but the thoughts and opinions on the pattern are my own! 

This pattern is called the TLC Caftan.  This dress has a cross over top which is sewn into the waist band, pockets and side panels.  You can chose to sew a short or long dress and I would guess that you could even interchange the side panels using either the narrow or wide side panels on either the short or maxi dress options.  I have made the dress with the narrow side panels. 

I finally found a use for this lovely, leaf printed rayon challis that has been in my stash for a long, long time.  I honestly think I bought it almost 20 years ago.  If my memory serves me, I bought it from Nancy Cornwell's sewing and fabric store in Seattle, which she closed in late 1999 or early 2000.  So . . .

But the fabric was perfect for this.  It's lightweight and cool and was very easy to use.  The pattern was fairly quick to make.  I will say that the instructions call for two different fabrics and I didn't have a complimentary contrast fabric that would work, so I only used one.  In the future, I might actually try using wide, stable elastic for the waist band and I would honestly use elastic to pull the sides in (it's inside) rather than the ties.  

Changes I made to the pattern in testing:  I made a small full bust adjustment - which I don't think I needed.  I also made a 1 1/4" sway back adjustment and added 3" in length to the skirt and side panel pieces.  I then put in a deeper hem, think I could have gone deeper still. 

I forgot to mention that I did the used the size 18 bust with a FBA and the size 26 skirt because I need more room for my hips.  

Couple of thoughts - while the instructions are clear and easy to follow.  You want to be very careful marking and sewing the arm openings on the side panels.  Also, I finished the edges of the arm panels, before stitching them to the side panels, it was easier to press and turn them when they weren't attached.  Next, I think I would use elastic on the inside rather than the twill tape or ribbon to pull the sides together.  I just think it would make it all around easier to get into.  

While I don't think this is the most flattering look on me - I will still probably wear it.  I think - for me and my current lifestyle - the most likely use will be post shower but when I still need to be presentable for guests.  I really want to try the full length version.
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