Some time ago, back in May to be precise, Megan Nielsen patterns put out a call for testers which I eagerly responded to, filling in the form and looking forward to the potential opportunity. To my surprise, I was chosen! And the pattern was the Karri dress: a fully-lined, multi-panelled, princess seamed dress. I finished my version of Karri back at the end of July, hence the sunny photos. Now she’s been officially released, I can finally share my version with you and I couldn’t be happier with how she turned out.
When I saw the line drawings for Karri, I instantly knew I wanted to try and have some fun with stripes! And I’d spotted some beautiful striped chambray on Yasmeen’s Instagram: @_ym.sews_ which was from Fabrics Galore. Sadly, they don’t have any left but have some lovely striped seersuckers in pale green and pink. Delivery was super speedy, arriving in a day! The lining is made from white cotton lawn.
Sizing and cutting
I cut a size XS in the bust and graded to an S at the waist and hips. After some crowding sourcing opinions on Instagram, I cut all of the side pieces on the bias, alternating them so they intersected. That explanation is really rubbish so if anyone wants more detail, just let me know.
Fitting and alterations
Since the bodice alone is made up of 6 different pattern pieces, and 12 individual pieces of fabric as none of them are cut on the fold, I knew I would be giving myself a hard time with pattern matching so did some combination magic:
- Combined the central front bodice pieces (1, 2 and 3) and cut this combined piece on the fold*. The piece is very much like the lining piece (13) if not exactly the same.
- Cut the central front skirt piece (8) on the fold*
- Omitted the sleeves
- Shortened all skirt pieces by 2″
*removing the seam allowance(s)
The pattern instructions were good, albeit with a few (non-crucial) typos since it was in the testing phase. I’ve not sewn many princess seam dresses (I know, crazy right?!) and the instructions for that here were very good I thought. The rest is straightforward for an intermediate or experienced seamstress (the skirt is sewing lots of straight lines). I particularly like how the back bodice pieces are constructed for the zip insertion; I was worried I was going to make a complete hash of the zip but the design and construction creates a really clean finish.
Overlocking: All seams are overlocked, unless they’re fully enclosed by the lining.
Hem: the hem is double folded and edge stitched. The collar and cuffs have all raw seams enclosed are also edge stitched.
My Karri dress has been around for a while now, and so I have the luxury of having worn her for several months before writing this post: I still love her just as much as when I first made her. She’s very comfortable to wear. Still, looking at the photos, I would perhaps change a couple of little things: the bodice is a little loose so I could bring it in, I would perhaps shorten the bodice a little, and the shoulder seam is a little long so I would perhaps also shorten that a smidgen too (so it hangs over just a little less). I didn’t think I’d like the high neckline but I do, I don’t find it choking at all! The only thing I’m sad about is that she’s not really a winter dress (that cotton lawn lining sticks to my tights like nobody’s business!) so I’m going to have to make her in a winter fabric. 😀
I’ve been rubbish with the blogging and vlogging lately due to work being a bit hectic, travelling and the dying light in the evenings but one will be on its way soon hopefully! In the mean time, Ive been working on snuggly, wintery makes and a bit of Christmas party glamour. 😉
Is the Karri dress your style? What would you do to emphasise the seam lines?
Note: A copy of the Karri dress was given to me by Megan Nielsen Patterns in exchange for my feedback (they did not stipulate I needed to blog about it). All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.