Monday, April 12, 2010

Pattern Review - McCalls 5974

McCall's 5974 ~ Palmer/Pletsch The Perfect Knit Dress

Pattern Description: Ladies knit dresses with scoop neck or mock crossover with self-ties. Bodice has front pleats, self-faced midriff, pleated skirt front, back zipper, and three lengths of sleeves. I made view "C" - the mock wrapover with 3/4 sleeves.

Pattern Sizing: 8-24W - I made size 8 based on my chest m'ment which is also my typical size for tops. Since the dress is fuller through the hips, I didn't alter the waist and hips for my m'ments.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, they were such great instructions. Having taking a Palmer/Pletsch fitting class from Marta in Fall 2008 and being a fan of the FFRP books by Pati & Marta, it was great to see the fitting addressed in the pattern sheets. The first sheet (both front and back) discussing tissue fitting, how to get the tissue ready for fitting, trying on the tissue, and common alterations you might have to make for this particular pattern. It is a mini FFRP course right in the pattern envelope! My only disappointment is they show how to make a FBA (full bust adjustment), but no SBA (small bust adjustment - they don't really discuss this to any length in the book either so I should be surprised).

Throughout the instructions there are helpful tips to guide the seamstress along so that the outcome is as professional as possible. The only thing I find utterly rediculous is that they don't have you put the sleeve in flat. This pattern is for knits only and they have you set in the sleeve - so dumb! One nice "tip" they offer is suggesting you try on the dress during the sewing process to see if you really need a zipper for your body shape. This is such great advice because putting a zipper in a knit dress is down right nuts (well unless you need it to be able to put it on).

One last interesting tidbit is that they give you 1" seam allowances in the sides to give you a little extra wiggle room when you're fitting.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? There are lots of positive reviews about this dress so I decided to give it a whirl. I really like the look of wrap dresses on my figure so I thought this might be a good on to have in my wardrobe. Beware, if you're making the mock wrap dress, it requires 2 5/8 yds - 3 5/8 yds depending on your pattern size ~ a hefty chunk of fabric.

Fabric Used: I used some poly/lycra knit I purchased at Joann's that was in my stash. I had almost 2.5 yds and was able to eek out the dress with no fabric to spare.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I altered the pattern tissue by giving myself a 1/2" broad back adjustment and a slight swayback tuck. I also shortened the dress by 1". I probably didn't need to shorten it, but when I pinned it up that is where I liked it.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I might sew the dress again. It was easy to sew (took me about half a day or so from start to finish). I decided Saturday morning I should have a new Easter dress for church and then had it done by 3pm. This included doing a little tissue fitting as well to make sure the bust fit. Unfortunately it ended up being too big so next time I will make a SBA on my tissue. I should have known better, but the tissue fit well (duh the tissue is not knit! LOL). Thankfully it doens't gape open, it's just a little bit fuller in the bust area (I'm a 32B for reference).

Yes, I'd receommend the dress.

Conclusion: Cute knit dress with great pattern instructions.


Lori said...

Your dress looks fantastic.

Sheila said...

Beautiful dress.... awesome print.

Christina said...

Cute! Reminds me of a DVF print.

Victoria said...

Gorgeous dress! I love your knit print and the fit is perfect. I too am a HUGE fan of FFRP!

Pati Palmer said...

Oh, thank you thank you. You look great in the dress! Pati Palmer, Palmer/Pletsch

Natalie said...

This is a wonderful dress and you look fabulous in it. Thank you for the review. I am so glad that McCall's is working on better fitting patterns with Palmer/Pletsch!