Pattern Testing: Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Disclosure:  I received this pattern for free in exchange for my honest feedback. No blog post or promotion was required and all opinions are my own.

Side note: I currently have "Let's Get Ready to Rumble" stuck on repeat in my head. Well, really just the beginning.  I don't know why. Buuut, I thought I'd share :D

Anyway... so, back for fit notes are ya?  Alright, I can do that.

As I mentioned in my blouse post, the fit on this dress is just a little different. But, the good news is, Gabriela took everyone's feedback and made a few minor but very effective changes that I think minimized the alterations that would need to be changed by most sewists.

This dress is meant to strike a balance between loose enough to get it on without needed additional closures (read: the dreaded zipper) and fitted enough to show off your silhouette.  There are optional ties if you want to wear it a bit more fitted through the waist. Personally, I'm torn on the ties. I rather like the fit as designed, but my fiance prefers it nipped in a bit more, so I added them to the dress and will likely add them to the next dress I make with the pattern. Oh yes, there will be more. I can always tie them a bit loosely as a compromise, right?

As for altering the pattern itself, here's what I did:

  • I cut a straight size 10, based on the size chart. Yes! You read that right... a STRAIGHT SIZE! Excuse me while I have a little dance party, because, as a pear, that NEVER happens! But, my measurements fell in line with a 10 perfectly and the skirt has so much room that I didn't need to blend up anywhere.
  • I shortened the bodice at the l/s line by 1/2", because despite being tall, I can run a little short-waisted in some patterns and this put the waistline at a more flattering spot.
  • I also shortened the bust darts by 1/2", because I am "tall" from my bust up, so my bust point is a little lower than the pattern is drafted for.
  • Despite lengthening the skirt of the blouse version of the pattern, I opted not to lengthen the dress.  This was partly due to a desire to save fabric and partly because I tend to find I prefer my hemlines a little above the knee, particularly in summer.  Not that I think longer hemlines are unflattering, I just find I hate the feel of fabric on my knees when walking in the heat haha
  • Also, not fit related but I tacked the sleeve at the shoulder seam and underarm seam after folding it up, to hold the fold. 
So, very few changes on this one and I'm very happy with the fit! It's roomy enough to be comfortable in the heat (or after a big meal), but not excessively so. And the silhouette of it appears to be universally flattering. I have yet to see one that doesn't look great or a sewist that doesn't look great in it! I've even gotten in-person compliments from strangers, which is always a good sign in my book :)


Oh, one last thing. About the fabric. It's not available anymore (I think it's been in my stash for 4 years!), so I won't bother specifically bashing it, but let me just say that it turns out there is a range of quality of rayon challis too, just like any other fabric. To be honest, I've bought big box store quality and "designer" quality before and both levels were different, but good, easy to work with. But, this stuff! I would have rather sewed chiffon! The fraying, the stretching, the tearing... it was horrible.  I'm pleased with the dress now it's done, but the scraps went promptly into the textile donation bin because I can't be bothered trying to do anything with them again. So, what I'm really trying to say there is, if you don't have experience with rayon challis and you hate working with your first one, it shifts a lot, it frays, it just doesn't sew well, it may not be you! Don't give up! Step away from that fabric and try another from a reliable shop. They aren't all created equal and a nice challis will be relatively easy to work with and is a dream to wear.

In fact, who wants to guess what my next project is made from? You betcha! Nothing can tear me from my beloved rayon :)

Tell me, do you share my love for it?

Happy sewing! xo

Dress: Fringe Dress, Fabric: FabricMart (sold out)  //  Necklace: vintage  //  Shoes: Hush Puppies (currently on sale!)

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