6.26.2018

Sporty Florals | Chalk and Notch Pixie Tee Dress (Pattern Test)

Dress: Fabric: Rayon Jersey from Finch Fabrics (sold out), accent linen chambray from Jo-Ann, Pattern: Chalk & Notch Pixie Tee  //  Sunglasses: Ray-Ban  //  Earrings: Maison Miru  //  Bracelet: J.Crew  //  Handbag: Nanette Lepore  //  Shoes: Ecco

Have you ever tried a style that you weren't sure you could pull off, just because a trusted designer released it? 
I definitely find myself willing to do just that and it was certainly the case with this dress. When Gabriela posted the sneak peek on Instagram, I loved it! Just a slight tweak on a typical tee shirt dress, but I was instantly enamored with that gathered hem. But, I've been a bit nervous to try a cocoon shape, much as I love it on others, and I've avoided knit dresses for quite a while, because they make me, erm, very aware of my full bum. Yet, when the tester call was posted, I didn't hesitate to sign up because what better time to push yourself out of your comfort zone than when you'll be in good hands and when the designer wants honest feedback. And I know Gabriela sincerely wants honest feedback, so if it didn't work for my shape, I'd say so.

Picking a muslin fabric was also a bit tricky. Again, with the bum. There was a concern that cotton jersey would be too structured and shapeless, but something too thin might emphasize things I didn't want emphasized, should the silhouette not lay the way I hoped.  Then, I remembered this floral rayon jersey that I won a couple of years ago and have saved in my stash, waiting for the perfect tee shirt dress to show off the oversized flowers. Clearly, this was a match made in heaven! The fabric is a slightly weightier rayon jersey, like a nice quality rayon pajama set, and has plenty of stretch and recovery. (The stretch isn't as crucial for this view, but it does help with the neckband and the other, banded, view does require it.) And oh my goodness is it comfortable! So much so that I genuinely felt like I'd left the house in a nightshirt, though I've been assured it doesn't look like one haha. In fact, I'd say this is a great travel dress. These photos were taken after being in a car for 2 hours and sitting through a long lunch, and save for the crushed bow, you'd never know it and I could not have been more comfortable. Did I mention the hem has elastic in it? That means you can cinch it really well and make the bows without any trouble, but can still walk without any trouble! So clever!
Speaking from a tester point of view - it seems as though a nice quality rayon jersey or bamboo knit were the best options for this pattern. Though I am currently sewing up a rayon double knit with a bit less stretch and a bit more structure, so I'll let you know how that goes.


PATTERN INSTRUCTIONS & ASSEMBLY

If you've bought a pattern from Chalk and Notch before, you may notice a new layout in the instructions. While I've always thought their instructions were really great, I can definitely see why some would say these are easier to follow. There are fewer steps per page and they're laid out in a very natural way. I also really love that the print chart is now included on the test print page of the pattern itself, so it's nearly impossible to forget not to print the whole file! And while we're on the subject of printing, don't forget to utilize the layers function so you only print the size(s) you need! 

As usual, the pattern went together perfectly. As a tester, particularly one testing an early round of a pattern, there's always the possibility that something could be really off or there could be missing notches, but that wasn't the case here. There are plenty of notches to help with shoulders, side seams, and the vents, should you pick view A, and they all lined up perfectly. It's definitely a safe bet for a less experienced sewist with such a cute result!


FIT NOTES & PATTERN TWEAKS
  • I chose the dress length of View A. Love those hem ties! (There's also a shirt length of this view and a second view which includes a shirt and dress length with long sleeves and hem bands. The sleeves are interchangeable though :) )
  • The only adjustment I made was to blend from a size 10 (my recommended size) at the bust and waist to a size 14 at the hem Yep, you read that right. The hem. I've made too many t-shirts recently and blended incorrectly haha. With 5" of ease I may have been able to get away with cutting a straight size 10, but particularly in a clingy knit, I wanted to cut my first dress using the intended amount of ease. I would suggest that whether or not you need to do the same would depend upon what fabric you choose and whether you carry your weight. To me, bums seem to need the ease a little more because when you stand from sitting, fabric can easily get caught XD
  • This tester version is also ~1" shorter than the final draft, though the weight of my fabric is elongating it just a bit. (My double-knit version will likely be a better representation of the length on a 5'10" frame. Or, you can check out the other tester versions here (link coming soon!) )
Oh, and did I mention I finished it in a day? And that includes carefully reading/proofing each step, rather than winging it as I would normally do. So, a great pattern to keep in mind for those quick fixes or last minute plans!

As I mentioned, I already have another one on my table that I can't wait to finish and share and I'm already plotting a few richer colors for the Fall. 

If you'd like to give the pattern a try, hop over to my Instagram for a chance to win a copy for yourself! 

Happy sewing! x


4 comments:

  1. This print ended up being the perfect fabric! I love this dress on you. Thank you for your help testing and for posting. XO, G

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    1. Thanks so much! It was my pleasure :) xo

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  2. That scale of that floral is perfect for this dress!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lia! I’m so glad I waited for the right pattern to finally use it :)

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