Last week I discovered IndieSew (where was I hiding before this?) and as I was browsing Hepworth Dress caught my sight. This pattern is made by Sinbad and Sailor and has elements of everything I love in a dress – it is feminine yet elegant, playful yet great for the office… I was sold. I’ve never tried any of Sinbad and Sailor’s patterns, as a matter of fact many indie designers are new to me, so I decided this dress will be a perfect item to start with.
The pattern assembly went without any issues, all pages came together nicely. I am a stickler for tracing all my patterns, even if they can be re-printed over and over again. So I traced UK 10 size and made some alterations to the paper pattern. I am tall, so bodice on any pattern is usually too short for me and the garment waist does not sit at my natural waist. I lengthened bodice front and back and widened the waist, as by judging from the finished garment measurement chart provided in the pattern it seemed like the waist may be too tight on me. I also lengthened the skirt by 5cm. I want this dress to be office appropriate and in the end it is always easier to make it shorter than to make it longer, right?
I decided against making a muslin, because I felt lazy and the pattern seemed like it would fit me. I was also craving a fast and easy project. I went straight for fashion fabric! I used this beautiful stretch cotton blend in coral color that I had in my fabric stash. The dress construction went without any issues. I did not follow the instructions, as when I looked at them the neck facing was not done in my preferred way. I like to attach my facing before I do the side and back seams. I find the neckline and armholes have a cleaner finish this way. But it is a slightly riskier way since the first time you get to try the garment on is when it is almost finished and it is hard to make alterations at that point. So I would definitely recommend using this way only if you know the pattern or have done the muslin. I, apparently, like to live on the edge and I just went for it.
Because I didn’t follow the instructions I can’t speak to their quality, only to the quality of the pattern. In the end the dress turned out lovely! I only had to lower my armcycle to create more room for my apparently massive armpit, but that wasn’t too much trouble at all.
I will make some minor adjustments to the paper pattern before I use it again to accommodate for specifics of my body. I will take it in at the waist, as it turned out just slightly too big. It seems like I should have went with the original pattern measurement. I will still lengthen the bodice, as the waist line sits at my high waist right now. It is not bad, but I may like it a little lower. I will also make armcycle slightly bigger, lower the neckline just a touch and lengthen the skirt. I did find that the 5cm that I added to the skirt length were barely enough. I ended up using wide bias tape to hem the dress.
I will definitely use the pattern again. It is drafted really well and it fits great! I am already planning on making a gray Hepworth dress. I think it will be a great basic dress that will fit many occasions.