Seamwork is a new online sewing magazine by Colette Patterns. It features sewing stories, ranging from techniques to personal stories, to sewing tours of cities around the country. In every issue, they include two quick patterns, designed to be made up in just an hour or two. Each issue of the magazine is available for free online, and the patterns are just a few dollars each for subscribers. I think it’s a great concept, but I haven’t been interested in many of their patterns yet. I subscribed for a hot second just so that I could buy this pattern. It is the Mesa Dress is from their June 2015 issue. It’s basically a tee-shirt dress with a wide neckline, short sleeves, and small side slits. It is advertised to take just an hour to sew. Boy, did it take me longer.
For such a simple dress, it seemed like everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. I had read reviews online that warned the dress ran small and on the short side. So, instead of cutting out a size extra-small, I played it safe and cut out a small and added 2 inches to the length. That was a mistake. The fabric I used is a lot slinkier than the one used in the sample, and probably than other people used when they thought that the pattern ran small. I think I liked the more structured nature of the sample better than the slinkier effect that my pattern has. I took out some fabric in the side seams, but there is still some extra fabric in the upper chest area. The neckline tends to droop down link a little cowl neck, also due to the slinkiness.
Since this dress was supposed to take just an hour, I decided to sew it up on my serger. Of course, my serger ran out of thread for the first time. Only one spool ran out, fortunately, so I didn’t have to run out and buy any more thread. It took a few tries to rethread it, and the tension still isn’t quite right, but I was losing patience and didn’t want to spend any more time tweaking it.
When it finally came time to hem the sleeves and hem, I dug out my double needle. This last step, which would normally take about 5 minutes, took hours. My needle must have been dull, because my machine kept eating the fabric. It would go along smoothly for a couple of inches, and then my machine would get hungry. I toughed it out, trying to be patient, and eventually made it through. I bought a new double needle yesterday, a ballpoint this time, so hopefully I won’t have this problem again for a very very, long time.
Now that it’s finally finished, I give this dress a solid ok. The fit isn’t great, but it’s nothing that I would have fretted about before learning how to sew. It is definitely comfortable, so that’s a plus. It’s also easy to pack, and wrinkling won’t be an issue. I might give this dress another go, but will be sure to cut out the XS next time.
Pattern: Seamwork Mesa Dress in size S
Fabric: 1.25 yards of polyester knit from Joann Fabrics
Cost: $11.25 fabric ($17.25 if you count the cost of the pattern)
Time: 4 hours