Tuesday, September 23, 2008

McCall's 3129 - The Leni Dress

Pattern Description: Dress with princess seams, neckline variations (round or square), sleeveless or short sleeves, optional pockets and trim, back zipper. McCalls calls this "8 Great Looks, 1 Easy Pattern." Close enough.

The dress still needs to be hemmed and ironed, but that will be taken care of by the costumer, so this was my one and only chance to photograph it on the intended wearer.

Pattern Sizing: 8-24. I made this in a size 10. This was made for a local actress/friend who is a part of the theater company I do costuming for each year.

The play this costume will be worn in is based on Kafka's The Trial. The costume is worn by Leni, the ingenue character, and is definitely an easy, feminine dress. There are only 2 actresses in the play, but they are playing between them 10 different roles, so another point in favor of this dress was the ease of getting in anc out of it without disturbing wig and makeup.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes. Even better, it looked a lot like the drawing I was given to replicate.

Were the instructions easy to follow? I didn't really look at them, but this dress almost makes itself.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? This pattern was more or less chosen because it had a square neck and a pocket, and the rest I could "work with." Easy enough. Is there anything more forgiving than princess seams? I pretty much knew what the actress's measurements were, so I cut the dress out and basted all the princess seams and the shoulders, and when she came over on Sunday, I just pinned the side seams until I got the fit I wanted, and then tweaked the fit on the princess seams.

Fabric Used: Sky blue cotton (with white rickrack). This was purchased for me by the costumer, and it was definitely 100% cotton because it shrunk by about 10-15% when I pretreated it. SO glad I did that, since the costumes are often washed during the course of the play's run.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None at all. None were needed. This pattern may not look particularly exciting, but it's one of those patterns that looks better on a real person (kind of like a KwikSew pattern illustration, sometimes you have to just take it on faith).

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Funny you should mention that. Most of the way through, even when I was thinking how well it went together, and how pretty the square neckline was, I couldn't wait to hand it over. Last night I wiggled my considerably wider self into the dress so that I could place the pocket, and I fell in love. It's a really cute dress, and even a size too small I could see that. I also didn't realize how flattering the square neckline would be. So yes, I'm planning to sew it again. The pattern isn't going back to the costumer right away - I need to make a copy for myself in a size 12, and the actress is going to trace off a 10, so I can make another version for her at a later date. Preferably not with white rickrack.

Conclusion: I can't believe I've done the first review on this pattern. If you come across it, give it a chance - it's much nicer than the bland pattern envelope photo would lead you to believe, and because of the princess lines, it's a breeze to fit on just about anyone.


Elaray said...

Looks good, Karen! I'm going to deliver mine tonight. I hope they like it.

Meg said...

Nice work! It's fun to see a professional costume like this.

Gretchen the Household Deity said...

I love your pocket trim! I need to use more rickrack...

Lisa Laree said...

Great work!!!!

Little Hunting Creek said...

This looks so pretty I can see why you want to make one for yourself. What a good job - it looks better than their picture.
I'll have to make a note of that pattern.