Saturday, April 14, 2007

La Fred Helena Dress

Reviewed by:Ann Smith
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About Ann Smithstarstarstarstar
Member since: 8/24/02
Reviews written: 154
Sewing skills:Advanced
Favored by: 185 people
patterns reviewed: 151
Bio: I love to sew for fashion, especially unusual designs. I own way too many patterns and fabric! I hav...full profile
Posted on:10/9/02 1:44 AM
Last Updated:11/26/03 7:43 PM
Pattern Size:Regular
Project Photo:photo
Pattern Photo:

Pattern Information provided by Ann Smith

Pattern Rating:I would definitely sew this pattern again

11/26/03 Update: I reposted the photo which had disappeared. Also I wanted to comment on a change I made to the dress since I first reviewed it. Either it stretched after the first wearing or my impression of how it should look changed but I decided that the dress was too long and the diagonal seam of the skirt was too low on me to look good. I really didn't want to redo the entire seam attaching the skirt to the bodice so instead I took in the underarm seams a lot (again...I had already taken these seams as stated in the review below)..maybe an inch seam (taking up 2 inches) tapering to the wrist and down the side. This had the affect of raising the waistline just enough. I also shortened the skirt hem. I like the dress much better now. The photo is the before version.

Original review:
I am very pleased with the results of this pattern. It looks much better in real life, very slenderizing. The fabric is a rayon knit that drapes beautifully, is wonderfully comfortable, and easy to sew. What more could a seamstress ask for?

I had read here that La Fred's patterns run true to measurements so I cut out the size closest to mine. Usually I cut 2 or 3 sizes smaller in the neck and shoulder area and then add extra for full bust and tummy. But I just cut out the 14 according to my measurements. The fit is good except that the underarms hung way too low. I took in the seam at least 2 inches at the underarm, tapering out to the bust and sleeve. It still is low and would be uncomfortable for raising my arms except that I will always wear it with the sleeves pushed up which solves that problem. Next time I make this I will make the smaller size as I usually do and add to the sides. That should help some with the low underarm.

It is easy to construct. One could leave off the back neck opening which closes with a hook and eye. I don't need that to put it on over my head. I used clear elastic in the seam attaching the skirt to the top. That is very effective in keeping the knit from stretching and feels very comfortable to wear. I shortened the dress by 4 inches and the sleeves my usual 1 1/2 (I am 5'3 1/2).

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