Monday, March 8, 2010

my first KWIK SEW 3489

I finally sewed this dress!!

I have a long story for this dress.
As I'm not good at explaining things short&clear, I try to focus on making it clear today.

I saw this beautiful dress made by Ms Erica Bunker some time ago. Since then I've longed to sew my one from the same pattern.
I asked my lovely friend Lindsay to get me KWIK SEW 3489 on our sewing goodies swapping last year and she was so kind to grant my wish.
A month ago, I finally found a fabric which seemed so right for the pattern, but I knew it was surely one of least good choices for my color complexion.
I deceived myself to buy it by telling myself "It's going to be a muslin, it's not going to be wearable anyway" three times and took it home, because I loved it too much.
I sewed it, in the right size according to the sizing chart on the envelope.
It was huge.
I told myself "Look at it! You knew this was going to happen."
I still loved the fabric.
I ripped all seams.
I re-cut almost all parts from the ripped scraps.
I made it almost 3 size smaller.
* note that the dress on the right is not the final product. I changed sleeves and ribbons, and hemmed by 2.5cm after taking this photography*
I re-sewed the dress. It was OK this time.
I love this dress. I'd wear it. I'd feel very happy in it.
I decide to ignore the color problem until I find I actually look horrible in this dress. I may not find myself that bad. It may not happen.
The dress is lovely anyway.


Pattern Description:
Misses' fitted wrap dresses have waist seam, flared skirt with shaped front edge, V-neckline, bust darts, and self-fabric ties. View A ties at the side and has collar and full length sleeves. View B has wrap around ties that tie in front, and very short sleeves. I chose collar and sleeves from view A, and tie from view B.

Pattern Sizing:
XS-S-M-L-XL, I cut in S
According to the size chart, I chose S size. However, I found it way too bigger than I expected on my first attempt. I needed to sew it again to make it much smaller. Amazingly, I could re-cut all pieces from the first run, except front bodice parts. The first one was that big, comparing to the re-sewn one which fit right in the end.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes, pretty much, after adjusting the size, besides the changes I made to it.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes. I barely needed to read the text, because the pictures were excellent.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I like the style of the dress, without a doubt. However, I liked the pattern much more if I didn't need to find it very roomy after my first attempt. I am not particularly fond of this rounded hem of the front skirts, but it was easy to alter thus I don't count it as a dislike.

Fabric Used:
Very soft polyester jersey with slightest PU blend.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
I modified the skirts to have a straightened front instead of the original rounded hem. I widened the ribbons and adopted the closure of View B, because I wanted to avoid the elastic casting in the back waist of View A. I shortened the sleeves and added cuffs also.

For better fitting, I shortened the length of the dress by 10cm in total, and took width quite a lot (~12cm). I felt that it was almost re-drafting the pattern.
I'm quite sure that the biggest reason of my sizing problem was that my fabric was soft and 2-way stretch. Besides, I still feel this pattern is made very roomy, as some of members already mentioned. I just didn't expect it this big when a moderately soft&stretchy fabric was used.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I would love to sew it again, in some pretty jersey for the summer. I now know that I really have to be careful about the sizing though. It's difficult for me to say if I would really recommend it to others because I expect others would need to be careful too...

Although I needed to sew it twice to get one dress that fit well, I'm quite happy with the result. I also got a complement from my husband, which is VERY rare to happen. I think this dress looks very pretty, and it is surely comfortable!

Have a happy week!


  1. It is gorgeous and I think the color is absolutely lovely on you! It's sexy without being revealing or garish.

  2. Beautiful! I especially love that first picture, really gorgeous. And from what I can see, you look very pretty in it.

  3. Your dress is fabulous! I love the changes you made!

  4. I love that fabric too! I think it looks great on you. It's a bummer you had to make so many adjustments to make it fit.

  5. lovely dress, nice (professional looking) work, and it does look very good on you :)

  6. This dress looks gorgeous on you! I love the pattern and fabric on you.

  7. Good on you for persisting with getting the fit right!
    The dress is lovely and those shoes are so cute with it!

  8. It's gorgeous, so classy! The colour is beautiful too (especially with the red shoes).
    Oh, and I really like your hairstyle... it's new?

  9. I forgot to say: I think it's SO annoying that the pattern companies rather provide a good fit for those who do vanity-measuring of themselves (or use old measurements) than for those who actually measure correctly... I think they actually loose customers because of it, I think that most of us who make our own patterns do it because the clothes always are too big if you buy patterns and use the size you should according to the sizing-charts... it is so strange that it should be that way!

  10. The dress looks like a really nice fit. Your re-cutting worked! Nice sewing!

  11. It's great! Amazing that the S was so big. But you had the skill to grade it down, which is terrific.

  12. The dress is beautiful, I think deeper colors look great on you also. I admire your patience with a seamripper- for you to carefully take the whole thing apart. I would have cried! (And said a few bad words)

  13. The dress is so cute! The fit on you is fantastic! Great job!

  14. You did a fabulous re-fitting your dress. And it looks sensational! The colour looks great on you. Is that a contrast lining showing in the first picture, or is the back of the fabric black, grey and white stripes like that?

  15. It's stunning! What a beautiful reward for all that re-cutting and extra work you did to get that perfect fit. Great job!

    Cindy C.

  16. Thank you all for your comments!
    >Ancien-Nouveau Karin, you are totally right. I know that we have to *translate* the size charts they provide all the time. This is my first attempt on KWIK SEW pattern and I didn't know what to do other than reading their chart as it said! Maybe that is one of big companies' latent tactics to keep customers buying from same companies. And yes! a new hair style!
    >Carolyn, what you can see inside is the wrong side of the fabric! Not very very pretty...:)

  17. Gorgeous! That color scheme looks lovely on you and that dress is a great fit. Keep wearing it!! :)

  18. Beautiful!! Isn't it frustrating when you make the size it tells you to make and it doesn't fit? You made it work, though!!

  19. Yes, yes...but what about your red shoes?!!! Loving those.

  20. Looks wonderful!


Thank you for your comments!!