If you read my blog regularly, you will notice that I’m a big fan of Lizzy House’s fabric designs, especially her Pearl Bracelets. When she announced a Catnap Dress Contest, I joined in without hesitation. Her Catnap fabric line is so cute, how could I resist making a dress out of it?
While I knew that I could easily make another Wiksten tank dress or Staple Dress in time, those patterns didn’t quite fit my vision for my Catnap Dress. I need something sweeter, but still at a beginner level. The Crepe dress by Colette Patterns seemed to fit the bill. Once I stumbled across the Crepe Sew Along posts on Gertie’s Blog for Better Sewing, I was sold. I settled on Catnap Cattitude in Grey for the body and Jewels in Tangerine for the contrasting sash. Pink Chalk Fabrics had the fabrics I needed in stock, as well as the pattern, so I submitted my order and in no time at all, I had everything I needed to get started.
After I returned from the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild retreat, I vowed to work on my dress every day until it was completed, even if it was just for a few minutes. I read through both the pattern and the sew along posts and sewed my nights away. Just as I was starting to worry that I wouldn’t be able to finish in time, an extension was announced.
I had read several places online that the armhole facings on the Crepe dress tend to flip out, so I followed the understitching tutorial on Gertie’s Blog and diligently understitched the heck out of those facings. The bodice seemed to take forever, but the skirt sewed up quickly and I loved the pockets. Then I connected the skirt to the bodice and hit a snag.
It didn’t fit.
I couldn’t believe it! The muslin seemed to fit just fine, but it was only of the bodice. The almost-finished dress definitely did not fit me. The skirt was lovely, but the bodice was too big and the sleeves stood up over my shoulders and gaped in a most distressing way. I soon realized my mistake. When I had compared my measurements to the pattern sizes, I picked the size that corresponded to my biggest measurement, my hips. After my blunder, I read through the discussions on the Colette Patterns Flickr group and realized that I should have used a smaller size for the bodice and graded it to fit the larger skirt.
After the tears dried, I cut apart the sleeves, trimmed them down and sewed them back up again. The facings that I had so lovingly understitched made it a nightmare to fix, but I managed it. In the end, I have a wearable dress, even though it’s still a little too big in the bodice. Paired with a cardigan, it’s presentable.
- It’s a cat dress!
- The pockets
- The sweetheart neckline
- I successfully used fusible interfacing for the first time.
- The sashing is super long and the wrap portion of the dress feels very secure.
What I don’t like about this dress:
- It doesn’t fit.
- In spite of my understitching, the facings still flip out.
If I had to do it all over again, I would have graded the pattern for a better fit and lined it to get rid of the facing problem. The pattern is really cute, so I might make it again, after the traumatic memories of sewing this dress have faded.
In the meantime, it’s a great spinning dress.
You can find all the submitted Catnap Dresses in the Catnap Dress Flickr group.