Fated to Be
TCS’s in-house seamstress, Bonnie, has been itching to make the Christine Jonson Princess Dress ever since we got the pattern in last June, and, when a Designer Lycra/Poly Knit in Mint and Melon arrived in the shop not long afterwards, it felt like a sign straight from the sewing gods. This pattern and fabric were destined to find one another!
Simple and flattering, the Princess Dress is, in many respects, a typical A-line dress with princess seams. Easy to sew, and easy to wear, this dress’s shape is tried and true. However, in a unique twist, Christine Jonson added an asymmetrical neckline. As you can see, this allows for a saucy showing of collarbone and decolletage, without an abundance of cleavage. Moreover, the retro geometric design on this eye-catching polyester/lycra knit, PERFECTLY compliments the asymmetric design! See what we mean? DESTINY!
In general, Bonnie is fond of Christine Jonson’s patterns. When recounting her experience with the Princess Dress, she mentioned that these patterns, while quick and easy, still possess an “elegant flair” – a balance not always easily achieved when designing for knits. Like any pattern, however, the Princess has a few eccentricities. The most glaring is a lack of information regarding the finished measurements.
There’s an assumption that a general sizing chart (detailing an individual’s approximate measurements and the corresponding numbered size) is sufficiently informative. But, when sewing with knits, the fabric’s crosswise and/or lengthwise stretch is often taken into account by the pattern drafter, and, as such, the resulting garment is sometimes smaller than the maker anticipated. While it may technically ‘fit’ due to the fabric’s stretch, it is not necessarily comfortable.
So, as a means to circumvent this, possibly, constrictive outcome, Bonnie cut, sewed, and fit the lining pieces first. This allowed her to preemptively gauge if her initial sizing was correct, and to make necessary adjustments on the main pattern pieces. As it turned out, a size 12 was just perfect. What’s more, the 5/8 inch seam allowance, handily included in the pattern, also provided plenty of room for alteration.
Another lesser, but interesting, peculiarity Bonnie found during her process was that the #10 pattern piece lacked a grainline marking. This may have a glitch specific to her particular pattern, but it does bring up a good point. Patterns sometimes have mistakes in them. So, by taking time to carefully look over a pattern before cutting into any fabric, you may well save yourself some heartache in the long run!
Points of View
This pattern includes options for long, cap, and no sleeves. Bonnie chose – perhaps in response to the BRUTAL Montana cold snap we’re experiencing – to go with the long-sleeve option. However, given how complimentary it is, and how quickly it comes together, this may well be a pattern worth repeating in varying sleeve lengths. Additionally, pattern pieces for a simple, one-seam, wrap top (that could stand alone or pair nicely with the no-sleeve dress option) are also included!
This is How We Do Knit
If there’s one thing we learned from our Trunk Show last summer, it’s that Christine Jonson loves a good knit! Though knits can be a bit tricky for a beginner, the easy-to-follow directions included in this pattern, as well as the wiggle room provided by the seam allowance, makes it a great option for all the ‘knit-sewing newbies’ out there. At the same time, experienced sewers will be delighted by how quickly this dress comes together, and by how easy it is to make casual or formal depending on the knit used.
For a relaxed, everyday look try this pattern in one of our Avalana or Organic Soy Knits, or add a touch of elegance by using one of our wonderfully drape-y Desiger ITY Knits. You can also take a leaf out of Bonnie’s book and go for something a little more whimsical like the Designer Floral Knit in Dark Teal.
Feel like the royalty you are, no matter the weather, with the simple and elegant Christine Jonson Princess Dress. Happy Sewing!