Spring in your step (and in your sewing room!)
As winter approaches in Missoula, Montana some may already be yearning for spring, dreading the cold temperatures, the darkness, and the lethargy that can accompany them. This, however, is a great time to embrace the hibernation-inducing temperatures, retreat into your sewing cave, and sew a new spring wardrobe in preparation for the soft grass and sunshine to come! Thus embracing both seasons simultaneously. The Danish company Wardrobe By Me’s Akinori Dress, is a perfect design for the easy, relaxed atmosphere of warmer times.
Bonnie chose to make Kate’s Akinori in the Kokka Chirimen Floral Crepe in Pink and Black. This fabric is a spring-celebrating cherry blossom print that complements the kimono-inspired design and provides the perfect weight and drape. The self-belt and pockets add to the lighthearted, relaxed feeling of this garment without taking away any class.
Triumphs and Troubles
This dress turned out beautifully, but the pattern and instructions did pose some challenges. This is our first interaction with Wardrobe By Me’s paper patterns, and, while we really love the designs, we are still getting to know the drafting and instructions.
Though the Akinori has a loose fit with an attached belt to hug the waist, the fit was tricky. To start, it was hard to see the correct sizes on the pattern and some of the notches were off. The pattern recommends sizing down when working with knits. But, with the woven fabric, Bonnie still went a full size down – from a 16 to a 14.
She also needed to add 4″ to the hem length, in order to accommodate the long-legged Kate! While having to size down is, as problems go, reasonably mild, it is undoubtedly more work. What’s more, you may end up spending more on fabric than you needed to. As such, we recommend trying this pattern with an inexpensive muslin to start. This will help you get an accurate fit, and may save you some time and money in the long run!
It’s important to note that the 3/8″ seam allowance does not allow for easy adjustments up in size. (Another reason to attempt this pattern in a muslin.) Bonnie also noted that the instructions for finishing the facing to the armscye (armhole) could be more thorough. Though it took a little extra effort, all parties were satisfied with the final product! Comfortable, flattering, and amenable to several different types of fabric, this pattern’s flexibility makes it a worthwhile purchase. Bonnie categorizes it as a project for an intermediate sewer, as there quite a few tricky elements!