So I have my Blitz dress pattern and a sheet. First job was to trace from the printed pattern sheets onto tissue. I normally do this so I don’t have to cut the original pattern, in case I want to go back and cut a different size, but on this occasion it was also necessary as the original pattern is on such thick paper, it would be difficult to work with. The pattern handily has the the different sizes marked with different colours, so no following a dotted line, I just followed the purple one.
After the chat I had with Caroline of Sew La Di Da Vintage when I bough the pattern at the Selvedge Winter Fair, I decided to cut a size 12. She had mentioned the discrepancy between UK high street sizing and sewing pattern sizing and told me her patterns follow the high street.
The pattern looked a little strange, as the grain lines were abnormally enormous (see photo below). Tilly assisted by sitting on things when ever she could, and occasionally trying to eat the tissue paper.
Grain line giant arrow coming out of Tilly’s ear.
I found this pattern a bit of a nightmare. It’s certainly not the first dress I’ve ever made, so shouldn’t have been that hard, but the instructions seem incomplete, missing steps out or not being clear enough to follow.
I’ve scribbled notes all over the pattern instruction booklet so I could offer a step by step grumble report of what was wrong with it, but maybe I’ll just say the dress design is great, the instructions are so awful I suggest people don’t bother buying it. At one point I was livid that this pattern could be sold to an unsuspecting beginner, who might doubt themselves and give up sewing rather than realise the pattern instructions are at fault.
One piece of the pattern is rather oddly shaped – the collar. I have made quite a few peter pan collars, and this one just isn’t long enough for the neck opening. There wasn’t a notch or marking for where the collar starts and ends on the dress, which also didn’t help. Through a bit of trial and error, I drafted my own collar piece instead, by putting the dress on my dummy (trans. for US =dressform) and making a rough drawing around the neck opening onto tissue and then using a curved ruler (Shobun Fashion Curve, more multi purpose useful than a french curve) to draw a collar. I made it in fabric three times before I got a good size and curve.
In this photo the top is the Blitz dress collar, bottom is my collar. The dress has a back zip, hence the collar needing two sides, rather than the one piece you would have in a shirt or blouse.
Here are some pictures with the muslin made with one collar side by me and one side of the original pattern. Spot the difference! My collar in on the left.
From the back
See how the original pattern collar on the left just stops ? When I tried it on it wanted to stick up quite a lot.
I altered my muslin a few times before I was happy with it and got on to making my first try at the dress in real fabric, but that is a whole other story for another post (including everything that went wrong with fitting this muslin).